Consulting with the Past and with the Future

In one of the international discussions about the 1948 “Partition Plan”, Ben Gurion asked Yitzhak Tabenkin, one of the founders of the Kibbutz Movement, what decision he (Ben Gurion) should make in this matter. Tabenkin replied: “I have to consult…”. The next day Tabenkin returned to Ben Gurion and told him not to agree to the international suggestion to divide the Land. Ben Gurion asked Tabenkin who he consulted with, and Tabenkin replied: “I consulted with my grandfather, who had died, and with my grandson, who is not yet born”. That is, I consulted with the past and with the future, towards whom I have a responsibility, even if they are not physically present here.
In this week’s Portion (Nitzavim) there is a verse that explains this principle very well: “I am making this covenant, with its oath, not only with you, who are standing here with us today in the presence of the Lord our God, but also with those who are not here today.” That is, the covenant is sealed with all future generations, with the deceased grandparent and with the yet to be born grandchild. We are committed to honoring them.

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סיון רהב-מאיר

Sivan Rahav-Meir is a media personality and lecturer. Married to Yedidya, the mother of five. Lives in Jerusalem. She works for Israel TV news, writes a column for Yediot Aharonot newspaper, and hosts a weekly radio show on Galei Zahal (Army Radio). Her lectures on the weekly Torah portion are attended by hundreds and the live broadcast attracts thousands more listeners throughout the world.
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