S.T.U.C.K. in the Torah (Shemot)

S.T.U.C.K. is not a chidush.

The ideas behind it can be found in psychology and in Eastern philosophy.

S.T.U.C.K. is just another way, (a useful, effective, and reliable way, albeit), to provide a person tools to cope with and move on from challenging life situations.

Apparently, it can also be found in the Bible.

I realized this for the first time when my 10-year-old son was giving a d’var Torah at our dinner table on Friday night.

In the portion, a new king rose over Egypt who got stuck on fear by the growth of Israel.

The Jews were becoming too numerous and too strong and Pharaoh enslaved them with crushing harshness.

(Pharaoh did not get know about S.T.U.C.K. apparently.)

Having failed to stop Jewish growth through backbreaking work and slavery, Pharaoh proposed a more blatant form of destruction.

To kill all Jewish male babies.

“Every son that will be born – into the River shall you throw him! And every daughter shall you keep alive!” (Exodus, 1:22).

(Boy, was Pharaoh stuck!!!)

In one midrash, (P’sekta Rabbatai, 40:3), Amram, then the father of Miriam and Aaron, said he didn’t want to have any more children because of the horrible decree, and therefore expelled his wife, Yocheved, from the house.

Because Amram was so well-respected among the Hebrews, the nation of Israel followed suit.

In fact, the Nation of Israel divided into two camps: Men and Women.

Now, little Miriam, wise beyond her years, is watching all of this and believes it is not right.

And my S.T.U.C.K. midrash would go something like this:

“But what should I do?”

“I’m afraid to open my mouth and tell my father my thoughts.”

“I’m just a little kid who doesn’t understand much about life.”

“I’m only 6 years old!”

“Maybe I should keep my mouth closed and not say a word.”

“I don’t deserve to have an opinion on this.”

But, Miriam recognized she was stuck on fear and reflected on her beliefs.

She recognized that she did have a right to think and form opinions.

She also acknowledged that when she witnesses wrongful actions, she should not remain quiet.

She considered that the worst thing that could happen by opening her mouth is that her father would get upset.

And the best thing that could happen is that she saves this nation.

So, she spoke up.

“Dad, can I speak to you about the Pharaoh’s recent decree?” she asked gently and respectfully.

“As far as I understand, the decree only regards the baby boys, and not baby girls.”

“If we stay separated into two camps,  our nation and future generations will be doomed!”

“Please, will you reconsider?”

Amram listened mindfully and accepted her words.

And the two camps came back together.

miriam-with-mosesAnd because of Miriam’s courage, her brother, Moses, was born and ultimately saves the Jewish People from slavery.

Miriam got stuck on fear.

But, it’s ok.

By processing through it, she recognized that even a little child can help bring Redemption.

And for that, she and the entire Jewish people, are grateful.

And I, to my son, who brought S.T.U.C.K. in the Torah to my attention.

Glossary:

chidush – a new concept.

d’var Torah – a talk relating to a section of the Torah

midrash – stories taught by rabbinic sages that provide intrinsic analysis to passages in the Torah,

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2 Responses to S.T.U.C.K. in the Torah (Shemot)

  1. bubbeluv9 January 7, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

    Wow, really good thinking by Avi Chai!

  2. Shira Taylor Gura January 7, 2016 at 1:21 pm #

    Actually, it was Aitan! 🙂