This week, the Torah portion is Shelach-Lekha, and Moses sends 12 scouts out from the 12 tribes of Israel to reconnoiter the Land and report back. Is the land fertile? Is it populated, and is it defended?
The well known story continues: the Land is truly amazing, metaphorically flowing with milk and honey and literally abounding with fruit and grain. It is populated and then the problem arises. 10 of the 12 scouts report fear and hesitancy regarding any plan to ever enter the land. They fear that the inhabitants are too powerful, and will kill them. Joshua and Caleb call out to the people to trust in God and their destiny and to move forward into the land without hesitation.
Call me Caleb. Call me Joshua.
This Sunday, June 6, 2021 after 14 months of closure in Israel I will be on just the 3rd mission allowed to enter Israel in all this time. I will return 3 days later. 25 of us from the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ will jump through hoops and regulations, working closely with the Israeli government, and spend 3 incredibly important days. We will be in Jerusalem, Ashkelon, Kibbutz Erez, Lod, Abu Gosh and more. We will meet with Jews and Arabs. We will be outside Gaza, and in mixed Arab/Jewish centers. We will meet with elected officials, security personnel, and non-profit heroes seeking a better future for all of Israel's citizens. We will hear from all sides of the political spectrum, and from regular people just trying to live their lives.
When there are problems at home, we go home to face them, show our love and work together. Israel is our home.
I pray that Caleb and Joshua's example carries with us and that the report I bring back to you will be heard as a blessing.
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