Saturday, March 24, 2012

What God Tastes Like

"Ray told us the story of a morning he spent in a Jewish classroom on the first day of school. It was the first year of school for this particular class of kids, and at the beginning of the morning, the rabbi stood before his students with a stack of brand-spanking-new copies of the Torah, the first five books of both the Jewish and the Christian Scriptures. From that moment, the words in those books would be the axis on which all their studies would turn. Everything else to be learned or known would be secondary, would bow to this. They'd learn the Hebrew language on the pages, memorize large portions by heart, and orient their lives based on what it said. The rabbi placed a copy of the Torah on each of his pupils' desks, and the five-year-olds scooted forward, amazed at the gifts. Next the kids watched with awe as their teacher positioned a small square of waxed paper on the cover of each book. Then, from somewhere at the front of the room, he produced a palm-sized, bear-shaped plastic mold. Honey. Walking around the room once more, he squeezed a single sugary globule onto every waxed paper square. The lesson that morning could have centered on study and memorization; on culture and religion; on yarmulkes and long curly sideburns; on menorahs instead of Christmas trees. It could have referenced the stories of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, about how God had made them into a nation and had rescued them out of desert wandering to call them to Him. It could have been about how God had promised a sacrifice in blood, about how the author of life had appeared to their people throughout history, wrapping Himself up in a pillar of fire, a cloud in the sky, a voice in the bush, consuming flames from Heaven. The options for an impressive introduction to Jewish school were endless. What the rabbi chose was honey drops.
He told his classroom full of five-year-olds to stick out their pinkies. They did. 'Dip your finger in the honey!' he said. 'And bring it to your lips!'
The roomful of excited kindergarteners sampled sweet, sticky honey. Then there was a long, expectant pause as they waited for the rabbi to speak. When he did, it was with a voice that boomed along the walls and echoed across the ceiling:
'Never! Forget! What God! Tastes like!'"
-Craving Grace by Lisa Velthouse [I'm almost finished with this book, and haven't really been too impressed...but this story really struck and blessed me. I hope it does the same for you. Never forget!]


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