Put Up--But Don’t Shut Up!©
Mothers can really be annoying. They’re always repeating themselves. Haven’t all our mothers told us at one time or another, “For the hundredth time, I’m telling you blah, blah, blah….” Why do they do that? Just tell me once and stop already! But the very simple answer is that when you love something or someone, whether it is your child, or America, or the State of Israel, or freedom, or the Constitution, you never stop talking. To surrender to the silence with the belief that you’ve spoken up enough and are fed up is nothing short of traitorous and gross negligence.
In this week’s Bible reading and indeed throughout the entire Five Books of Moses, over and over again we see the phrase, “And G-d told Moses speak to the children of Israel….” Why the repetition of that sentence? Why didn’t G-d just say, “Do everything I command you in My Book and don’t make me tell you twice"? Maybe because G-d knows that words just evaporate into the air and where they land no one really knows. G-d’s children are like ALL children, they are stiff-necked, stubborn and often hard of hearing, and one can never know when instructive, advising and beneficial words will sink in.
The Almighty said to the Israelites: “And these Words which I am commanding you today shall be ON your heart.” He didn’t say IN. For things cannot be rammed into a person’s heart since that approach will only be met with resistance. But if the words are placed upon our porous hearts and minds, and reiterated, sooner or later they will penetrate.
Yet G-d's words are a little different than the teachings we receive from our parents which we internalize and use as needed. Although all words need a place to land for them to be of use, G-d's words are not destined to have an eternal resting place. Like a nutrient-rich spring, they must keep moving, flowing, nourishing human consciousness and incising their mark. Convictions and truth are rather useless if they live only in our hearts but not on our tongues. And so G-d commands, "Teach the children of Israel. PUT IT IN THEIR MOUTHS." For it is taught that the tongue can be mightier and more effective than a sword.
But honestly and practically speaking, for how long can a person keep talking to the walls when others are just hellbent on running with scissors? After many vocal initiatives as well as email and letter campaigns which I undertook to fight for Israel and America, I have walked away very disheartened saying, “I’m done”; “I’m fed up”; "Never again." The people I’m looking out for don’t cooperate or participate, and the people I aim to persuade are impenetrable or just plain idiots. Maybe it’s time to worry more about my own back and to stop trying to save the collective spine of my beloved nations. But then I think about the role models I admire most, mothers and G-d, and they have both taught me a simple truth and a lifelong lesson: When you love, you never stop talking! Click to subscribe