If living through a global pandemic wasn’t strange enough, imagine adding a newborn baby! Bringing Zohara into a world of COVID-19 wasn’t exactly what Rachael and I had planned, but the virus never consulted with us. We will have quite the story to tell her one day! What I have learned from so many of you during these days is that the key to spiritually and mentally surviving the pandemic (and being a new Abba) is about having the right perspective.
The story in this week’s Torah portion is all about perspective. Twelve spies go into the Promised Land to survey the area. Moses sends the representatives of the tribes to see what kind of land they’ll encounter. The twelve spies find a land filled with gigantic humans, grapes, and fortifications that are insurmountable. Ten of the spies are scared and want the Israelites to turn back; however, two spies, Joshua and Caleb, see the same land and decide that the Israelites should push onward.
Here we have the perspective of a few, a minority of the group, that changes the course of the Israelites journey. We’ll never know what would have happened if the argument of the ten spies won the day, but we do know that it is the perspective of Joshua and Caleb that rallies the Israelites to continue on their journey toward the Promised Land.
Going into this Shabbat, I am grateful for the new perspectives I have gained in the past three weeks and in the past three months. In these upcoming hours of rest and renewal, may we find new perspectives that help us to live better in these trying days. May we see the world in a new way to help others attain equality and justice, and may we guide one another into the Promised Land together—a land flowing with milk and honey, equality and justice, wholeness and peace.