“Not by physical force but, by my Spirit…”.

In this week’s prophetic reading from Zacharia we are reminded: “Not by physical force but, by my Spirit…”. It refers to the kindling of the seven branched Menorah in the ancient Temple and the reminder that at the heart of the community’s purpose is to create a society of empathy, loving kindness and justice. “Two olive trees by the menorah, one to the right and one to the left…”.

We have witnessed, and some of us, more directly, the confrontation between these two paths of “physical might” and “spirit” to living in society. We have been so blinded to the growing abuse of and use of physical power by our police departments throughout the country and, now, by the Federal government. But there has been a show of a life affirming power that is greater than physical power. It is the power of the spirit witnessed by millions of Americans, and others around the world, who, even at risk to their own health have taken to the streets.

We are witnessing a historic moment of deep tikkun, social transformation.

In the Torah reading this week Aaron is instructed to “raise up” the light of the menorah in the portable Mishkan-Sanctuary. It’s does not say “to kindle.” He is instructed to be purposeful and mindful about what these lights represent. We, too, are instructed to be mindful of raising up our menorah of seven branche. And what are we raising up? Hope, lovingness, compassion, respect, right actions, proper speech, life’s sanctity….

Brachot, blessings and good health everyone,  Reb David

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