A Bisl Torah

The Day He Saw Thunder

My husband likes to tease me, claiming bad weather follows wherever I go. We traveled to Philadelphia, and for several days we experienced nothing but sunny, cloudless skies. The final day of our trip, we barely missed a rainstorm that delayed plane after plane.

Arriving home to Los Angeles, it was almost laughable to hear the booms of thunder disrupting our California summer. Erez looked at me and said, “This is your fault.” A downpour commenced and bolts of lightning struck, as water sloshed amongst flip flops and tank tops. Californians are usually unprepared for wild summer weather. Our son, astounded by the weather on both coasts, slipped in his language and said, “Today, I saw thunder.” I smiled, as I was reminded by the way the Torah describes the scene when the Torah is given at Mount Sinai. Exodus 20:15 reads, “And all of the people saw the thunder and lightning, the blare of the horn and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they fell back and stood at a distance.” Maimonides explains that the usual phrases we attribute to human beings and their senses do not apply to experiencing moments with God. While we typically “hear” thunder, when it comes to God, our senses are rattled. We can’t always explain why the atypical happens in a God-like moment. So, the children of Israel saw thunder…and so did, my son.

We live in a world where we try to explain away every oddity, coincidence, or strange occurrence. But sometimes, the rarities are where we should pause and smile. Perhaps, just perhaps, the moment is an opening into a world unknown; a world that defies logic, turns upside-side, and offers a few thunderstorms in the middle of July.

Let us see, hear and feel God’s presence in ways we never expected.
May those rarities occur…More often.

Shabbat Shalom

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