Monday, March 12, 2012

Nothing good comes from counting

We Jews know we are not supposed to count people. But why?

Chief Rabbi Sacks says counting people generally leads to only one of two possible outcomes. After a count, you will either you see you're outnumbered and succumb to despair, or you'll see the people are with you and become vulnerable over-confidence.

This, continues the Chief Rabbi,  is why we were commanded to conduct our census by making a physical contribution of money. The lesson is that raw numbers don't matter. In a battle of any kind, all that counts is what the people you have are willing to do.

This powerful message is brought home in Judges 6.  In the strangest and most unlikely battle story of all time, where God teaches Gideon that we can't beat Midian with 30,000 soldiers. It can only be done with 300 men. A small army of hard workers will always our perform a horde of underachievers.

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