you can't look away or hide behind a golden curtain

Thursday, 28 July, 2022 - 9:47 pm

The Jewish people are about to cross the Jordan into Israel (Cannan) and a few of the tribes approach Moshe asking for permission to remain in TransJordan. Their reasoning was that they were shepherds and that land had good fields for their animals to graze and pasture. 

Moshe was sharp with them "Your brothers go into battle and you will sit here?" (Numbers 32:6). 

In the modern world we can see what is going on across the world. From Ukraine to Syria, from China to Australia. The easy thing to do, and the natural instinct of most people, is to be sympathetic, shake our head, maybe make a small donation to a supportive cause and move on with our lives. 

Moshe was not satisfied with this! He expected more of the Jewish people. Not only do Jewish values require us to share our good or our wealth with those less fortunate, even more so we must share in the troubles of the unfortunate.

The Talmud says that every Jew is a guarantor for their fellow Jew. One Jew's peril is every Jew's concern. No Jew anywhere in the world can hide behind a curtain saying that their wealth or status insulates him from the problems plaguing other Jews. 

We may have great flocks and have found rich land, but Moshe teaches us this rule: "While our brothers are in peril, we cannot enjoy peace obliviously"!

Each of us knows someone who is in need. We have the option to look away, or to help.

Have a good Shabbos,

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

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