Parashat Mattot

The Wandering People

Everyone must have a safe place to be before anyone can feel at home.

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Acting on Our Story

This story is a typical Jewish family narrative. The story of displacement lies deep within our communal and individual Jewish histories. Narratives of fleeing oppression and wandering in search of home lie at the heart of our most sacred texts, inform our most cherished relationships, and have shaped our individual identities as Jews.

Jews have a powerful and intimate relationship to migration and the search for home. When we dare to tell our stories within the widest possible global context, we connect our sacred and familial memories of wandering to the ongoing global impact of violence and displacement. We have a unique voice that we can lift up to educate and advocate for the rights of displaced persons everywhere and for fair immigration laws here in North America.

In the coming weeks, as we finish reading the Book of Numbers, may we lift our voices and call out for the right of each and every human being to have a home in the fullest sense of the word, a sanctuary where human dignity can safely unfold.

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Rabbi Elliot R. Kukla

Rabbi Elliot Kukla is a rabbi at the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center in San Francisco.