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I care about you

Friday, 12 January, 2018 - 4:03 pm

You care about the future of the Jewish people, right? You want to make sure that our tradition continues to be celebrated, and that people feel connected to their faith and heritage. Yet, the numbers scarily predict our demise, as so many of our people are falling out of Jewish practice, and eventually even Jewish identity.

Maybe we’re going about this all wrong. 

In this week’s Torah portion Vaeira, we read about Moshe’s frustrations, and concerns that the Jewish people wouldn't listen to him. As his initial conversations with Pharaoh backfired, and the Jewish slaves were made to create their own bricks, while keeping the same quota. G-d tells Moshe that he must tell the Jewish people, that the end of their slavery and suffering will come very soon, Moshe tries to convey the message, but reports back to G-d that the Israelites won’t listen to him, "because their spirit was broken and because the labor was harsh.” It wasn’t Moshe’s fault that their faith was weak, that they lacked confidence and trust that G-d was going to redeem them. Rather a people who were physically broken, impoverished, ostracized, enslaved, can’t thing about spiritual pursuit until they’re physical needs are met, until they are shown that someone cares about their personal wellbeing, only then can they focus on their spiritual growth, their connection to G-d. 

This is the model we need to follow today, in our goal of reconnecting our brothers and sisters to their Jewish roots. We must first show them care and concern, as an individual. We must love and accept them for who they are. Once that bond is established, only then can we work to reenergize their passion for Jewish life, by showing them the joy it entails.

It’s time we reach out like Moshe, and recognize the pain and hurt many of our brethren face every single day. Let us turn to one another, offering a helping hand, a gentle touch, and a warm smile. Once connected we can then all rise together in celebration of our Jewish life.

Good Shabbos & Shabbat Shalom, 
Rabbi Mendy Dubrowski

Mission: Consider someone you know, who lacks a support system in the Jewish community, maybe they’re unaffiliated or have special circumstances. Reach out and enquire how you can help, with no string attached. Build the bridge, then walk them over and re-connect them.

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