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Building and waiting - Parshat Shelach

When we speak to our children we often say, "just wait a minute", or "not so fast". Our children rush forward, not thinking about the consequences, not thinking they should be more careful; and the truth is we do this as well sometimes. The Jews in the desert also had this problem.

This week, in the aftermath of the sin of the spies, we read about the Ma'apilim, those who rushed forward. We are told the story of how the Jews were condemned to wander in the desert for forty years corresponding to the forty days that the spies spent in the land. After hearing this decree, a small group decided they would simply enter the land. They would take it from its inhabitants, and in so doing prove their trust in G-d and prove that they really wanted to go where he was taking them. Moshe warned them that the opportunity had passed, that now they would have to wait, but they did not listen and unfortunately were defeated.

Today we find ourselves in a similar situation, forced to wait. As we were told in the announcement from the Deputy Premier yesterday, we have at least one more week of waiting to see when we will be allowed out of our houses. It is hard to simply sit and wait, unable to plan and unable to move forward with our lives, but that is what this moment demands of us. Instead of rushing forward we must wait, patiently.

However, that does not mean that we should simply do nothing in the meantime. Once again, there is something we can do, something which can make a tremendous difference in this lockdown both for ourselves and for those around us. We can call our family, our friends and members of our community to say hello. We can offer help to those who need it. When we are physically apart, when we are waiting, we are not necessarily alone. Let's recreate the beautiful spiritual and virtual community which sustained us through last year again, so that we can again come out even stronger.

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