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It Wasn’t Me

Wednesday, 23 July, 2014 - 9:49 pm

Thank G-d, Fraida and I are blessed with 3 wonderful children. Every so often, one of the girls comes crying that she got hurt, while the other one shouts out “it wasn’t me”.

In Israel, we see something similar. While Hamas is solely responsible for the civilian deaths in the current war of self-defense, Israel is doing its best to minimize the civilian casualties. When terrorists are shooting with babies in their arms, what choice does Israel have? Israel is working hard to educate the world that “it wasn’t us”.

In this week’s Torah portion it happens again: A person who inadvertently kills another must remain in the city of refuge until the death of the serving High Priest. The High Priest may say “It wasn’t me”, what does my death have to do with his freedom?

To this we answer:  The Jewish people are one family. As one of the leaders of the Jewish people, you should have prayed. You should have begged G-d that inadvertent deaths should not occur while you are the High Priest.

While the High Priest did not kill and is on the opposite side of the spiritual ladder than the “inadvertent killer”, he should have done whatever he could to prevent it (in this situation, by praying). Therefore, he is considered somewhat of an accomplice in the crime and a level of atonement comes to the killer with his death.

While Hamas is the killer, we as brothers and sisters of the those guarding our homeland, need to ask ourselves if there is something I can do to prevent the deaths of the soldiers and those held captive by their terrorist leaders. Can I do a mitzvah to help prevent it? Perhaps one of the 10 suggestions seen here? My wonderful children also need to ask “what could I have done to prevent the boo boo?”.

With hopes that the holy soldiers guarding our homeland finish the job and keep all of Israel safe.

With prayers for peace and a good Shabbos,

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

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