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5 precious souls missing from our census

חיים פרי, יורם מצגר, עמירם קופר, נדב פופולוול, דולב יהוד

* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

We just tragically learned about four hostages that are not among the living: Chaim Peri, Yoram Metzger, Amir Cooper, and Nadav Popplewell — three of whom were senior citizens — were all murdered in captivity. It was also revealed after lengthy forensics that Dolev Yahud was slaughtered during the attack on his border kibbutz.

We begin reading the book of Numbers (Bamidbar), the fourth book of the Torah, this week. The book opens with a census taken of the children of Israel. God asks us to count in order to ascertain our precise number. Rashi explains that “because they were dear to Him, He counted them often.”

Our enemies do not honor us as human beings created in the image of God. All the more reason that we should honor these five men who will no longer be counted in the census of our people. As the dramatic story of our desert sojourn unfolds, if God can pause to count us out of love, we too, in the coming days, can pause before every public gathering to remember these five men. Condolences to their families on the kibbutzim of Nirim and Nir Oz.

The journey through the desert was long and our journey is as well but, in the end, we will reach our destination too.


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