Friday, June 26, 2009

Numbers Chukat Verses 19:1-22:1

Last night when I read the parsha I felt a connection. Unfortunately yesterday we lost two very monumental members of the pop culture community. Michael Jackson was an amazing performer who could sing and dance like no one business. Farrah Fawcett was a stupendous actress. Chukat losses to very important people of the Israelite community. I could relate.

The first Israelite was Miriam. She was Moses's sister and helped him figure out he was a Jew. She made sure he was safe when they sent him down the river. The people were very sad to see her go. I would compare Farrah to Miriam because they were both not healthy. Farrah was going to die of cancer and Miriam was not the youngest Israelites in the desert. Miriam was the first death and made people quite upset.

I do not know if this is still true about people, but the Israelites were quite cranky after her death. Does the human spirit know how to cope with death? Maybe the passing just opened their eyes because the Israelites realized they are in the desert. They will not live forever. They ordered Moses ands Aaron speed the process up. They did not believe in God.

As a punishment for their loss of faith, God would not allow the brothers to enter the promised land. This got me thinking, do we die from loss of our faith? Faith is always a priority for me.

I would compare Aaron to Michael Jackson because it was a little more spontaneous. Aaron was a bigger name to. Michael Jackson was the king of pop, Aaron spoke for Moses when he faced Pharaoh.

We all deal with death different ways, but however we do it is not the joyous event ever. Whether its an Aaron and a Michael or a Farrah and a Miriam, death is an experience that Judaism or just faith can heal and I think prevent.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Numbers Behaalotchah Verse 8:1-12:16

When I read the Torah, I always try to have current events in mind. Behaalotchah brought the economy into discussion. God says that an Israelite should work from age twenty to age fifty. I do not know of ANY average American citizen who can retire at age fifty.

Although, there are some things that have changed since these times. Life expectancy was shorter back then. That shouldn't matter as much as it does. The economy may be bad, but I know people who have to work until their seventy just to have a stable retirement. Another change is that ancient Israelites did not have bills. Moses never had an electric bill or an insurance bill. Still, that is not worth twenty years of work. Israelites never paid for college! Aaron never had to think how expensive the ivy league schools were. Inflation also did not exist. There is ONE thing that I find unacceptable about our society.

When the Israelites were in the desert, God did not have celebrities in mind. Actors,athletes, and executives should not be the only ones who could retire by age fifty. God had the teachers in mind. The doctors, the pharmacist, and the single mom!

The reason that this economy is unstable like it is because we worship celebrities. You do not see six-year old talking about our founding fathers. Teenagers do not go home and turn on PBS. It is not a crime to watch television or play sports, but this is what I mean.

If a twelve year old met Derek Jeter, he would cherish that moment forever and RESPECT the athlete. The same child would be bored with a teacher on his first day of classes. It may not be that extreme, but are the baseball player and educator not both adults? All adults should get the same respect. Right?