Yesterday in synagogue we read about the dedication of the Tabernacle in the desert. The Torah records that the first person to give such an offering at its dedication was Nachson, a prince of Judah. Why did he deserve such an honour?
The Talmud answers this in detail. When the Israelites were penned in at the Red Sea by the Egyptian army the tribes argued who should enter the sea first. Each saying: not me. It was Nachson who entered the sea first. Eventually, the sea split, the Israelites saved and the rest is history.
Sometimes it is necessary for leaders to lead: Jo Cox was one of those who did just that. Whether in her life before or after becoming an MP she lead on issues that many others chose to ignore: the genocide in Darfur, the plight of refugees from Syria, modern day slavery and child poverty. She would reach out beyond her political party to make alliances. To use her own words: “we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us”.
The next time we ask ourselves ‘what are they doing about it’ perhaps we need to follow her example and ask ourselves ‘what are we can doing about it’?
In a world where politics has seemingly become more reactionary perhaps we need to change course and `chose a politics of hope over the politics of despair and fear. In that way we can dedicate ourselves to Jo Cox’s example and as our weekly liturgy says “build a Tabernacle of Peace over all the dwellers of earth”… And to that let us all say Amen…