Numbers and Israel and Gaza

Shabbat B’Midbar
May 18-19, 2018 – 5 Sivan 5778
Torah: Numbers 1:1 – 4:20
Haftarah: Hosea 2:1-22

What a week in Israel – the recognition of a fundamental truth that everyone already knows – that Israel’s Capitol is in Jerusalem – and deadly days on the border with Gaza.

Meanwhile, we read from the opening chapters of the Book of Numbers, reminding us of the need to count people for the sake of fielding a military, and the hazard of viewing people as mere numbers and not unique individuals at the same time. Instead of numbers of people Moses takes a count of names. While we end up with a final tally in numbers, the counting itself was much more personal.

How do we calculate the difficulties that our Israeli family faces?

In a world filled with tyrants and terror, the United Nations Security Council observed a moment of silence for those killed on the Israeli border with Gaza when they threatened another country in an act of war, disguised as an act of protest.

Israel withdrew unilaterally from Gaza, dismantled Israeli Settlements and instead of peace and partnership the Gazans chose war and terror, resulting in blockades and shortages.

Here is an article that offers this struggle from the perspective of an Israeli, by Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman:

I wish I had easy answers for the situation. I ask that all of you join me in learning more. Connect with Israelis, visit Israel, explore our heritage and our homeland. Sit down with Israelis, Jews and Arabs, and listen.

Maybe if we can get beyond the numbers, and recognize the people, the persons, involved, then we can begin to make progress and find hope amid difficulties.

Wishing all of you a good week, and a Shabbat Shalom to come,