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Protecting my forest!

Friday, 19 June, 2020 - 8:28 am

Earlier this week, I spent time up in Northwest Montana to Kosher certify three “Made in Montana” manufacturing plants. I took three kiddos along, so Chavie could catch her breath, as they enjoy swimming in the hotel pool. While heading to the pool at 7:45 AM, we ran into a big delegation of US Forest Police officers who were in town to serve at the upcoming Rainbow Festival. Three of them, two from California and one from Wyoming, initiated a conversation with Menny that included explaining their dress-code with all its amenities and giving the kids badges, pins, and bracelets. It was good our family to spend time chatting with officers of the law, especially those who keep our forests safe from prison escapees, arsonists, and other potential trouble.

In this week’s Torah portion, Shlach, we read about the Meraglim, the infamous twelve scouts that Moses sent on a reconnaissance mission to the Holy Land. All of them, except for Joshua and Caleb, returned and said the land is unconquerable. It’s so sad that they chose to substitute their actual mission with a naysaying report. Instead of sharing with Jewry the healthiest form of conquest, they chose to disagree with G-d, who already promised we would conquer the land. It’s like a doctor, who was blessed by G-d with the ability to heal, who decides to replace G-d and tell the patient “you have six months to live”. G-d decides “who shall live and who shall die” and all others must stick to their day job, the one entrusted to them by G-d, in the case of doctors, the job of healing those who are ill.

As I was sitting with these friendly officers, I realized that they too have no say about their mission. They get the call, immediately get into their car whether in Folsom, California or Gillette, Wyoming and, with a smile and energetically, head out to the Bitterroot Valley of Montana and scout out the forest, assessing the risks for humans and animals. I, for one, am grateful that our incredible forests are cared for and protected, so that I can visit with our kids without too much worrying about our safety. G-d gave us each a mission, we have demons to conquer and flames to ignite, let’s spend less time swapping the mission and more time, getting the job done.

You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it!

May G-d guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Mashiach speedily. May G-d protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!!

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