As I was preparing for this week’s D’rash, I thought what in the world can I find in this Torah Portion to share. I was feeling very down and depressed.  My thoughts were, “Lord how much more can I take”?  I don’t have anymore to give.  My week’s are long and stressful. So many hurting people and I can’t always help all of them. My team is on the front line everyday and even if we take every precaution to protect ourselves, there may be that one time.  So many thoughts running through my mind. Emotions are running high and I see a lot of tears of those who may lose everything they have. But as I opened my bible and turned to this week’s Torah Portion my hand fell on Leviticus 24: 1 and 2.

The Lord said to Moses, “Command the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning continually. This scripture hit me like a ton of bricks. Olives need to be pressed to bring forth pure oil.

The word Gethsemane is derived from two Hebrew words: gat, which means a place for pressing oil and Shemanim, which means oils.  During Yeshua’s time, heavy stone slabs were lowered onto olives that had already been crushed in an olive crusher. Gradually, the slabs weight squeezed the olive oil out of pulp and the oil ran into a pit. There the oil was collected in clay jars.

This image of the Gethsemane on the slope of the mount of olives where Yeshua went the night before his crucifixion provides a vivid picture of Yeshua’s suffering. The weight of the sins of the world pressed down upon him like a heavy slab of rock pressed down on olives in their baskets.  Yeshua’s sweat “ like drops of blood falling to the ground” Luke 22:44, flowed from Him like olive oil as it was squeezed out and flowed into the pit of an olive press.

Wow, this made my week seem very trivial in comparison. God knows what we are going through.  Sometimes he allows things in our lives to teach us lessons and bring us back to where we need to be.  He even speaks through a pandemic if we are only willing to listen.

One small scripture from this weeks Torah Portion has given me a better understanding of how Yeshua felt as he gave His life for ours and that He understands how we feel as we walk through these uncertain times, trying to help others get through another day.  I now know the answer to why I am on the frontline of the pandemic? Because that is exactly where God wants me to be. God my prayer is that you squeeze me so that your pure healing oil will flow from me to a hurting world.

Shabbat Shalom.

Jackie Burner