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Why I Walk With Israel

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


The Torah portion of the week contains the most famous blessing from the entire Bible.

The LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:

“The LORD bless you and keep you;

the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;

the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.” ‘

 “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

As Rabbi Sacks writes; “protection, grace, peace – these are G-d’s blessings. The Jewish people did not ask for wealth or power. They had no desire to conquer or convert the world. They asked for protection, the right to live true to themselves without fear; for grace, the ability to be an agent for good in others; and peace, that fullness of being in which each of us brings our individual gifts to the common good.”

I am frequently asked what I love most about our school.  Without hesitation, I answer that TanenbaumCHAT is one of the few schools in North America where students, regardless of affiliation, come together to study and build a community.  Too often, the Jewish community is split by denomination or by politics.  TanenbaumCHAT believes that everyone can contribute and that life becomes more meaningful when we reach beyond ourselves to be part of something larger.

This coming Sunday is the annual UJA Walk With Israel.  Thousands of people from the entire spectrum of the Jewish Community will come together to demonstrate their unwavering support for Israel as well as to show the strength of the Toronto Jewish Community.  While participants may dress differently, attend different synagogues or schools, on Sunday we unite.  We are strongest as a community when we stand together.

Last year I ran (slow jogged?) the event for the first time.  It was a personal accomplishment for me and I promised myself that I would try to do it again this year.  Many of us participate regularly in the event and I encourage you to come, together with your family, to be part of something large and meaningful, yet also fun.  It is an opportunity to see those you may not have met for a while, to get some exercise, and even enjoy that popsicle at the last rest stop.

I believe that nothing shows the strength of our people better than when we stand together.  May the unity of our community give us merit to be the beneficiaries of this blessing, now and forever.