Adult B’nei Mitzvah Class of 2014: Aviyah Farkas – “Stones”

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I am passing around five hand sized stones. I ask you to hold them, feel them, see them. And please pass them to your neighbor.
Know that they are: G-d’s creation.
Seemingly immortal. Unbreakable. Beautiful. Eternal.
Potentially destructive.
In Torah, stones are sacred. In Genesis, [Genesis 28:10-19] on the first night after leaving his family home, our ancestor Jacob famously uses a stone as a pillow. He dreams of Angels going up and down a ladder, and G-d speaks to him. I am with you; I will guard you wherever you go; I will not forsake you.
To memorialize, to sanctify the place where G-d was present, Beth-El, Jacob took his stone pillow and set it up as a memorial stone, pouring oil on it.
G-d writes our Laws on stone tablets.
We are instructed to build an Alter of uncut stones.
We remember our dead with a stone on their grave.
Stones are sacred.
In Torah, stones are also used as weapons of killing, murder.
Used to destroy a human soul.
There are many crimes in Torah which merit stoning to death. This brutal, slow, bloody method of capital punishment is done by a crowd, “…the entire assembly removed him to the outside of the camp; they pelted him with stones and he died, as G-d had commanded Moses.” [Numbers 15:35-36]
This for a man gathering wood on Shabbos.
David kills Golaith with a stone.
Stones are used to kill.
One of my Torah verses, [Numbers 35:17], specifies a stone used for intentional killing, murder.
[Stone edition Tanach] “Or if with a hand-sized stone by which one could die did he strike him, and he died, he is a killer; the killer shall surely be put to death.”

Stones….can either sanctify our life, make our life sacred, by being the object which allows us to remember G-d; or they can destroy.
I choose to focus on stones as emblematic of G-d’s love.

How many of you have in your home, a stone, a rock which is precious to you? A piece of our firmament, a piece of G-d’s creation which is not human-made/human fabricated; which we found while taking a walk, a hike, strolling the beach. Which we picked up because this rock, this stone struck our eye, struck our heart and mind as something attractive.
It called out to us with special striations, unusual shape, beautiful color, perfect size…its perfection, uniqueness, spoke to our heart, our soul. We pick it up, feel it in our hand, examine it closely. Place it in our pocket or backpack, bring it home and lovingly place it with other cherished things.

Such precious stones which delight our senses, are in your hands right now.

The stone embodies your love, your imagination, your experience of G-d’s creation; G-d’s love. It resides in your homes in a place of honor, it travels in time with your life.

Over the years, when held, looked at, remembered, it is loved by you.
Your love, your consciousness allows the G-d in the stone to come forth.
To affect your heart. To love back.
This cherished stone allows G-d to show Herself to you.

Seemingly immortal. Unbreakable. Beautiful. Eternal.

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