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Parshat Shemot: There is a phenomenon associated with the current tragic war, which we must preserve well beyond it.

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In Parshat Shemot we are told how Moshe emerged from the palace of Pharoah in search of his brethren.

What he saw was a tragic scene.

An Egyptian task master was beating an Israelite and would have killed him if not for Moshe’s heroic intervention.

On the second day, Moshe again went out and this time he saw Shnei Anashim Ivrim Nitzim, two Hebrews who were fighting against each other.

Again, Moshe intervened, and he said to the protagonist ‘Why are you doing this?’ and the answer was ‘What? Are you going to kill me in the way that you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’

What Moshe saw was a tragic scene which sadly has repeated itself time and again in Jewish history at the very time when, our oppressors from without have threatened us, we have been divided within.

This is what happened in the run up to the fall of Jerusalem in the year 70 when civil war was raging in Jerusalem at the very time when the Romans laid siege to our capital city.

And most recently, prior to the outbreak of war on the 7th of October 2023, there was so much tragic division in Israel which spilled over into the diaspora.

But since the commencement of this war, we are blessed with Jewish unity. In the midst of these dark clouds, it is a precious silver lining.

Let us guarantee that we preserve it well beyond the war.

In our Shabbat service for the Mincha afternoon prayer we say, ‘Ata Echad V’Shimcha Echad’ ‘You God are One and Your name is one’.

‘UmiK’Amcha Yisrael Goy Echad B’Aretz’ – And who is like Your people Israel? One single united people on earth.’

Let us indeed guarantee that we remain a ‘Goy Echad’, a single united people for all time.

Shabbat Shalom.

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