Parashat B’har – Mountains and Memories

Dear Friends,

How many mountains have we climbed?  How many memories have we acquired?  Our Torah portion begins by mentioning Mount Sinai.  Even if we have not personally climbed that particular mountain, we retain a communal memory of that amazing mountain where God appeared and spoke with all of us.  Midrash tells us that each one of us was there, at Mount Sinai, when our people received the Torah.

Why was the Torah revealed on a mountain, rather than on some flat terrain?  Perhaps to remind us that, from time to time, we all climb mountains in our lives.  We all face challenges.  But we were all present when the Torah was given on Mount Sinai.  Our Torah is a precious gift that helps us face our personal and communal mountains armed with spiritual tools, with guiding principles, that help us to rise to any occasion.

On this Memorial Day weekend, we remember those who climbed mountain after mountain so that we would be able to live in freedom in our country.  We honor their memory and pray that they rest in peace, knowing that we are grateful for their service and for the liberties we enjoy thanks to their dedication and caring.

Mountains and memories are intertwined this weekend in more ways than one….

May the memory of all those who gave their lives in the service of our nation be for a blessing.

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Gilah Dror