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Parshat Va-Era

Exodus 6:2 -9:35

The beginning of 2011 coincides this year with Shabbat.  At midnight on Shabbat a new decade, the second of the 21st Century, will be ushered in.  Whenever there is a New Year

whether Jewish or secular there is a heightened sense of promise and hope. As the secular New Year begins we think about all the opportunities yet to unfold, the starting over, the resolutions that we make and hope to keep, changing old habits for new, healthier ones!


Stop smoking. Lose weight.  Spend more time with friends and family.  Get a new job. Go back to school.  Make the most of life. Laugh more. Work out. In each of these resolutions for the New Year is the potential.  There is potential for improvement and for change.  There is the possibility of transformation as the New Year begins.


God is that power of potential and transformation. This is what we believe.  The potential for change and the potential for growth is a Divine Holy Gift.  This is the Source of Life that flows within us. This source of Transformation and Potentiality is revealed to Moses and Aaron.  This week’s portion transforms these brothers into leaders.


Our Torah portion Vaera begins with God.  That Divine Voice calls Moses to new action to lead the Israelites from slavery to freedom and the Promised Land. God’s voice is one of transformation.  Moses will shed his simple shepherd life that he adopted when he married Tzipporah and transform himself into the leader of the Hebrews.  Moses will as God’s servant, use those powers of transformation and potential to help free the Israelites. He will challenge Pharaoh showing the power of the Holy One to transform the world.


Moses needs help to accomplish this goal.  His own fear in being able to communicate on God’s behalf is present in this week’s parasha.  He pleads for help recognizing his limitations.  The Holy Divine One hears his plea and Aaron is appointed as his voice and his help to achieve success.


These stories are instructive for our own lives.  They remind us as we enter 2011 to use rely on the same Power of Transformation that we Jews call God to help us achieve our freedom today. When we call on the Holy Divine One not to fix our problems but to give us strength to address our issues then we like Moses and Aaron can challenge the Pharaohs around us.  If like Moses recognize too our limitations and ask for help then we can also better achieve the end result. We don’t have to do it all by ourself!


So as you enter a New Year and you make your resolutions consider the possibility that an important part of achieving success is to call upon the spiritual realm.  Ask for help to achieve your goals.  Think about who can help you make the difference in your transformation.  And invite the Holy One of All Being, the Source of Life to flow through you and help you transform your essence.  Shabbat Shalom and Happy New Year!