6/09/2016

Shabbat Bamidbar & Shavuot

Candles Friday 10th 8:07pm

Shabbat Morning
Service 9:30am

Great Kiddush sponsored by the Aminzadeh and Mahfar families
Please come and bring your friends.

Saturday Night candles and Shavuot begins 9:02pm

First Day Shavuot June 11th
Sunday morning Service 9:30am

Second Day Shavuot Candles 9:03pm

Monday June 12th
Morning service 9:30am

Festival ends 9:03pm

It seems strange that a crucial book of the Torah should be called BaMidbar, in the Wilderness. Of course the simple answer is that the books of the Torah were not originally given names and when somewhere some two thousand years ago, the rabbis decided to do so, they simply used the first Hebrew noun of the book as an easy handle.

However this book tells us about the forty years that the Children of Israel spent in the wilderness until the old generation died out and a new one was ready to march into the land.

It starts with all the pomp of organizing the refugees into units and subdivisions, administered by its hierarchies, given their positions and marching orders in preparation for the invasion of Canaan. The people were thus knocked into shape, in place, with banners flying, an impressive array. But the whole thing fell apart because the morale was not there. The slaves still thought like slaves. They were not ready to fight. It would take another forty years, a whole generation.

There’s a new book out called “GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth. In it she argues that success is not dependent on birth or brains or ambition, but on grit, perseverance in the face of adversity and challenge.

That was what was missing and that in the end was what forty years in the Wilderness provided. Outward shows of impressive strength are useless if the inner core is not really confident. It was the barren, gritty, dusty wilderness, where nothing happens, which was the crucible out of which a new gritty people emerged. It’s not just the raw material that counts as much as determination. We may be outnumbered and under attack all the time. But with the will to succeed, great things can be achieved.