God has made everything beautiful in its time. God has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11
A Word of Hope
There are 11 places in the Torah where a letter is written extra-large according to the Encyclopedia Judaica. For example, the first letter in the Torah is a “majuscule” (scribal terminology for extra large.) That makes sense, the beginning of the beginning needs special emphasis. That may be the origin of the illuminated medieval manuscripts. Other majuscules help to avoid confusion where the correct identify of a vowel can make a big difference. But I think the most interesting majuscule is in what we would call Leviticus 9:42. In that verse, one letter is written extra large because it is the central Hebrew letter in all the Torah. (Imagine the counting!)
Do you have a guess what the middle word is? It is “and.” How fitting. It is the most common word, a likely middle word but also a fully appropriate middle word. It is a hinge on which the first half and the second half of the Torah can swing.
There are plenty of “and’s” in our lives, aren’t there? Between our beginnings on one side, the endings on the other side, there is the and. As Rabbi Arthur Segal points out, there are celebrations for beginnings and some – although maybe not enough – for our endings. But what if we noticed and celebrated the “and’s” in our life. Those moments or feelings on which hinge what was and what is to become. They can be eventful moments or a long process. Regardless, God is with us in the “and” times. God takes up residence in between the Alpha and Omega as well as in them.
I love it when people say, “I’m in between jobs” instead of I lost my job. The former is hopeful, it contemplates the arc of time and all that could be. What if we could say I’m in between happiness right now? I’m in between blessings? The word “and” indicates more is coming and with God in our “and’s” we can dream with God of all the beauty and love that is to come.
God of the beginnings, endings and in-between times, bless us in our “and” times. Give us joy in You and . . . all that is to come. Amen.