Zornberg "The Particulars of Rapture" pages 124, 125... the sections are: "Moses - The power of narrative and Moses - Obstacle and Desire"
...and I am thinking of my own place, and the stories of redemption that we do not have as Australians. The unknowningness, the torpor,... perhaps a way of life for any people who think they are "godzone country" (to use strine)...
But Zornberg is saying... (this is just little bits of it...)
214... "Egypt... the place of 'the Exile of the Word'. Here, a kind of fatal sleep dulls the senses and makes listening impossible. What can rouse the sleeper? The general torpor affects all - from Pharoah to Moses himself. It takes many forms, but underlying all is fear - fear of death, fear of life. It is the fear that makes hearing, reverie, and speech impossible: a defensive rigidity that narrows the channels and closes the apertures."
This is a "Lenten Calendar" and we are approaching Holy Week and Easter. Aren't these words of Zornberg relevant to the message that Easter is?
"The cure is to be Torah. When Moses 'comes to merit' Torah, words rush to his lips. But how does one 'come to merit' Torah? How does one come at redemption, if it is not already within? Rabbi Nachman answers: listen to stories about hope for God. Off guard, one will be infiltrated, almost unconsciously, one will begin the process of incorporation, of making Torah one's own. Seventy languages will be released, multiple understandings and constructions.
The power of narrative to generate worlds becomes, in this reading, the way to redemption....
Ha-amek Davar offers a comment on this storytelling faculty as the very experience of redemption.
...the final stage of redemption - beyond the four stages of national redemption, listed in the passage at the beginning of our Parsha: 'I shall set free... I shall save... I shall redeem... I shall take unto Me...' [Exodus 6:6-7]. The final verb is 'And you shall know...' (6:7): this represents the high consciousness of the few, who fulfill the spiritual purpose of Exodus in their complex, elaborate narratives.
then the question is asked:
"How is the paralyzed tongue released, so it can speak the language that releases it?"
and the answer given:
"For this, there is one prerequisite: the force of desire. It is desire that, in Rabbi Nachman's terms, clears the throat of its pent-up words, of that hoarsness that makes articulation difficult....All the 'accumulated silent things within us' are backed up in the congested throat: the 'sorrows and memories... what is needed is the addition of vowels to those dry congested consonants: the fluid movement that gives life to the dead letter, and that makes language and therefore thought possible."
So let us pray for desire this Easter, desire and passion as we seek for redemption in this god-touched world.