Rafi Glazer, Director of Programs
Friday, August 5, 2016
This is the final weekend that AJSS will be in the field, changing lives, and coincidentally, the final Torah portion in the book of Numbers, Matot-Masaei, which describes the Israelites’ 40-year journey in the desert. Next week begins the book of Deuteronomy, which is primarily a retelling of the Israelites’ journey. This portion begins with a message from Moses to the Israelites: If you make an oath, either to God or to another person, you are required to follow it through. It seems like a simple enough lesson, yet shortly afterwards it is put into question. While most of the tribes are preparing to enter the Promised Land, two tribes, despite their oath, wish to stay. Ultimately the tribes agree to conquer this fertile land for the rest of the Israelites and later return to their own land. The tribes are keeping their original oath to focus on the community’s needs over the desires of individual tribes. The overarching goal is more important than personal needs.
In the same way, our AJSS participants are coming to the end of a complex journey, albeit one that is shorter than 40 years. Each of our JAMmers signed into a covenant (literally and figuratively) to work towards creating meaningful change. We hope that, whether by oath or interest, our participants continue to use their hands and their hearts to continue what they have started in Colorado Springs. We hope that over the next 40 years (and beyond) our AJSS alumni are similarly fulfilled as they continue their journey to their own Promised Land.