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    Keeping the tribes intact – Mattot

    Holbein’s Tribes of Israel, 16th century

    Mattot means “Tribes”.

    President Rivlin often speaks about the people of Israel (despite the many centuries since Biblical times) as a people of tribes.

    In the Torah the tribes derive from the children of Jacob; what President Rivlin speaks about are Ashkenazim and Sephardim, religious and secular, orthodox and non-orthodox, Chassidim and Mit’nag’dim and so on.

    Jews often ask why we need divisions and can’t unite into one overall people. The fact is that we really are one people but the differences reflect our history and make us so interesting.

    The obstacle we have to overcome is the tensions between us which sometimes explode into offensive language and a lack of respect for each other.

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