Now Count This!

Counting the people of the tribes of Israel is a recurring event of the Book of Numbers, so I thought I’d do a little modern counting of my own.

18.  White supremacists killed 18 people in 2017, twice the number killed by Muslim extremists, in the United States.

19.  Every day, 19 children are shot by guns in the United States.  That’s over 1,300 each year, and roughly 26,000 killed between 1999 and 2017.

27. At least 27 transgender people were fatally shot or killed by other violent means in 2017.

1,147.  Of the 1,147 people killed by police in 2017, less than 1/3 were suspected of a violent crime and 25% were African American – a percentage twice that of the general population.

1,986.  There were 1,986 anti-Semitic incidents reported across the United States in 2017, an  increase of 60% over the prior year.

2,342. Since early May at least 2,342 children have been separated from their parents at the U.S. border.

3,000. In the 500 days since he took the oath of office, President Trump has made more than 3,000 false or misleading claims, such as stating 34 times that a border wall will end drug trafficking into this country even though the DEA says that is not correct.

3,500. Some 3,500 sex trafficking cases were reported in the U.S. in 2017 alone, with a specific concentration in and around Atlanta, Georgia.

68,000.  According to the World Health Organization, 68,000 women die annually from unsafe abortions worldwide.

80,000.  80,000 U.S. children are sexually abused each year – and that’s only the number reported.

5.7 million.  Approximately 5.7 million adults are living with Alzheimer’s disease, with an average lifetime cost of $341,840.

41 million. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics for 2017, 41 million people in the United States live in food-insecure households, 13 million of whom are children.

As we move forward through the history of our era, take these numbers forward with you. Make this your Torah for the week. What is God asking of us? Who will lead us out of the wilderness of abuse, hunger, hatred and violence? Who will take us to the promised United States of America that calls itself a nation striving for freedom, liberty and peace? Start with whatever you can do.

R' Evan J. Krame