For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
The Children of Israel waited for Moses for forty days and forty nights. In our era of the "instant," that is an eternity. Moses turned off his cell phone, closed his pc, and didn't even send his nation a text message. No Twitter announcing, "I'm learning Torah with the Almighty, see you soon". Zero information. For forty days and forty nights the Children of Israel waited at the foot of Mt. Sinai for their leader to return.
But there were impatient people among them who wanted a god immediately. Naturally, they turned to Aaron the High Priest. They wanted a tangible object to which to pray, something that they could see and respond to.
This is the point at which we see the great difference between Moses, the leader and Aaron the High Priest. Aaron was endowed with boundless love for his nation. He was the ultimate peacemaker; restoring love between husbands and wives, neighbors and competing factions of the nation. Everybody loved him. As the right hand man of Moses - the leader who set rules and boundaries, Aaron was indispensable. But during Moses' absence, he failed as a leader. His benevolence and soft-heartedness became a liability that allowed evil to take over. "And when Moses saw that the people were broken loose--for Aaron had let them loose for a derision among their enemies" (This week's Torah portion, Ki Tisah, Exodus 32:25).
The synergies of Moses, the leader who can break the Tablets, burn the golden calf, judge the transgressors and purify the camp of Israel - and Aaron, the lover and pursuer of peace is triumphant. Together, they build the Sanctuary in the desert and draw down G-d's Divine Presence on Israel. Together, they lead the Children of Israel until they enter the Promised Land.
But Aaron without Moses, when he has to face the impatience of the nation, unsuccessfully tries to negotiate his way through a tragedy that has lasted throughout the generations.
As we create authentic Jewish leadership for Israel, this is a lesson that we dare not ignore.
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"