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Everyone matters!

צילום: פלאש90

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin 

Here's one of my favorite stories: In a small town there were only ten Jewish families and, among them, there were only ten Jewish men. Each day they all came to pray so that there would be a minyan. Because of this important commitment, even if someone felt tired or weak, he would compel himself to come and pray nevertheless. Each man felt that everything depended on him.

One day there was a huge celebration: A new Jewish family had come to live in the town! Yet the following morning, no one came to pray. Each man felt a little less responsibility, thinking that the rest of the men would make a minyan without him, and therefore excused himself from his previous commitment.

This week's Torah portion, parashat Bamidbar, opens with a comprehensive census in which the entire public is counted and every individual, every family, and every tribe is given a role and a higher calling. The message is that even within large groups, or even within an entire nation, each individual has a special place and a unique mission. Each person is important. And today, just as in that small town, each of us must internalize the awareness that it is impossible to function as a whole if even one part is missing.


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