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January 20, 2017 / 22 Tevet, 5777
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Navigating Our Ship On The Open Sea: Learning – and Teaching – the Lessons of History



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A number of years ago, at an Agudath Israel convention, I heard a haunting interpretation of this story from Rabbi Chaim Dov Keller, who related that the ship on the seas refers to our travels and travails throughout our period in galus.

From time to time, Rabbi Keller explained, we find “dry land” – a place to rest and establish our roots in a more permanent manner. However, we then become complacent and begin “cooking” (generating the heat of resentment among the non-Jews surrounding us) – and eventually discover that what we thought was terra firma was in fact only a temporary respite from our travels. After a period of time, we are thrown overboard back into the raging sea of galus once more.

Let us collectively and individually use this Yom Tov of Sukkos to reflect upon steps we can take to “lower the flames” and revert to the personal examples of ne’imus and tznius that we had the zechus to observe in the lives of our parents.

Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

About the Author: Rabbi Yakov Horowitz is director of The Center for Jewish Family Life/Project YES, conducts child abuse prevention and parenting workshops internationally, and is the author of two books and has published the landmark children’s personal safety picture book “Let’s Stay Safe!,” the Yiddish edition “Zei Gezunt!,” and the Hebrew adaptation, “Mah She’batuach – Batuach!”


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