- Posted by Elaine Zecher
- On July 27, 2018
- 0 Comments
Welcome to Shabbat Awakenings, a weekly reflection as you move toward Shabbat.
Israel is under attack from Gaza.
Rockets ordered by Hamas leaders torch the skies and have mostly been met by the Iron Dome. Explosives attached to kites glide onto fields and ignite fires. Frightened children rush into shelters. Israel responds and retaliates in self-defense, as is its right. Threats are hurled back, along with more rockets. How and when will it end?
Israel is under attack from within its own government.
A coalition in the Knesset passed a controversial Nation-State Law that challenges what Israel’s Declaration of Independence established: core values which honor all of its citizens, including Arabs and Druze who live within its borders. And then, the same Israeli Parliament in legislation regarding surrogacy prevented single fathers and by extension gay couples from receiving government support for surrogacy. Tens of thousands have demonstrated the actions taken by Israel’s government. What is going on?
Our Torah portion understood the power of the law and the desire for well-being.
This week, Moses reviewed the journey of the Israelites out of Egypt through the wilderness, the receiving of the Torah, and the crucial role of its laws when they arrive to the land of great promise.
Pay attention, sh’ma-ta, O Israel, willingly and faithfully, that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly [in] a land flowing with milk and honey, as the Eternal, the God of your ancestors, spoke to you. (Deut. 6:2)
These words still apply today to the leaders of Israel and to all of us wherever we may live. We want it to go well for Israel. We long for peace, for justice, for fairness and for the land to flow with milk and honey to nourish and to sustain all of its inhabitants.
We care about the safety of Israel, not only at its borders, but within them as well. Every student of Israel, all who show concern for her welfare, each person who worries about her present and future has a deep sense of the complexities and complications of the region, Israel’s existence and responsibilities. We cannot gloss over what disturbs us. Let us not allow frustration or impatience to silence or to suppress us. This is why we need and must continue to pay attention, and raise our voices in dissent or in agreement or both.
Maybe the ancients knew it would not be easy and they did not want those who came after them to give up. As our portion also says, Impress this upon your children and your children’s children. We need to continue to teach, to learn, and to struggle and wrestle. It is the promise offered to our ancestors carried forward by each generation. It is our turn.
Qabbalat Shabbat begins at 6:00 p.m. INSIDE, where it’s cool. Live stream HERE. Torah Study starts at 9:00 a.m. with a short service followed by an engaging discussion.
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