Weekly Update: July 1, 2016 — 25 Sivan 5776

We do not see ourselves as grasshoppers

This week’s Torah portion, Shelach, holds an especially strong message for us.

When the twelve scouts whom Moshe had sent ahead to the land of Canaan returned to the camp, the majority gave a negative report of what they had seen. Their report far exceeded Moshe’s instructions to them for the reconnaissance. The effect of their report was to disheartening so many of their co-religionists.

Perhaps the most egregious excess in their report and certainly the most psychologically revealing if not also damaging was the following: “In our own eyes, we seemed like grasshoppers; and thus we appeared to them.” (Numbers 13:33)

Faced with what they considered to be a daunting, impossible task, the ten returning scouts cringed. They went far beyond reasonable doubt and concern for the success of their ultimate mission. They considered themselves inferior and incapable of any, let alone meaningful, action. They thought of themselves as grasshoppers! They saw themselves as insignificant, insubstantial and of no ultimate account. When they surrendered so completely to their self-doubts and fears, they demonstrated to Moshe that they were ill suited and incapable of accepting the large responsibilities and difficult tasks that lay ahead of them.

We do not see ourselves as grasshoppers. Despite the enormity of the task ahead of us, we are up to it. We will not back away. We acknowledge the difficulties ahead. They may even be giant difficulties. But we will defeat them.

That is the only course consistent with Jewish history. And that is our course.

•••

– Due to its importance, we repeat the important public service announcement that appeared in last week’s update. –

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA) has asked GAJE to assist in calling the public’s attention to an effort by CIJA to secure additional support from the federal government for security infrastructure program (SIP) for our various Jewish Day schools in the community. Specifically, CIJA is asking members of the public to make their voices heard to the federal government calling for more funds to be expended to help defray the cost of the security measures our schools must undertake.

SIP currently covers up to 50% of the costs for institutions to upgrade their exterior security measures. But as we know, alas, the need for Jewish schools and other institutions in the community to maintain security vigilance is ongoing. There is a constant need to modernize and expand the security program to further lessen the financial burden on the schools.

Please see GAJE’s Facebook page for full information from CIJA on this matter.

CIJA has launched an Action Alert on this matter. Individuals can find information regarding emailing the Minister of Public Safety at http://www.cija.ca/sip/.

We urge you to act. Every bid of statutory aid to the parents helps to ultimately abate the cost of tuition to parents.

•••

Shabbat shalom.

GAJE

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