Drash on Parashat Hazinu
Mashpia JoEllen Duckor
Temple Sinai, Wellington, NZ
Hazinu begins with beautiful images of the Divine presence. Moses is blessing us with delicious watery images of rain and dew and showers giving life to all and then returns us to the image of God as The Rock on which everything rests. Seven times in this poem, God is called “Tzur” Rock.
The Rock may be a sustaining presence, but at times we feel that the Rock does not respond ... it is cold and hard and without love.
Recently, two beautiful young members of our congregation died. It is too hard. It is much too hard.
Hazinu describes those too hard places, those times of great suffering. God seems far away, remote, turned away from us. The poem expresses the times when we close our hearts and wound ourselves with our own sword. Hazinu reminds us that those hard rock like times when we cannot sense the loving presence of God, can be times of transformation. Hazinu assures us that when we stumble and get distracted, when we forget and become confused, when we are suffering in a cold unloving hard rock place, we can return again and again to the sustaining sense of God as a supportive Rock beneath us, giving life to all that rests upon it.
Hazinu says: “It is your very life.”
It is, as the late great Mary Oliver said: your one wild and precious life.
“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift”
-- Mary Oliver