What Would You Pack?

1 pair of pants, 1 shirt, 1 pair of shoes and 1 pair of socks
Shampoo and hair gel, toothbrush and toothpaste, face whitening cream
Comb, nail clipper
Bandages
100 U.S. dollars
130 Turkish liras
Smart phone and back-up cell phone
SIM cards for Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey

—contents of Iqbal’s backpack on arriving in Lesbos, Greece (emphasis added)

Iqbal, from war-torn Kunduz Province in Afghanistan, is a refugee featured in this photo essay by the International Rescue Committee. He said that he hoped that his cosmetics and grooming would make it less likely that he would be identified as a refugee and detained.

Two sections of our parashah (Num. 4:21-49, 7:1-9) deal with the instructions to the Levite clans responsible for transporting the Mishkan (Tabernacle). The tales of these contemporary refugees’ packs remind us just how remarkable it is that the Israelites carried substantial (and seemingly nonessential) structures through the wilderness.

Read more at JTS Torah Online →

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