Attention Must be Paid

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This Shabbat is often designated Shabbat Ne’edarei Tzahal roughly “Sabbath for Remembrance of those Israeli soldiers who are MIA or in captivity.” Why this Shabbat? Because on it we read of the story of young Joseph. Of how his brothers threw him into a pit, sold him into slavery and then told their father that he was dead.

Jacob’s mourning for his son was particularly painful because there was no hard “evidence”-just a bloody coat and the fact of Joseph’s absence. The uncertainty increased the agony. It is to the credit of the Israeli nation that a Shabbat is set aside to remember the MIA’s of Israel and the particular agony felt by their loved ones.

As we complete a full decade of war, perhaps we as a nation can learn to emulate this example. To set aside time for recognition of the high price paid by our soldiers and their families-and the continuing agony of those who suffered the death or injury of a loved one. Is it really so much to ask of us? To take notice? Can we stop shopping for one minute and just take notice?

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