This week's reading concludes by saying: "Have no fear, because the Eternal One your God fights alongside you."
Throughout, Moses returns to a common refrain: you do not need to be afraid.
The Israelites are facing something unprecedented. They have spent years in the wilderness and are now tasked by God with conquering Canaan.
It must be terrifying. None of them are soldiers. None of them are prepared.
Nevertheless, Moses reassures them. Like the American president, Roosevelt, he tells them there is nothing to fear but fear itself. Living scared is worse than whatever worries you.
As a community, and as part of the wider world, we face a similar and frightening change. The country is reopening. Services are resuming. The last of the lockdown measures are being lifted.
After so long under lockdown, going back to socialising and participating in public life will feel scary. But there are so many benefits to getting back out and seeing people.
There is a special joy in being together in person. It is great for mental and spiritual health to be among community.
Our synagogue is well ventilated, and is waiting to welcome you with open arms.
If you're not ready to come to shul yet, I completely understand. But if you want to make the leap and reunite with friends on a Shabbat morning, it would be lovely to see you in person. Please sign up.
Student Rabbi Lev