Lighting candles for Sabbath in Beitar Illit in Gush Etzion
Moshe Kempinski, author of "The Teacher and the Preacher", is the editor of the Jerusalem Insights weekly email journal and co-owner of Shorashim, a Biblical shop and learning center in the Old City of Jerusalem.
The Israeli Army has begun calling up the 40,000 reserves approved by the cabinet for the military operation called Protective Edge. Every hour we hear of another neighbor, relative or friend being called up. IDF chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz requested the call-up of 40,000 reserves in order to use them to relieve the regular army units in Judea and Samaria, in order to enable their deployment to the Gaza border.
That is ,40, 000 soldiers who are made up of young men, newly married people or fathers of small children. Therefore, in reality there are really 40,000 families being called up to reserve duty in order to help protect the nation of Israel . Furthermore there is also a multiple of the number of 40,000 made up of mothers, wives children and grandparents that are also now on active duty. Add this to all the friends , relatives and extended families which are also finding themselves conscripted emotionally and spiritually for the same purpose.
All the nation of Israel are standing as one on the front. There is no place in Israel that is not on the front lines anymore.
There is no way to measure the determination, courage and faith that is needed for this operation. That is clearly true of the young men and women that have been called up for active duty. Yet the stamina, nerves and courage of their families is gauged in another more spiritual level.
The Torah portion of this week points us to the women of Israel, the mothers daughters and wives.
The daughters of Zelophehad the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of Manasseh the son of Joseph, came forward, and his daughters' names were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah…..
"Verse 3.Our father died in the desert, but he was not in the assembly that banded together against Hashem in Korach's assembly, but he died for his own sin, and he had no sons.4. Why should our father's name be eliminated from his family because he had no son? Give us a portion along with our father's brothers. 5. So Moshe brought their case before Hashem."( Numbers 27:1-5)
The Midrash Rabba teaches that “In that generation the women repaired what the men broke down”
Aaron told the men : "Break off the golden rings, which are in the ears of your wives" (to make the Golden Calf--Exodus 32: 2), but the women refused and held back their husbands; as is proved by the fact that it says (ibid. v.3), "And all the people broke off the golden rings which were in their ears," the women not participating with them in making the Calf.
It was the same in the case of the spies, who uttered an evil report: "And the men... when they returned, made all the congregation to murmur against him" (Numbers 14:36), and against this congregation the decree [not to enter the Land] was issued, because they had said: "We are not able to go up" (ibid. v. 31).
The women, however, were not with them in their counsel, as may be inferred from the fact that it is written in an earlier passage of our Parshah, "For G-d had said of them:They shall surely die in the desert. And there was not left a man of them, save Caleb the son of Yefuneh" (ibid. v. 65)....
The men had been unwilling to enter the Land; the women petitioned to receive an inheritance in the Land. The daughters of Tzelafchad were standing up for their untainted love of the land of Israel.
Women sense G-d and spirituality from the inside out and men from the outside in.
It is their intuitive “Bina” that will give all of the rest of us the courage to persevere and the vision to move forward. As the sages teach;
"Bizchut nashim tzadkaniot nigalu avotenu" ..ubizchutan nigael!
In the merit of the righteous women we were redeemed and in their merit we will be redeemed again.
Lerefuat yehidit bat Golda Yocheved