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A Light Unto the Nations

by Rabbi Matt February 27, 2011

From the words of the prophet Isaiah, 42: 6, the Jewish people is to be a light unto the nations. This is our mission, our raison d’etre, our reason for being. We are to be the example people for others to see and follow. The word on our ark doors is a reminder... "or"... light. When you take a look at the beginning of the Torah, the text teaches "the earth was unformed and void, with darkness over the face of the deep." Do you know the first thing God created? Yes... light! In Genesis 1: 3, "God said, let there be light; and there was light." Darkness was the norm, and in order for the rest of creation to follow, God created light.

Be one who sheds light. Resolve to lend a hand to one, or more, of our tzedakah projects. We need: drivers to pick up evening donations from Panera Bread and Chick-fil-A; volunteers to help serve the monthly dinner at St. Aloysius; people to make and deliver PB&J sandwiches after the Friday evening Oneg Shabbat.

Be a lifelong learner and come to our frequent Adult Education offerings. Learn and share your insights with others.

In addition, let us shed light on Israel and on her efforts to bring light into this world. For her, it is not enough to serve as a safe haven for world Jewry. Since 1959, Israel has maintained numerous medical outreach programs. Israeli doctors have established eye clinics in Nepal, Mauritania, Tonga, Liberia and Micronesia. In 2005, Israel sent supplies to Sri Lanka after the tsunami. She also sent humanitarian aid and equipment to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and in 2010, medical assistance in Haiti.

In too many places throughout the world, darkness is the norm. God needs partners to bring light. Israel, works hard to be a light unto the nations. It is what she and her citizens, and we, are called to do each and every day.

Kol tuv (all the best) and shalom.

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