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07/07/2017 04:00:00 AM


In this week's Torah portion Balaam, a non-Israelite prophet and a sorcerer of sorts, is sent by the king of Moab to curse the Hebrews. On his way to curse the Israelites in their encampment Balaam is stopped by an invisible angel. At first Balaam's donkey is the only one who can see the angel. Balaam whips his donkey and eventually the angel reveals itself. There are many lessons we can derive from this story, however, one of the most important is that we cannot always see what is in front of us or what lies ahead. We need to rely on others sometimes and trust if the path ahead of us is safe or dangerous.

Having trust and putting our faith in others is one of the hardest things to do. It is hard to have trust in other people, much less a donkey. However, that is precisely what I am asking all of us to do this week. I cannot tell you what lies ahead and what unseen obstacles will appear in our way.

What I can tell you is what I feel already about this community. I cannot see it, but I know it is there. This community possesses and has already manifested for me and my family passion, warmth, welcoming and caring. It is a community that is constantly reaffirming the blessing Balaam eventually gives the Israelites (for that turn in the story show up to Torah study tomorrow at 9am).

From the words that eventually make the prayer Mah Tovu that we say each morning "How wonderful are your tents o Jacob (another name for the Israelites), your dwelling places o Israel". To echo that sentiment I say, "How wonderful and good is this community which I have joined, how blessed am I".

Tue, June 22 2021 12 Tammuz 5781