In solidarity with Tree of Life

“The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” (Exodus 33:11)

I was studying the life of Moses
In the last book of the Torah
No prophet or leader has arisen since in all of Israel

He captured my imagination again
Standing before the whole assembly of Israel about to give his pep talk, three speeches really
East of the Jordan River, on the plains of Moab

Did Israel lean in, lovingly, to listen and learn?
As he recapped their history; release from slavery with signs, miracles and wonders
Then the 40 year wilderness wanderings
Lead specifically and gently, a pillar of cloud by day, a pillar of fire by night

Was his tone loving, like a dying Father appealing to his children?
He warned them they would still struggle for the land
Even though it was a free gift

Moses knew struggle
Born under a death threat
Now still a spring in his step, he had one week to live
He saw the Promised Land
But was forbidden to enter in
Ordered to climb, lie down and die.

No great leader is without flaws
He disobeyed commands
Taking credit for bringing forth the water at Meribah Kadesh in the Desert of Zin
Our words and in/actions have consequences

Then WHAM in the middle of my today eleven Jews gunned down in cold blooded murder
Right in the heart of Jewish Pittsburgh
The deadliest attack on a Jewish community in American history

A particularly violent crime and act of anti-semitism
Three congregations, one synagogue
One woman, a holocaust survivor
The crime – simply put
They are Jews

How can a community be so disgraced, defiled, debased?
In this day and age, in America
Have we not learned from the past?
That Jews are a gift to humanity
With insights and values that can heal the world
They showed us the one true God.

Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is ONE (Deuteronomy 6:4)

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