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    Yom-Tov at the wrong time – Pinchas

    Much of this week’s reading deals with the festivals.

    Isn’t it rather strange that in the middle of an apparently dull period of the year, the Torah agenda turns to the list of festive days that are either behind us or ahead of us?

    The answer contains a profound lesson. Each of the festivals stands for a religious or ethical principle that is relevant at all times, not just once a year.

    So what if it’s months away from Pesach with its proud message of freedom? Isn’t human freedom challenged at every moment of every day regardless of the month or date? Pesach comes once a year but freedom is a right and a challenge every single day.

    Yes, we call Pesach z’man cherutenu, “our time of freedom”, but in reality every day should also be z’man cherutenu.

    So what if it’s a long time to Sukkot with its message of Divine protection? Is life safe at any time of the year? Don’t we need to thank God daily for the blessing of His protective mercy?

    So what if Yom Kippur is still months off with its message of human personal responsibility? It’s not just once a year that we need to accept responsibility for our lives, but it’s a daily feeling.

    Every day we should give heartfelt thanks to the Almighty who endowed us as human beings with the capacity to choose the right path and to live according to the Heaven-blessed standards of justice, mercy, truth, uprightness and peace.

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