All in sermon

In Numbers chapter 12, Miriam harshly criticizes her brother Moses for marrying a Kushite woman. Following that, she is quickly punished. As the Torah tells us, Miriam became leprous, white as snow.

Almost immediately, Moses cries five words to God, El na r’fa na lah. - Please God, heal her. These 5 words are the only words uttered by Moses in this Torah portion. Each of these short words ends in a vowel, as if Moses is crying out, shouting to God with all of his strength. Saying the words, you can almost feel the deep longing of Moses’ words.

The past week has been a difficult one. In the span of a few days, terrorists killed 17 people in France. The four Jewish citizens at the kosher grocery store were buried in Israel for fear that their graves would be desecrated, yet another fearful sign of Europe's growing anti-semitism. In Nigeria, two *thousand* people were killed because of hatred, and intolerance, a fact even more bothersome because it's quite possible that many of you are hearing that for the first time right now. The world is in mourning.