By Brett Kaminsky
The story of Mah Tovu starts with the Moabite king of Balak, telling a diviner to curse the Israelites but when he gets to mountain to curse them instead of cursing them the words of a blessing came out instead. Oh how wonderful your tents are Jacob how wonderful your dwellings are Israel.
This story’s encompasses all of our Sci-Tech Israel values.
The value of social responsibility, achrauit (אחריות), comes into play with the reasons the tents were so beautiful, the tents were open and faced outward towards the outside world to respect the privacy of their neighbors. The Israel had the social responsibility to keep kavod, respect, of their neighbors properties.
Connections, kesher (קשר), comes into play when the diviner for the first time is connected with god when he said Mah Tovu, the diviner in the Talmud is mentioned to be a religious man but never actually connected with god, when he says the blessing he is truly connected with god. Just like we need to be when we are experiencing Israel.
Wonder, malchut (מלכות), even though we have not been to the Bedouin tents yet, when we go there think about this prayer and the tents of the Israelites, and experience the wonder of walking in our ancestors steps.
All throughout Israel we can find small places where we walk in our ancestors steps and experience the birth of it perseverance, netzach (נצח), can be seen the reason why the Moab king wanted to prosecute them in the first place, the Israelites had perseverance to fight back against the Moab’s and live in Israel even surrounded by enemies.
As we go through our trip remember this prayer and how a bad thing can always become a good thing, so now sing with me Mah Tovu.