SHABBAT PARSHAT BA’MIDBAR June 8thNewburgh NY
Today is the 49thday of the Omer. We are celebrating into the 71styear of Medinat Yisrael and the 52ndyear of the unified Yerushalayim I turn to the lessons of the Neviim, the prophets on this eve of Shavuot.
In today’s Haftorah of Parshat Ba’Midbar, we read from the book of Hoshea. “V’arastich Lee L’Olam, V’arastich Lee B’tzedek U’v’mishpat U’v’Hesed U’v’rachamim,V’arastich Lee B’emunah v’yadat et Elokim “
The prophet states that there is a Covenant between God and Am Yisrael, saying, “I am betrothed to you forever, I am betrothed to you in righteousness, justice, kindness and mercy, I am betrothed to you in faithfulness and spiritual knowledge of G-d
This commitment of G-d and Israel has served also as a cornerstone for both my rabbinic and my personal daily behavior with people through justice, kindness and mercy.
And there is another prophet, Micha who has something to teach. He says “G-d has told you, mankind, What is good. What does G-d require of you Kee eem asot mishpat, v’ahavat hesed, v’hatznana lechet eem Elohecha” Only to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your G-d.
This message can be a building block to live by. Incorporating both Hosea and Micha’s wisdom in everyday life becomes a solid value structure base to live by.
BUT let me add yet another lesson for a lifetime. The lesson of the LETTERS.
The ALEF BET letters are more than letters. The letters are truly alive the form of the letters reach out and grab your mind for magical moments.
The ALEFis constructed like a little “yud” on top and another “yud” on the bottom and a VAV connects the two yuds .The “yud” is a “yid” a Jew .And the two “yids” are connected. What is the lesson of the ALEF? Jews need to be connected. Jews need to march together. Jews need to pray, eat study speak disagree(agreeably) but never disconnect from each other.
The BETis the first letter of the Torah. The BET is open. Not like the closed MEM or the incomplete look of the NUN. What’s the lesson of the BET? Jews must be open and receptive to all of the words of the Torah.
And then there is the GIMEL. The GIMEL is slightly bent over on the top and has two legs. What is the lesson of the GIMMEL? The GIMEL is leaning over to hear a child’s prayer. The GIMEL is bent to hear the cry of those in need. The GIMEL bends its head as a sign of personal humility. The GIMEL stands on two strong and secure feet and these feet always strive to go forward.
The GIMEL has the sound of “g” and carries a message for us back to the words of Hosea and Micha.
Today as this magical moment we call Shabbat emerges it holds the promise of yet another moment tonight and tomorrow and the day after with the observance of Shavuot.
- The G is generosity of SPIRIT. It is a smile, a pleasant voice to each person on the phone, on skype on messaging on email and without question in person.
- The G is for generosity of RESOURCES .Supporting the righteous work than can substantially be done with a checkbook.
- The G is for GRACIOUSNESS. Acts of hesed that includes a bride’s and groom’s celebration ,caring for a recent widow or widower checking in with a single mother or single father and children ,or being a voice of support which makes you a part of the Jewish peoplehood .
- The G is for GRATITUDE. Modeh Ani. Thanks for “chaim,for mishpacha ,for avodah ,for haverim ”Life.family,work and friends .This year at Agudas Israel for me !
- The G is for GRANDPARENTING. I have more branches than a menorah. I am blessed with 9 bright lights.
- The G is for GOODNESS and G-DLINESS. Tov L’hodot LaShem. It is good to be thankful for the gifts that have been showered on me and I hope that you agree on each of us.
Let us commit to the prophet Hosea that my Covenant is to increase my acts of righteousness, with justice, kindness and mercy AND to the prophet Micah that my Covenant with G-d is to do better and to do so with humility.
Let us commit to a Covenant to live joyously and look forward to the tomorrows of life.
Let us anticipate remembering the yesterdays and feel blessed with health and a sincere anticipation of tomorrows
To this precious congregation Agudas Israel remember always “Anachnu amcha, bnai britecha;”We are your people we are the children of the Covenant.
“Anachnu chayavim l’hodot l’cha v’latet shevach v’hodaya l’shmecha”we are duty bound to thank you and to praise your name.
“Y’hee ratzon sh’tatzilanu ha’yom u’bchol yom” May it be your will that we succeed today and every day as Jews and as a Jewish Community.
Moshe Edelman 6.8.19