Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
Chana Weller-Sharansky is the daughter of Natan Sharansky, the famous prisoner of Zion. She is also a social worker who is currently on strike, and this is what she wrote to me last night:
“In this week’s Torah portion God shows Moses the land into which he cannot enter. Instead of complaining, Moses is immediately concerned about what will happen to the people after his passing. He asks God to appoint his successor ‘so that the congregation of the Lord will not be like sheep without a shepherd’. The image of a shepherd touches me especially this week while I am sitting at home, thinking of those under my care, but prevented from helping them during the strike. As social workers we are dealing every day with the needs of men and women for whom our assistance is like air needed to breathe. We go into the dark places where no one goes by his own free will. We are the ‘shepherds’ of troubled youth, of battered women, of families living below the poverty line. But we cannot continue to help them with a salary that will leave us also in need of social services when we are old.
My dear parents, Natan and Avital, fought for the right to come out from behind the iron curtain and live in the Land of Israel. Now it is our turn to fight for the image of a country that our parents bequeathed to us and will be concerned that we will be a “light into nations” and model of justice and loving-kindness.”