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It is not through social status, fame or fortune that we arrive at life, but through the feeding of our souls, says Rochel Leah Boteach

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In this week’s Parsha, Moses directs to the Israelites that when God brings them into the land, they are to pronounce the blessings at Mount Gerizim (pictured here) and the curses at Mount Ebal | Photo: Jewish Encyclopedia

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I’ve noticed that many have taken this abrupt interruption of normalcy as a call for self- reflection.

To what degree do our lives accord with our values? To what degree have we lost our way in the grand vortex of consumerism? How much of our precious souls have been sucked into the black hole of material accumulation?

By virtue of having a “neshama”, a soul, we were given the opportunity to experience life in its endless depths of meaning. So, what is stopping us? Why do so many of us compromise for a vapid life of insatiable materialism, wherein making money takes prominence over family dinners and social status, fame, and success become life’s great mission? 

As we build our empires and construct our skyscrapers, perhaps there’s a gnawing hunger in our bellies. Another car will fulfill me, bigger numbers will satiate me. If I buy one more thing and expand my kingdom of things, if I polish my gold and silver, perhaps I will sleep with a full belly tonight.

That hunger only festers. We sway with lightheadedness; we are all starving. There is so much bread, and yet we groan from pangs of hunger. We are the seven cows from Pharaoh’s dreams; insatiable. The more we consume, the thinner we grow.

In this week’s Torah portion, Re’eh, Moses and the Israelites stand on the border of the Jordan, with eyes locked on the Promised Land. Raising his hands to the heavens, Moses reminds the Jewish nation of what is truly important in life. “So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna… that He might make you know: It is not by bread alone that man lives; but rather, by the word of God does man live.”

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Moshe warns the people that “bread alone” will never truly satisfy them. Big bank accounts and large buildings alone will never quench the thirst for meaning. It is not through social status, fame, or fortune that we arrive at life, but through the feeding of our souls.

Three thousand three hundred years later, Jews find ourselves in the exact same place: on the border of the Promised Land. We look at each other wondering, where do we belong? What is this land all about and how do we enter? Moses stands there too, pointing towards the land of milk and honey, telling us to go on and enter. “Fill yourself up!” he urges us, for this land is the source of our sustenance.

Since the moment we received the Torah, Judaism has always forced us to recognize the truth; that the soul is paramount, and catering to her needs is a priority. Whereas other nations may be money-obsessed, we are God obsessed. Whereas others may be thinking short-term, we carry the weight of existence in our minds. We are planning for the long haul. 

Like Moses and his people did, I see the Promised Land. Eyes set on the prize, I am ready to cross the border. We can still hold onto the words of Moses. We understand that as Jews, our connection to God and Judaism is what makes us full, which keeps us alive.

Rochel Leah Boteach is the force behind The Thirsty Souls. A fierce advocate for female Torah scholarship and leadership, she created her page determined to teach Torah to all people in all places. She is on a mission to nourish and nurture a living, breathing Judaism for all.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

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