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Fake news

צילום: פלאש90

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Talk about fake news and a distorted view of reality. In one of the saddest passages in the Torah, the children of Israel begin to fondly remember Egypt in this week's parasha and simply long to return there. Notice the demanding tone they adopt in speaking to Moshe Rabbeinu: "Who will feed us meat? We remember the fish that we ate in Egypt free of charge, the cucumbers, the watermelons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic." (Number 10:4-5) This is fake nostalgia that is familiar to all of us ("those were the days"), together with selective memory (how could they have forgotten their horribly bitter slavery?). In the desert, they create a culture of whining and complaints, without paying attention to the wonderful reality in which they are privileged to live.

Rabbi Moshe Zvi Neriya writes that whoever reads this parasha must examine himself to see if he behaves in a similar manner, denying all the goodness in his life. "After leaving Egypt, after the splitting of the Red Sea, after the war with Amalek, after the giving of the Torah - people get up and complain: 'Who will feed us meat?' It means that such a possiblity in the world exists, that there are powerful forces like these within the human soul."

Warning: it's possible to live during a wonderful period in history, to be surrounded by abundance and blessing, yet complain and yearn for an Egyptian onion.

Shabbat shalom.


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