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Jewish community ‘gets our strength and our outlook’ from one key source, says rabbi in Florida


There are no words, said Rabbi Pinchas Taylor of Plantation, Florida, “that can capture the horror being experienced in Israel these past few days.”

He told Fox News Digital on Tuesday that while “the philosophical and practical questions of ‘why’ and ‘how’ can be asked and discussed in their appropriate times — now is a time of mourning.”

He said that as war rages after the surprise attacks on Israel this past weekend, many people are asking, “What can we do? What perspectives can help us through these difficult times?”

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“I’m not sure that I have any answers,” he said — “as one cannot make sense of the senseless.”

Yet “what I do know,” he added, “is that in the Jewish community, we get our strength and our outlook from the Torah, the collective body of knowledge contained in the Hebrew Bible and scriptural tradition.”

ancient Torah scroll

Said Rabbi Taylor of Florida, “Perhaps the themes at the beginning of Genesis can offer food for thought in perspectives helpful for right now.” (iStock)

And on that point, he said that this past weekend, “the Jewish community worldwide all celebrated the completion of the Torah, and began its study once again from the beginning of Genesis.” 

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And “perhaps,” he added, “the themes at the beginning of Genesis can offer some food for thought in perspectives helpful for right now.”

‘Adding light in your life’

The first thing mentioned in God’s creation process is the creation of “light.” 

Added Taylor, “Before the light, there was only darkness, the absence of light. Darkness proceeded the light.”

“Darkness must be followed by light. Darkness sometimes even helps facilitate the creation of light.”

And yet, he said, “out of the void and darkness, light was created. From then on, that was the embedded pattern of how our world works.”

Said Taylor, “It was evening, and it was morning. It was dark, and it was light — one day. Darkness must be followed by light. Darkness sometimes even helps facilitate the creation of light.”

Demonstrators attend an

Demonstrators attend an “emergency rally for Gaza” outside the Israeli Consulate in New York City on Monday, October 9, 2023. Supporters of both Palestine and Israel clashed at the event as Israel remains at war with Hamas. (Jennifer Mitchell for Fox News Digital)

Taylor emphasized that “following a time of darkness, we take God’s example, and seek that out of it we facilitate the creation of light. We personally respond to darkness and distress in our world by adding in faith, unity, prayer and acts of kindness.”

And “adding light in your life,” he also said, “personally helps dispel darkness globally.”

‘A single entity’

The rabbi stressed that “at the beginning of Genesis is the uniqueness of the creation of mankind. Everything else in creation is described as created in group form. God creates all the celestial bodies at once, the plants all at once and the animals all at once. The human being is created as a single entity, Adam, and Eve, rather than saying, ‘Let there be humans.’”

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Said Taylor, “There are many reasons offered as to why this distinction. First, humanity is united by being from the same source. Second, creating humanity as individuals underscores the specific importance that each individual human plays in God’s world.”

Car on fire in street

Cars are on fire after they were hit by rockets from the Gaza Strip in Ashkelon, Israel, on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023.  (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

He also said, “When the human family would grow to billions of people, they are still considered, in a spiritual sense, as a single entity. This unity is used in the Hebrew Bible to describe the Israelites encamped at Mount Sinai, using singular terminology, in describing the nation’s encamping as one man with one soul.”

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Rabbi Taylor noted, in relation to what is going on in Israel, “It is because of this notion that humanity can be viewed as one body — and that our actions on one side of the world can spiritually uplift someone on the other side.”

group praying

“By saying a prayer or doing an act of kindness in the United States — this can uplift someone suffering on the other side of the world.” (iStock)

He used this analogy: “Imagine going to the doctor with a pain in your foot. The doctor may suggest a pill or a shot to relieve the pain. If you didn’t know any better, you might ask, ‘How is it possible that a pill in the mouth or a shot in the arm can relieve a pain in the foot?’ The doctor would explain since it is all part of the same interconnected body, the remedy impacts even the most distant part of the body.”

So, “likewise, by saying a prayer or doing an act of kindness in the United States — this can uplift someone suffering on the other side of the world.”

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He said, “It’s not just an act of solidarity — it’s ‘soulidarity.'”

Added Taylor, “We are spiritually part of the same body.”

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.



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