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Moses' Sinners!

Thursday, 21 February, 2019 - 9:53 pm

We had the honor of spending this past Shabbos with the Wolf’s at Chabad of the Flathead Valley and visiting with the Vogel’s at Chabad of Missoula on Monday. I remember the time, not too long ago, when Chavie and I served as the only Chabad couple in the State and to see the growth, not only with two more couples, but with hundreds who attend our programming is heartwarming and indicative of a bright future. While in Kalispell, the Wolf’s hosted a full table of locals for Shabbos dinner and six Jews showed up the next morning for Torah study. We are not the UJA and Jews are not statistics, it’s about souls searching for Torah light and having families on site ready to offer them just that.

In this week’s Torah portion, Ki-Tisa, we read about the infamous Golden Calf. The Jewish people sin against G-d, betraying Him and his envoy Moses, and G-d is adamant on wiping them off the face of the earth. Yet, just at that critical moment, something radical transpires. Moses tells G-d that either He forgives Jewry for their betrayal or he’s out. He doesn’t want his name mentioned in the Torah, he doesn’t want his name listed in the Book of Life; it’s me and my people or none of us, period. G-d offers Moses a grandiose opportunity for a new nation with Moses at its helm, but Moses sticks to his guns and doesn’t capitulate to G-d’s seduction.

Moses understood something that our Rebbe taught us three thousand years later: If one Jew doesn’t matter, no Jew matters. If a Jewish family in Columbia Falls isn’t important enough for a Kosher Mezuzah, if a Jew in Stevensville isn’t worthy of his own pair of Tefillin and if a Jewess in Roundup isn’t worthy of Shabbat candles, then no Jew anywhere, matters at all. The logic is simple: If the individual isn’t important, then putting a bunch of unimportant people together doesn’t make it any more important. Let’s take to heart Moses’ defense of the ultimate sinners and remember that we each have inherent value that must be recognized first and foremost by ourselves and then by our leaders, rabbis and the community at large.

Every Neshama’le Matters!



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!!!

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