News junkies like me know that when you hear “Breaking News”, “Just in”, “We are first to report” the information that follows is overwhelmingly negative. Today I want to share with you good news all of which took place this past week: Local women gathered for Torah & Tea with Chavie, a dear friend had a cancerous tumor surgically removed and is doing great, I gave a Judaism crash course to group of students from Heritage Christian School, Shoshana (formally Courtney) came in third place for the entire region in her 200 meter dash at Track, a solid group, including a strong showing from the Crow Nation, gathered at a Billings luncheon in support of Israel and finally three new-to-Bozeman Jewish families reached out about getting more involved.
There is plenty of good news out there.
In this week’s double Torah portion Tazria-Metzora, we read about the leper. No, it wasn’t the modern medical ailment of leprosy, as the biblical break out plagued the persons clothing and the walls of their home, but, like leprosy, it was extremely harsh on the recipient’s skin. Why? Why does G-d bring a terrible plague on an individual? Why does the person need to be ousted from the Camp of Israel until they’re purified? It’s not like it’s contagious? Judaism teaches that speaking negatively about others was a prime cause for this horrible experience. If you divide society, shame and isolate others, with gossip, slander and negative talk, you need to have alone time, away from society, so you “enjoy” a taste of your own medicine.
It’s insane that there are members of our tribe, Jewish brothers and sisters, who wake up every day with the intention to smear others within. What they fail to realize is that this behavior will only turn themselves into lepers, outcasts, who eventually will be removed from the camp of Israel. How long do you think it will take until people say, “I don’t want to hang out with a gossiper?” “I don’t want to hear this garbage”? “Show me light, love, depth and not just fear, hate and darkness” “Enough negativity”! The world is yearning for positivity, why not be bearer of good news? Give your friends and family an ultimatum: either we talk honorably about others or go talk to someone else!
May G-d guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Moshiach speedily. May He protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!!