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The Systems of the Jewish Year

Counting the Jews - and Every Jew Counts!

By Rabbi Yaacov Haber

She would have discussed the matter with her mother but she is too busy volunteering to get involved in her problems!

Things that we love we count.

When we were children we counted and examined our baseball cards tens of times. As adults we go over our portfolios regularly. I remember as a child in camp every time we took a trip, got off the bus, or stopped to rest, we were counted. When I take trips with my own family, I find myself counting over and over again.

In our Parsha we have a Mitzvah to count the Jews. “Because of His love for us He counts us” (Rashi)

Now imagine the pain of the child who counts his collection and a valuable baseball card is missing. Imagine the fright of the counselor who comes out short in the count. You can’t imagine the anguish of the father who counts his children in the National State Park and one is missing.

What about G-d, who out of love for His people counts them over and over again? What happens when someone is missing?

Even if one man or woman, one child, or one simple Jew is missing the Heavens begin to shake. G-d counts us because every individual is vital to the existence of the Jewish people.

Count your children, your grandchildren, your students and your neighbors children. If you love them, count them. Make sure they’re there. Make sure you are there. If you see a change, if you hear a child ask a question which sounds like it is resonating from deep within the soul, or if you know of a neighbor in pain - do something! To ignore is to be ignorant. “Seu es Rosh kol adas bnei yisroel” Count the Jewish people!

Society has become so pressured that it’s hard to take the time to be a father, a mother an uncle or an aunt. What exactly is more important in life? A young girl came to speak with me last week. She explained that she would have discussed the matter with her mother but she is too busy volunteering to get involved in her problems!

Jews and Judaism are not immune to the problems of the world. But we do have a solution. Let’s start counting!

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