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Beloved Beyond Belief

mother daughter hugging. The LORD said to Moses, “Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites. After that, you will be gathered to your people.” — Numbers 31:1-2

Credit:iStockphoto.com/Lisa F. Young 2009

Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families, listing every man by name, one by one.” — Numbers 1:2

Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Bamidbar, which means “in the desert,” from Numbers 1:1–4:20, and the Haftorah is from Hosea 2:1–22.

Growing up, I had a friend who was one of eleven children. When we first met, I imagined that it was hard for her to share her parents with ten other people and that she didn’t enjoy the same loving attention that I did from mine. After all, how could any two parents possibly care for and love eleven children at the same time? However, in reality, my friend’s parents were just as loving and involved in her life as mine were. They treated each of their children as though they were their only child.

It was only when I became a parent that I completely understood how my friend’s parents could love so many children at the same time. Each one of my four children is special, and my relationship with each one is unique. Every time we added another child to our family, our love wasn’t divided, but instead grew exponentially. My love for my children is so great, beyond anything I ever imagined, and nothing could ever change that.

In this week’s Torah portion, we learn that God counted the children of Israel. Of course, He already knew how many of them were there, but He wanted them to know that each one of them mattered, that each one counted. No matter how many people there were, God wanted them to know that each one was precious to Him.

Today, there are over seven billion people in the world. With so many people, it’s easy to think that God doesn’t notice us. We could mistakenly think that we don’t matter very much or that we aren’t especially loved.

But the truth is that it doesn’t matter if we are the only human being on Earth, or if we are one in ten billion — to God, we are like an only child. He loves us, cares for us, and takes care of us just as He would if we were the only one. If God sees us as invaluable, then it’s time for us to see ourselves — and each other — in the same way, too.

Your turn: Because you are loved by God more than you can imagine, extend that love to others and join our “May We Be Extraordinary” campaign this month.

Hebrew Word of the Day

May 19, 2020

Fasting and Prayer

Devotion — Mesiroot

YAEL'S HOLY LAND REFLECTIONS

Yael Eckstein praying at the Western Wall, illustrating Yom Kippur message

It Starts With Our Hearts

When I stand before God on Yom Kippur, I’ll be thinking about comforting the lonely, providing for the poor, and sending hope and healing around the world.

Monthly Teaching Resource

High Holy Days:  Teaching Our Children Forgiveness

High Holy Days:  Teaching Our Children Forgiveness

The High Holy Days are the most sacred time on the Jewish calendar. In this excerpted chapter from her book, Generation to Generation, Fellowship President and CEO Yael Eckstein shares the lessons of forgiveness she learned from her father, Fellowship Founder Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, and how she now shares those lessons with her four children and with us! Download your sample chapter today.

How to Help

help someone like Yulia an elderly woman wearing brown sweater

Brief Window of Hope

Yom Kippur — the Day of Atonement — begins at sundown Sunday, September 27th. It’s considered the Sabbath of all Sabbaths — and the most important holiday of all for the Jewish people. You can take this sacred opportunity to ensure the children of God are taken care of this holiday season.

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