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Am Yisrael Chai:

Wednesday, 23 June, 2010 - 12:35 pm

These days it can be concerning to be a Jew. Anti-Israel bias is rampant in the media. The comments to news articles and videos about Israel on Youtube are terribly anti-Semitic. One might even be a bit fearful.

These days I have taken to quoting the phrase Am Yisrael Chai - The People of Israel are alive! These days we Jews need to return to our deepest roots, to awaken the spark of the Jew within - the Pintele Yid and fortify ourselves in our own self-worth.

In this week's Torah portion we read of the desire of Bilaam, the non-Jewish prophet who is hired by an arch enemy of the Jews, Balak the King of Moab, to curse them. Try as he might G-d does not allow him to carry through with his wishes. So much so that instead of curses, blessings come forth from his mouth.

The Jewish People have never been confined by the boundaries of nature. Perhaps that is why we are still here as a people 3,300 years later. We shouldn't fool ourselves to think that anything has changed. Military might is important, good political connections are important, but our strength needs to come from within. We need to recognize that we are connected to a G-d that is higher than all of the politics and media bias. If we do so then we can truly say AM YISRAEL CHAI! with a conviction that will empower us to overcome all forces that wish to do us harm.

Have a great week!

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

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