923 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37403

Parshat Beshalach: Seeking and Finding

Parshat Beshalach: Seeking and Finding 
Exodus 16:27

וַֽיְהִי֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִ֔י יָצְא֥וּ מִן־הָעָ֖ם לִלְקֹ֑ט וְלֹ֖א מָצָֽאוּ׃

Some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather, but they found nothing.

Whether we realize it or not, our days are filled with seeking and finding. There are four ways these two elements express themselves:

  1. Seeking and finding 
  2. Seeking and not finding
  3. Not seeking and finding
  4. Not seeking and not finding

In the Torah we see numerous examples of these. To give one example for each of the above:

  1. Abraham seeking the land God will show him, and finding Canaan.
  2. The Israelites search for mana on Shabbat and do not find it.
  3. Moses not at all searching, and finding the burning bush.
  4. But what about the fourth?

Sometimes when we are not looking, like Moses, we are lucky and stumble upon something wonderful. Many have met their spouses by such a chance encounter, or found an item of value while on a walk, or even discovered something important about themselves without meaning to. These moments are notable because they are rare. For the most part, we do not hear stories of those who do not seek, because they do not find, and there is no story to tell.

The middle two words of the Torah are דָּרֹ֥שׁ דָּרַ֛שׁ, a doubling of the verb “to seek.” Whether we find, or do not find, to live as a Jew is to never be complacent in our seeking. If we stop wondering, stop asking questions, stop searching for meaning and understanding, we not only waste the intellectual faculties bestowed on us by our creator, but reject the essence of our Torah. I’m reminded of one of my favorite “Dear Abby” responses. Someone once wrote her, “Why do Jews always answer a question with a question?” Being Jewish herself, she responded, “How should they answer?”

Office Hours

B’nai Zion Congregation
923 McCallie Avenue
Chattanooga, TN 37403
(enter parking lot from Oak Street)

Monday: Closed
Tuesday-Thursday: 10:00am – 4:00pm
Friday: 10:00am – 3:00pm

Please call ahead to confirm someone will be in the office when you arrive!


Rabbi Samuel Rotenberg: rabbirotenberg@bzcongregation.com

Autumn Clark, Office Manager: office@bzcongregation.com

Phone: 423.894.8900

Subscribe to our email list!

* indicates required

Intuit Mailchimp

Weekly Services

Wednesday Minyan

Friday Kabbalat Shabbat

Shabbat Morning
9:45 am

See our Worship & Events page for all up to date services!