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The Systems of the Jewish Year

Make Yourself Count!

By Rabbi Yaacov Haber

As the band played and the spirits were high on Purim I looked around at the many friends that joined me and realized that perhaps one of the main messages of Purim may be getting lost on all of us.

The Jewish people were in trouble. A woman by the name of Ester and a man by the name of Mordechai decided that they have to do something to save the Jews of Persia. They put themselves out, they put their lives on the line and we were miraculously saved.

The message of Purim: In every age some one has had the individuality enough and courage enough to stand by his or her own convictions to deliver, rescue emancipate and redeem our people. What are you doing for the Jewish people?

Moshe was commanded by G-d to count the Jewish people. Why? First G-d promised Abraham that we would be an uncountable people. We would be like the stars in the Heaven that no one can count; now G-d tells Moshe to count the Jewish people!

The answer is that G-d did not mean for Moshe to count everyone - he meant for Moshe to make everyone count.

A census occurred but this was no ordinary census. Every single member of Klal Yisroel appeared before Moshe for a very brief interview. In this succinct meeting Moshe used his warmth and his prophecy to lift each Jew to his or her greatest heights. As Moshe counted every Jew he told them of their potential, of their purpose and how they as an individual can contribute to the community and the Jewish people. Moshe made every Jew count. Everyone left Moshe's tent with a mission to participate in the community of Israel. The Children of Israel went from a group of descendents of Abraham to two million inspired individuals - every one of them counted.

Dovid HaMelech sang: “He is the Healer of the broken-hearted, and the One who bandages their sorrows. He counts the number of the stars, to all of them He assigns names.” (Psalm 147)

What is the connection between these two verses?

The stars number in the billions, but G-d is aware of each one and gives it a name. What is the source of a broken heart? So often it is our lack of purpose and direction. It is because we don't understand our individuality and our own power to participate.

King David said; how does G-d heal a broken heart? He gives every star a name! He declares that every one of His creations has a purpose and a name. No thing and certainly no person was created for nothing. Unlike Hollywood -there are no extras! G-d makes the uncountable count.

The Purim message is: find your place amongst our people. Make yourself count.

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