Queen Elizabeth’s reign lasted for 70 years! She was an amazing human being who stood tall through thick and thin, through good times and bad times, through periods of war and of peace, through political ups and downs, through family issues, sorrows and celebrations.
Queen Elizabeth passed away as we read the weekly Torah portion of Ki Tetse, a reflection of her life and legacy. Our portion is filled with mitzvoth that help us to navigate personal and communal life through situations of war and peace, through times of strife and joyous ocassions, through all the ups and downs of daily life including commerce,spirituality and all manner of challenges and opportunities.
The major theme that connects all of these mitzvoth and runs through the entire Torah portion is that of human dignity. We must do our best to find and to maintain human dignity in difficult situations, at home, in community, in our professional and personal circles. It is definitely a challenge. Finding our center, finding the right way forward is not easy. And, each one of us faces our unique and ever-changing situation in our own way. But, Torah helps us to thrive, to cope, to hope, and, when needed, to console one another, as we navigate our lives. Each one of our lives is precious whether we are well-known, as the Queen has been, or whether we are anonymous. We are all present in the eyes of God.
As we read the fifth Haftarah of Consolation this week, we remember the prophet Isaiah’s words:
For the mountains may move
And the hills be shaken,
But my loyalty shall never move from you,
Nor my covenant of friendship be shaken
–said the Lord, who takes you back in love.
May we be there for one another, giving strength, hope, and consolation when needed, and may we sense God’s presence in each of our lives as we move toward the new Jewish year of 5783!
Rabbi Gilah Dror
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