Health, Nutrition & Torah: Va’era

| January 13, 2010

Courtesy Alexander Smolianitski (http://flickr.com/photos/smolianitski/)

The Text:
9:1-4 The Eternal said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says The Eternal, the God of the Hebrews: Let My people go to worship Me.  For if you refuse to let them go, and continue to hold them, then the hand of The Eternal will strike your livestock in the fields–the horses, the asses, the camels, the cattle, and the sheep–with a very severe pestilence.  But The Eternal will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of the Egyptians, so that nothing shall die of all that belongs to the Israelites.”

The Context:
Moses comes to understand his role in leading the Israelite people from slavery to redemption.  With his brother Aaron by his side as spokesman, Moses confronts Pharaoh.  Moses receives confirmation before the people of God’s power in the form of the first plague.  Pharaoh continues to change his mind about letting the Israelites go and God continues to bring down new plagues upon Egypt.

What it Means for Advocates:
The Torah describes the tragedy of agricultural disaster. Just yesterday, a major earthquake struck Haiti. Last month, Hurricane Ida & floods swept through El Salvador. These & other disasters cause two effects: the immediate, tragic loss of homes & human life, and a long-term struggle for basic sustenance as farms crumble, crops die, soil erodes & destroy infrastructure is destroyed. Recovery can take years, as it has for Hurricane Katrina. How did or didn’t you hear about these disasters?

Get involved. MAZON grantees The Lambi Fund of Haiti & SHARE Foundation work tirelessly in these regions to rebuild infrastructure & restore agriculture. Another MAZON grantee, the International Medical Corps, emailed us the following update this morning:

International Medical Corps is assembling a team of first responders and resources to provide lifesaving medical care and other emergency services to survivors of the earthquake.  This response draws on 25 years of experience in emergency settings, including last September’s earthquake in Sumatra, Indonesia, and the massive 2005 earthquake in Pakistan.

We’re collecting more funds for Haiti here at MAZON.org. What can you do to help?

We’d love to hear your thoughts. Post a comment below & keep the discussion going!

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