From the Desk - Not Counting Jews
Shalom Friends! Last week, we enjoyed another wonderful Shabbat at Beth Ora. Our Kehillah Shabbat was designated in honor of Yerushalayim on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of our miraculous victory in the Six Day War. Rabbi Heshy and the kids' choir sang so beautifully and, after the service, we were privileged to hear Zvi Pollak's reflections on the Six Day War as well as accounts of the recent Israel mission from Mark Sherman, Natalie Lang and Myer Spivak. Thank you also to those of you who sent in photos of Yerushalayim which we used to decorate the Hurwitz Lounge where we had Kiddush. We now look forward to celebrating Shavuot together. We have a great program lined up. For details, please click here. It's always nice when our members show their love for the synagogue by doing something special to enhance our community experience. I want to thank Etty Bitton-Kronish for her initiative and thoughtfulness in planting vegetables and plants outside the synagogue, together with CPE Shalom. I hope you enjoy looking at them and, PG, we'll be able to eat some of the vegetables sometime soon!
Last week in synagogue, I explained how learning Torah and being part of a synagogue reminds us to be more honest and upright in our business dealings. You can read more about this here. It has been very special to celebrate so many Bar Mitzvahs in the last few weeks. This Friday, we celebrate with Jack Baranoff and his family. It promises to be a very special simcha. On a different note, we extend condolences to Israel Richler on the loss of his brother Bernard Richler z"l, Shirley Abrams on the loss of her brother Carl Storfer z"l and to the family of the late Gloria Beigleman z"l. May they and their families be spared further sorrow. We wish you a lovely Shabbat, Rabbi Anthony and Carly Knopf Dovid, Rachelli, Yehuda and Avrami
What's the Deal with... Not Counting Jews? This question was asked by Murray Itscovitch. Counting Jews directly is forbidden. Some of the commentators explain that we wish G-d to judge the Jewish People as a whole, rather than individually. This ensures that, even if an individual is not acting correctly, as long as the Jewish nation is considered righteous, the individual will be judged favorably. It is understood that counting individuals creates a possibility that they will be judged individually in the Heavenly court. Others explain that, when the Jews are in a state of unity, they are connected to Hashem and do not need added protection. When they are counted as individuals, they become 'separated' and are subject to individual scrutiny.