Torah Tidbits

You Are Not Just Another Statistic!
Shabbat Parashat B’Midbar
Shabbat Mevarekhim HaChodesh
May 24, 2014 – 24 Iyyar 5774    featured-rabbi

You Are Not Just Another Statistic!

In a world in which we, so often, seek to quantify our successes – to create benchmarks that measure performance in relation to strategic plans – it is hard to imagine a more counter-intuitive moment than the one described in our weekly Torah portion.

Our Torah portion begins with a census of our people in ancient times.  Interestingly, the Torah says that we should count each and every person by name!  The message is clear.  Belonging to a people does not mean that we become a mere statistic.

Our names reflect the sense that each one of us is a unique individual, and that our uniqueness is not an impediment, but rather, an asset to the community as a whole.

By mentioning the fact that each person was to be counted by name, the Torah is teaching us that each and every one of us counts, not only as a part of the greater whole, but also because of the gifts we are able to bring to the whole thanks to our individual uniqueness.

As Jews, we celebrate community, never losing sight of the value of each and every individual who chooses to associate him/herself with our shared goals and with our destiny.

On this Memorial Day Weekend, the power of this Torah message is amplified by the fact that, this coming Monday, we will endeavor to remember, not only the numbers, but also the names, of so many people who gave their lives for the preservation of our freedoms and of our country.  May we be worthy of their sacrifice.

On this Shabbat, we will celebrate a bat mitzvah at Rodef Sholom Temple and, it goes without saying that each bar and bat mitzvah is unique and special.   I hope you will join me at services this Shabbat as we celebrate the bat mitzvah of Hallie Rubenstein.  Mazal Tov to Hallie and to her entire family!

In the spirit of our Torah’s message, let us show our young people how much we appreciate their presence in our community!

Finally, this Shabbat, we will recite the prayer for the upcoming new Jewish month of Sivan.  Rosh Chodesh Sivan will be on Thursday night and on Friday of this coming week.  May it be a month of blessing, of joy, of peace and of health for us and for all the people Israel and for all people everywhere!

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Gilah Dror