Sign In Forgot Password

The Godliness in all humanity - Israel reaches out after earthquake

07/02/2023 09:12:54 AM


In Parshat Yitro, this week's Torah lesson, we read the Ten Commandments. Almost every Commandment in Judaism, be it the initial Ten Commandments or its elucidations into the 613 commandments, contains the imperative "To Do" or "Not To Do." However, the first Commandment does neither. Many commentators have written on the complexity of the Torah's statement, "Anochi - I am the Lord your God who took you out of the land of Egypt." There is no imperative. Rather, the words are an acknowledgement, an affirmation, a belief in the oneness of God.  These opening words provide a preamble to every other Commandment in Judaism. Without the preamble which emphasizes the oneness of God, nothing else makes any sense.

It is no wonder that when tragedy strikes the world, Israel immediately sends support to disparate locations around the globe.

It is no wonder that Israel has now sent search and rescue teams to Turkey and even by request to Syria, a sworn enemy of Israel.

It is no wonder that Israel will join efforts in looking for survivors and bodies amidst a human tragedy.

It is no wonder because a basic premise of Judaism is to recognize "Anochi," the presence of God within every single person. "Anochi" reminds us of the very creation of humanity in Genesis - that every man and woman is created in the image and likeness of God.

Our prayer is that survivors will be found. Pikuach Nefesh, saving life, is a supreme Jewish value because of the Godliness found in each and everyone of us.

Rabbi Howard Morrison 

Wed, 7 June 2023 18 Sivan 5783