presented by Rabbi Batya Steinlauf
At this moment of sacred Jewish time, we are counting the Omer, acknowledging the period between the freedom of the Exodus from Egypt, celebrated on Passover, and the giving the Torah at Sinai, celebrated on Shavuot. At this moment in our sacred history, we are wandering. The dependence of the generation of the wilderness is a generation of insecurity and fear. This moment is truly Sukkot in spring.
The connection between a home and a sense of security and identity is central in this week’s haftarah. God tells David through the prophet Nathan that God will establish a house for David and his descendants, promising that his house and his kingship will be established and eternal, and for the People of Israel God promises: “I will establish a home for My people Israel and will plant them firm so that they shall dwell secure and shall tremble no more.” 2 Samuel 7:10
|…י וְשַׂמְתִּי מָקוֹם לְעַמִּי לְיִשְׂרָאֵל וּנְטַעְתִּיו וְשָׁכַן תַּחְתָּיו וְלֹא יִרְגַּז עוֹד|
2 Samuel 7:10
As we count the Omer, we remember the vulnerability of wandering in the desert and our journey to receive the Torah in which we are commanded to affix a mezuzah to the door post of our houses. In the midst of the wilderness, during wandering which will last a generation, we are given the commandment to establish permanent homes, with door posts – the only way to fulfill this commandment. The Mishnah Torah, Hilhot Mezuzah 6:1 clarifies that a home is permanent and it is a place of honor for people to live in.
Yachad’s work to ensure safe and secure homes reflects the Jewish community’s deep understanding of the significance of a dignified and safe place to live for every human being. Yachad gives us the opportunity, as Jews committed to justice, to act. Each synagogue community and each individual who participates is truly repairing the world and increasing kavod habriot, the dignity of God’s creations.
Just as on Sukkot we recognize our ultimate dependence on God, as we celebrate Sukkot in Spring we also recognize our responsibility to create a world that reflects the inherent sanctity of every human being. Yashar Koach!