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Reclaiming God's attention 

12/26/2018 12:58:08 PM


Josh Conescu

This week, we begin the book of Exodus (Shemot, in Hebrew). Shemot means names, which is ironic. The book begins with the re-telling of the names of Jacob/Israel’s children. Shemot picks up the biblical narrative 400 years after the death of Jacob and Joseph and their generations. Generations pass without names. Generations pass with the children of Israel growing in number, but losing their names.
Growing in number, but losing their individual stories. Until, even Joseph’s name is forgotten by the Pharaoh. And somehow, the Israelites, descended from Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob, Leah and Rachel were forgotten by God. The Children of Israel, it seems, forget both their communal story and their individual stories.
After 400 years of forgetting and forgotten, after 400 years without a name remembered, “​...God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.” It took the terrible weight of anonymity to reclaim God’s attention and to reawaken our story.

Josh Conescu is a SHACHRIT teacher and will teach the Adult Learning course on Genesis in January.

Wed, June 19 2019 16 Sivan 5779