Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Challah Cover, Continued, and learning from the Life of Sarah

It is said that when Sarah was 100 she was like 20 and when she was 20 she was like seven. Always beautiful and pure in heart.  She was righteous, faithful, and the one ADONAI chose to be the woman who would bring forth Abraham`s seed!!

As I was making the challah cover (yes! another post about the challah cover), you saw that I wrote Sarah`s name, and through different layers that led to my name through the generations, in embroidery thread.

 I had all the names done.  When I looked at everything I was pleased how it came out. I was able to write the names in Hebrew.  But then I saw a mistake in my name, Shayndel.  The `nun` which is the letter that sounds like the `n` in Shayndel looked like a `vet`.  The horizontal lines were way too long for a `nun`.  I wondered how I missed that when I drew the under-lines with the pen.  The purple pen lines were easy to see, and yet I completely overlooked it or..., or maybe just liked the overall balance and chose not to notice.  When I  finished sewing,   it looked more like `Shavdel`, as the `vet` has a `v` sound.  But still I thought, I `ll just leave it.

I had no idea how to make changes in embroidery and I figured to chalk it up to a mistake that I could live with.

Then I shared the pictures and the posts with my Hebrew teacher, asking her to let me know if there were any other glaring mistakes in my writing.  She reminded me about the nikkudot, the `vowels` and dot marks used in Hebrew.  I had kept some--the dot over the letter sin in “Sarah” and the one over the letter shin in Shayndel but left out others.  She pointed out that inconsistency of leaving them on some letters and removing them from others.

Oh, and she agreed about the `nun`.  To her it looked like another Hebrew letter, a `khaf`.

correcting the `nun` in `Shayndel`
I have been learning from my Hebrew teacher about the importance of each letter in Hebrew, and about being thorough and clear in our reading and writing and study of each letter.  She is very gentle and didn`t say `you should change it` but somehow I realized after that correspondence that it wasn`t `right` to leave the mistakes.  I would use the challah cover on Shabbat and week after week I would see that I knew I had mistakes, and I left them.  Not only that, but I saw something about myself.  How easily I am willing to just `leave my mistakes`.
Let me just clarify, there is nothing wrong with mistakes, it is a good thing, as it is good to acknowledge we made a mistake and then learn from it.  But here was something else.  I knew I made a mistake, and I knew that I needed to correct it, yet I was avoiding making the correction.

I am learning through Torah and through studying God`s word and through my Salvation  that we want to strive to be more holy as He is Holy, more righteous as He is righteous.  And to just plainly be honest with ourselves because when we know we are not being true to ourselves, then we are not being true to Him.

If I was to learn anything from Sarah, it was this attention to `right-ness` or right-eous-ness.  The `me` before walking with God would have definitely left it.  I liked how it looked, I liked the dots there, I didn`t mind that the nun wasn`t right, I would take artistic license.  But the new and recreated `me` in Messiah Yeshua  realized as the day went on that I couldn`t leave it knowing it was not right.  I would have to risk what would happen to the whole thing and if need be I would have to scrap the whole challah cover if I `ruined` it,  as  experience.    I just needed to find out how to change it.  I went to the fabric store where I bought the thread and the nice salesperson heard me out and said that I probably needed a `ripper`.  Oh dear, that sounded severe, a ripper!!! But I said, ok please show me.  And she took out a sample ripper.  It was actually more gentle than it sounded, it was small and hand-sized,  had a nice metal point and a sharp part in the curve that could neatly tear the threads and take them out.

Ok, I will take it! I said!!  So now I had my ripper, I went home and looked at the cloth, said a prayer and blessing, and went to work!! I took out the letter that wasn`t a `nun` and carefully checked the shape of the `nun` and redrew it.  I made the correction!!

This story goes on and on, as I looked up the meaning of the Hebrew letter `nun`. It means `Messiah`!! There in the middle of my name was the letter that represents Messiah!!  And I was going to let it be another letter and not correct it!!! Wow!! I am sure that only by making the mistake was I able to come back and see the `nun` for what it was.  It also has other meanings and significance such as: servant, if you look at it`s shape bent over as a servant; it also represents a fish.  As the 14th letter of the Hebrew alphabet it is associated with King David`s reign and much more about the `nun`.  It then lead me to looking up all the letters and to deepen my understanding of my Hebrew name, and most of all of what it means to have Messiah and His Holy Spirit live in us.  He is the one who is Counselor, He is our Righteousness!! He came to earth as a servant and to teach us to serve others!! He always existed even before Abraham and yet He is also of the seed of Abraham, the source of all Life, He is Life!! ...And this leads us into the next parsha, as we will see Isaac spending time at wells.  Wells of Living Water that were dug by his Father Abraham!!

To be continued....

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