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FUZZY MATH

by Rabbi Shmuel Weiss    
Torah from Dixie Staff Writer    

Of all the buildings ever built on earth, the most magnificent—at least in Jewish eyes—was the Mishkan, (Tabernacle) later to become the Temple. Of all the rooms in the Mishkan, the most important was the Holy of Holies.

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Of all the buildings ever built on earth, the most magnificent—at least in Jewish eyes—was the Mishkan, (Tabernacle) later to become the Temple. Of all the rooms in the Mishkan, the most important was the Holy of Holies. This was because it was in this small room that the Ark was kept, containing the Ten Commandments given by Hashem to the Jewish People. But the sages tell us a most amazing feature of the Ark. If one adds up the dimensions of the entire Mishkan, and then tries to factor in the length and width of the Arkk, there is simply no room! Says the Talmud (Tractate Yuma 21b): One of the daily miracles in the Mishkan was that the Ark took up no space at all. It was somehow above and beyond normal, human measurement. In other words, by the usual rules of science, the Ark’s existence was inexplicable. In a sense, the Ark’s wondrous, mystical composition is not unlike our own.

How do we Jews survive? By the rules of history, we should have vanished long ago, like the Greeks, Romans, and Persians. Yet, despite relentless and concerted efforts on the part of the world to eradicate us, we defy the odds and remain.

And by what logic does Israel survive? We are surrounded by enemies a hundred times our number, enemies armed to the teeth, loaded with oil, money, and political clout. Daily, they dream of our destruction. But still we go on, thriving in our land, making the desert bloom with mangos and microchips, increasing our population tenfold in just 50 years. Militarily, culturally, financially, there is no rational explanation for Israel’s stability, let alone prosperity. The only answer is what the Torah told us so long ago: By the usual rules of nations, Israel does not compute. Feed in all the data, but the results, where Jews are concerned, will be wildly unpredictable.

When it comes to Israel, don’t do the math; it simply does not add up. But as long as we hold onto the Torah in that Ark, onto tradition and our teachings, we will defy the odds and flourish, until we rebuild that third and final Temple.

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Rabbi Shmuel Weiss, a close friend of the Torah from Dixie family, is the director of the Jewish Outreach Center in Rana’na, Israel.

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