latest Post

Two Minutes of Torah: Matot - Our Responsibility

As we continue to watch events unfolding in Israel, living here in America, one might wonder, what is our responsibility?  What are we supposed to do as Jews living in the Diaspora for the people of Israel who are suffering under the barrage of rocket fire from Hamas?

One of the challenges of living in the Diaspora is the distance that we sometimes feel from our brothers and sisters who are in Israel and, in many ways, on the front line.  We are all members of one Jewish family and in this regard, we might wonder, what are our obligations to our Jewish brothers and sisters who are suffering?

In this week’s Torah portion of Matot, the Israelites continue on their journey toward the promised land and, as they stand there, just outside the promised land, the Reubenites and the Gaddites, who had much cattle, observed that the land outside of Israel would be very suitable for them to live and settle and raise their flocks.

They therefore approach Moses and ask him whether it would be possible for them to settle in this land outside of Israel.  In many ways they are proposing the first permanent Disapora community. Moses’ response is to ask the question – Are your brothers to go to war while you stay here?  In this way, Moses makes it clear that if part of the Israelite community is at war – are others going to stand idly by and just watch them fighting?

The Reubenites and the Gaddites respond and say they will build their homes and then they will serve as the shock troops, leading the Israelites until their homes are established.  In this way, the Reubenites and the Gaddites say that while we might not be living with you, we will be there serving on the front line taking our place with our brothers and sisters, the Children of Israel. We will not let you do this alone, we will be there with you.

I doubt that many Jews in the Diaspora are about to drop everything to go serve on the front line in Israel.  But we might consider how we can be there supporting them from our homes and our places.  How do we offer our solidarity and make it clear to the people of Israel that they are not alone.  Whether it’s by fighting their cause on social media, or by messages of support to those we love in Israel, or if it’s by making contributions to those charities helping those who are suffering in Israel today.  Each one of us has a choice.  We can stand idly by while our brothers and sisters in Israel are suffering or we can be like the Gaddites and Reubenites who said that our destiny is a shared destiny amongst all of the Jewish community. Supporting those in Israel in their time of need and being there together as one Jewish people.

About Rabbi Danny

Rabbi Danny
Recommended Posts × +


Post a Comment