Weekly Message 06.12.2020 Parashat Behaalotecha
Behaalotecha-When you raise Bamidbar-Numbers 8:1-12:16
As we have completed another week of unrest in our country and in many of our homes, we again turn to our spiritual home for comfort and guidance. I am happy to report that as far as I know, we are all remaining healthy and safe, if a bit restless.
Chris and I attended an outdoor rally (while masked and safely distancing from other participants) in front of the Pasco County courthouse yesterday at which I was one of the speakers urging the county officials to double their efforts on educating our youth as the best way to fight prejudice in our midst. Nobody is born with biases; they are all learned.
This week's Torah reading is particularly appropriate and speaks to many of the problems we are now facing. In Parashat Bahaalot'cha in the Book of Bamidar, the Hebrew nation prepares to leave Sinai and head to the promised land confident in receiving the mitzvot and in their leadership. But again, things break down and the mentality of slavery rears its head as the multitude rebels with complaints of a lack of meat to eat and again begins fantasizing on "how good" they had it in Egypt. God provides the meat, but punishes them at the same time with disease. Then Moses's older siblings Miriam and Aaron show jealousy of their brother's status and spread rumors about his wife and general complaints---what we now refer to as needless gossip or "lashon hara" or "tongue of evil". Spreading rumors for the sake of spreading negative rumors without doing so for the purpose of correcting a situation or behavior is destructive to all society. It's a lesson that many need to learn during this difficult period. So with scripture in mind, we must strive to conquer greed (as manifested by those not satisfied with escaping slavery and moving toward freedom) and jealousy. Miriam is punished with a case of leprosy. We are punished with prejudice and bias among us.
We will continue our religious services tonight at 7:30 pm either in person at the JCC or via Zoom by following these instructions:
Topic: Shabbat Service
Time: Jun 12, 2020 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 497 903 0958
Looking forward to joining you then and wishing you a Shabbat Shalom!