From The Rabbi’s Study… Shabbat May 20, 2021/ 5 Sivan 5781
Torah: Naso(Numbers 4:21-7:89) Haftarah: (Judges 13:2-25)
The Torah has many interesting mitzvot and these are a few; a census was taken in the Sinai desert, a total of 8,580 Levite men between the ages of 30 and 50 are counted in a tally of those who will be doing the actual work of transporting the Tabernacle.Then the enumeration of the Levite families and their duties, removal of unclean persons from the Israelite camps, law of jealousy, the Nazirite Code, the Priestly blessing, and the offerings of the Tribal chieftains. Since I am a Levite maybe I should discuss a few chapters of this. However, I will drash only two.
One famous Haftarah is this week. The Nazarite Code is about Nazirites when a person who vowed to abstain from various practices and to dedicate himself to G-d for a specific period of time not less than thirty days. Jewish tradition, however, has always discouraged austerity and frowns upon hermits or recluses who permanently isolate themselves from the rest of the community. One should become part of the community and one should help their fellow citizens with righteous actions of doing mitzvot.
The second parsha is Ma’al/Trespass, “When a man or woman shall commit any sin that men commit, to commit a trespass against the Lord…then they shall confess their sin…and he shall make restitution for his guilt in full” (Numbers 5:6-7). Bachya Ibn Pakuda taught that someone who has committed a wrong against another person has thereby sinned against G-d, since G-d requires of us that we deal justly with everyone else. Accordingly, we can expect forgiveness from G-d only if we have made amends for whatever wrong we may have done to others.
Everyone is watching the attacks by the Terrorist group, Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Israel has responded to protect their citizens, while the Hamas terrorists protect themselves by using human shields.
Heartbreaking to see children, women and men that are civilians being killed on both sides of a conflict or war. However,over 4000 rockets have been launched into Israel. Any life that is lost is a tragedy, but this could have been prevented had the terrorist not been given funds to purchase weapons. Now Hamas wants to negotiate a ceasefire on their terms., while they were the ones that started this heinous assault.
While some of you may not be aware of the fact that I was a NGO working on a grant in Israel in 2005. That was the year Israel gave the Gaza Strip to the Gazan people. At that time Hamas terrorists were not part of the Palestinian Government and the terrorist group, Hamas did not rule in this area along the Mediterranean Sea. Two years later, Hamas overthrew the government, and the rest you may be aware of the various attacks and tunnels to bring terrorists into Israel to kill civilians began and continues.
While most people do not know the facts, they are spewing Anti-Semitic and Anti-Israel remarks. The Torah states if one does wrong, one has to make amends. Jewish people are Forbidden to kill a person. Israel can destroy the beautiful 5 star hotels and yachts on the seacoast of the Gaza Strip, but they are only targeting the TERRORISTS OF HAMAS! My sources are living and fighting in Israel as I am writing this week’s drash.
Any Jew is allowed to protect themselves and other people, if or when their lives are threatened. Believe me when I state that Israel can take a more violent approach, but then many innocent lives would be lost.
Today, Israel is threatened, and Israel is taking the appropriate actions to save the lives of ALL their CITIZENS! This Shabbat we will pray for Israel. Anyone may help support Israel and her people. Stand with Israel, let your voices be heard, and support the State of Israel!
AM YSRAEL CHAI! LONG LIVE ISRAEL!
Michael and I are now in Philly, and this week’s Shabbat Zoom services will be live at 5pm MDT! Be well and stay healthy!
Rabbi Helene Ainbinder