Beha’alotcha: The Anti-Militarism of the Rabbis

The following essay is gently adapted from A Yom Kippur sermon entitled “Living To Tell the Tale: The Anti-Militarism of the Rabbis” that I offered in 2007. You can find the original in my collection of essays “Hineni: Essays and Torah Commentaries from Twenty-Five Years on the Bimah”. You can learn more about the book, and order a copy if you wish, by following this link.

Vay’hi binsoa ha’aron, vayomer moshe: kumah adonai v’yafutzu oyvecha, v’yanusu m’sanecha mipanecha

And when the ark would set out, Moses would say: Rise up, Adonai, may your enemies be scattered, may your opponents flee from before you! (Numbers 10:35)

By now almost everyone has heard a version of the Short Guide to Jewish Holidays, but it bears repeating because it holds an important teaching: “They tried to kill us, we’re still here, let’s eat.”

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