Many of us remember the wonderful musical “Fiddler On The Roof.” One of the very poignant parts of the script was a question towards the end of the play to the village rabbi: “Rabbi, when will the messiah come?”
Our troubled world often leaves me thinking that same very same question. At times the world and all of its problems seem overwhelming. We expect the President of the United States to be able to fix everything, and yet truth be told, no one person can fix this broken world.
In reading this week’s Torah portion, we come across the narrative of Moses sending twelve men to scout out the land of Canaan. According to tradition, Moses chooses these leaders. When they return, ten of the scouts report that though the land is fertile and filled with potential, it is inhabited by Anakim, giants, and the cities are fortified. They report that the Israelites should not attempt to inhabit the land.
The two remaining scouts, Caleb and Joshua, say: “The land that we traversed and scouted is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord is pleased with us, Adonai will bring us into that land, a land that flows with milk and honey…Have no fear then of the people of the country…God is with us. Have no fear….”
What we learn from this portion is that there are solutions to our problems. The solutions might not always be readily seen, but if we search and work together as a people, as a community and as country, we can find a way to the future. As Jews, we are eternally optimistic. We don’t give into our fears. Rather we hope for a better time.
Let us hold hands and work together to bring about that day when shleymut, wholeness and peace will reign on earth.