Holding Fast To the Promise
Our Parsha begins with Pinchas being blessed with a b’rit shalom, a covenant of peace.
In the Torah scroll, the letter vav in the word shalom [peace] is, uncharacteristically, broken.
As we read this portion of our Torah this week, the broken vav is a poignant reminder of the fragility of our lives and of the situation that Israel faces at this time.
We want peace. We are ready for peace. We pray for peace. Yet, at times, peace is elusive. At times, we have no choice but to stand firmly for our right to have a sovereign Jewish state in Israel. We have no choice but to take action to defend Israel from those who would destroy her.
Last week we prayed for comfort and for healing after the kidnapping and murders of three Jewish teenagers, and soon thereafter we were shaken to the core by the news of the horrific murder of an Arab teenager in Israel. Our prayers for comfort and for healing intensified. We could not know what the future would bring.
Yet, now, with the hundreds of rockets raining in on all the major cities of Israel, from Beer Sheva to Tel Aviv, to Jerusalem, and to Haifa, we know that Israel faces a very difficult situation. Now, we add to our prayers of comfort and of healing, prayers for the safety of our brothers and sisters in Israel, for the protection of the men and women who are charged with defending them. We pray, along with them, for strength, for courage, and for peace.
The people of Israel are resolute. We stand with them, holding fast to the promise of a better future. This is the promise of the Torah and the vision of our prophets. Truth, peace, justice and mercy will prevail. The forces of evil will abate. But, until that time, we hold fast to the Torah’s guidance which teaches us to focus on life and to stand up for the values we hold dear.
What can we do to help?
Stay informed. To that end, you may want to go to the IDF blog www.idfblog.com
Send messages of support to those who are in Israel.
Express your support for Israel and for continued American aid to Israel.
Pray, do a mitzvah, and stay connected, as we work together to repair the broken vav!
I look forward to seeing you at services and at events that express the beauty of our tradition, its contribution to a better world, and the joy of Jewish life.
Rabbi Gilah Dror
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