OUR point of view is this: We believe that spirituality is defined individually, not universally. That money should never be a barrier to participation, but rather a personal expression of community. It’s a simple proposition. We didn’t invent it, we just believe it!
DO ACTIONS ALWAYS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS?
Towards the beginning of our portion Miriam dies, and is buried at Kadesh. Legend has it that because of Miriam’s piety there was a well that followed the Israelites as they wandered throughout the desert, and after her death the well disappeared. So the community is without water, and once again they rail against Moses and Aaron.
God tells Moses and Aaron to take the rod and order the rock to yield water in front of the people. Moses assembles the people in front of the rock as God commands, and he says to them, “Listen you rebels, shall we get water for you out of this rock?” And Moses raises his hand and strikes the rock twice. Out comes copious amounts of water, and the community and their animals drink.
But God says to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust Me enough to affirm My sanctity in front of the Israelite people, therefore you will not lead this congregation into the Promised Land.”
We are taught that “Actions speak louder than words.” In this instance, however, it was words that God desired, and the only action required was an act of faith. Thus the lesson that God and our Torah is teaching us is that no rule is finite and true in every case. Life requires us to pause and think before we either act or speak, and when we do the result is usually far more favorable.
~ Rabbi Shana Nyer
How to Say “Yes, and” to Inclusion
We are so proud of the work that Rabbi Nyer continues to do to make inclusion a central component of our educational strategy. Congratulations Rabbi Nyer on the publication of your article “How to Say ‘Yes, and’” on the Union for Reform Judaism blog!
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