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Our One and Only Base

צילום: פלאש90

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Good morning, good elections. After a year of non-stop running for the Knesset, after three election campaigns, here is a beautiful reminder, written by the social worker Tal Lesser: "In these crazy days, the concept of 'base' has become a central political concept: 'He is speaking to his base,' 'He is swaying his base'. But the Torah portions we are reading now emphasize that Moshe Rabeinu does not turn to any particular base but rather 'And Moshe gathered together the entire community of Israel'. Moshe then brought before the people a series of national projects: Shabbat, that the entire nation would keep together; the breatsplate of the High Priest, worn over his heart and adorned with twelve precious stones, representing all twelve tribes of Israel; the building of the Mishkan, the spiritual center of all the people during their desert journey. Moshe does not speak to any particular sector, tribe, affiliation or party. The base that he sees when he looks out at the people is as broad as can be and includes the entire nation. Even the Mishkan, the physical base of Hashem's glory, is constructed from contributions of equal value donated by every individual: each person is required to give half a shekel, neither more nor less. Our sages see in this a hint that all of us, in giving a half shekel, are reminded of our being only part of a greater whole and that we need every other part or every other Jew to complete the only base we really have - the entire nation of Israel."


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