The Taste of Freedom: Manna & Shabbat

Rabbi Arthur Waskow 1/19/2005

Dear Friends,

In the current issue of the Jerusalem Report, you can find an essay I wrote for their "The People and the Book" column. It responds to the Torah portion that Jewish congregations traditionally read the Shabbat of January 21. (I write such a biblical commentary for JR two or three times a year.)

My essay is called The Taste of Freedom. Taste because it is in receiving and eating manna that the people first learn about the Sabbath. (Exodus 16: 13-30). For the entire essay and its implication for our lives today, click here.

For the broader implications of restfulness as a political issue in our society, see our whole Websection on this question

Manna and Shabbat not only bear salvation for the Israelites after they leave slavery in Egypt, they bear salvation for the torment of the earth and earthlings after they leave the shattered Eden.

Manna betokens a newly free and playful reconnection with the earth, while Shabbat betokens a newly free and playful community among the earthlings.

Today, we — all Humanity — face an Imperial Modernity that goes far beyond Imperial Pharaoh's or Sumeria's impact on ancient Israelites. More material food, more spiritual hunger. More money, less sharing. Can we invent new forms of community, can we heal the earth and ourselves, can we remind ourselves to rest and reflect, can we taste — yes, taste! — Eden, Messiah, the Sabbath?

Shalom, Arthur

Inactive Categories: