Meir Panim’s Tiberias Free Restaurant not only provides warm meals, but the opportunity to socialize as well.
Rabbi Horowitz’s recently released parenting book, Living and Parenting (ArtScroll), can be obtained by visiting www.rabbihorowitz.com, e-mailing email@example.com, calling 845-352-7100 x 133, or visiting your local Judaica store.
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As Bnei Yisroel passed through the land of Ya’azer and Gilad in the “Ever HaYarden” (land East of the Jordan River) they noticed that the land was very fertile and quite suitable for grazing animals.
The two shevatim (tribes) of Reuven and Gad, who had large flocks of cattle, spoke to Moshe and expressed their desire to settle in Ever HaYarden – even though it was not part of Eretz Yisroel proper.
Having led his people through the desert for 40 years with the hope of reaching the holy soil of Eretz Yisroel, Moshe was understandably disappointed that two shevatim relinquished their portion in the Promised Land in exchange for a parcel in Ever HaYarden.
Moshe expressed himself rather sharply to the leaders of Reuven and Gad. He asked them why they would weaken the spirit of their brothers by not accompanying them to Eretz Yisroel and going to battle alongside the members of the other Tribes.
Moshe reminded them of the terrible damage done by the demoralizing report of the meraglim (spies). He wondered why these two shevatim would risk incurring the wrath of Hashem by demonstrating their willingness to forgo the privileged of entering Eretz Yisroel – a zechus denied to Moshe himself.
An Additional Rebuke
Moshe also gave them tochachah for their lack of proper priorities. When speaking to Moshe, they stated that they had every intention of supporting the war efforts of the remainder of Klal Yisroel. “We will build pens for our flocks of cattle and cities for our children (Bamidbar 32:16).
Moshe admonished them for placing their possessions before their children. He implied that their priorities were misplaced, perhaps as a result of their intense focus on the needs of their flocks.
The people of Reuven and Gad accepted Moshe’s rebuke, and recalibrated their priorities. In fact, the next time they discussed their arrangements with Moshe (Bamidbar 32:26), they listed their children and wives before their cattle.
An Interesting Observation
The Ohr HaChaim notes that the leaders of the shevatim expressed their acceptance of Moshe’s rebuke using two different terms. They said that they would do ” as Moshe instructed us” (Bamidbar 32:25). Two pesukim later, they said that they would join Bnei Yisroel in battle, ” as my master has spoken.”
The Ohr HaChaim offers a lengthy explanation as to the reason for the two distinct terms that the people of Reuven and Gad used (see Ohr HaChaim, Bamidbar 32:25 for the full text).
A Deeper Level
I would like to suggest an additional thought as to the usage of these two terms.
Advice and guidance can be adhered to on two very different levels. The first is to follow what we were instructed to the letter of the law. A much deeper commitment is to truly get the “big picture” of what we are being told. When that happens, we don’t merely do what we are told. We internalize the lessons and change our view of things as a result of the wisdom we attained by listening to the constructive criticism that we were given.
The Bnei Reuven and Gad realized that their moral compass became skewed as a result of their newly acquired wealth. They were struck by the fact that they inadvertently mentioned their possessions before their children. Once they internalized the criticism of Moshe, they informed him that they were willing to improve and change the course of their lives.
“We will do what you instructed us,” they told Moshe. Much more importantly, they accepted the full meaning and import of their rebbi’s words – and the course of their lives.
Best wishes for a Gutten Shabbos.
Rabbi Yakov Horowitz is the founder and dean of Yeshiva Darchei Noam of Monsey, and the founder and director of Project Y.E.S.
To purchase Rabbi Horowitz’s Dvar Torah Sefer, Growing With the Parsha or his popular parenting tapes and CD’s – including his 4-CD set “What Matters Most” – please visit www.rabbihorowitz.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 845-352-7100 x 133.
About the Author: Rabbi Yakov Horowitz is founder and dean of Yeshiva Darchei Noam and founder and director of Agudath Israel's Project Y.E.S.
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The sage Hillel summarized the entire Torah by saying, “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn it.”
Sometimes it is hard to help people, and sometimes you can help people by just using whatever it is you have at the time – even an amazing fishing rod.
Musial told the taunted Jackie Robinson: “I want you to know that I’m not like many of the other guys on my team.”
Brooklyn resident David Siller, currently studying in Israel at Yeshivat Yesodei HaTorah in Beit Shemesh, was awarded a trophy for finishing 3rd in his age group (14-18) in a 5-kilometer race for the benefit of the Benjamin Children’s Library of Beit Shemesh.
Today is day six without a phone.
Besides for feeling slightly isolated, it’s not too bad.
I’ve been doing things that I know I would not be doing if my phone was sitting next to me, shiny screen beckoning.
Is anyone else alarmed by the way extended warranties are sold on just about anything and everything? It means one of two things – either someone has found a great way of getting consumers to part with more of their hard earned dollars or manufacturers have no faith in their own products. Neither of those options is particularly heartwarming.
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Let me begin by congratulating my dear machatunim, Soraya and Jay Nimaroff, on being the recipients of the Community Service Award at the Sderot Hesder Institutions 18th annual anniversary dinner.
Think of your issues this way: due to those different backgrounds, you have a “shovel” to deal with difficulties while he has a “spoon”.
Do you remember the good old days when kids were kids and there was never anything to worry about? Those days never really existed, but today there are issues kids worry about that weren’t issues for some adults. They include fear of bullying, natural disasters, divorce, and violence.
In Part I talked about celebrating 30 years of Regesh Family and Child Services providing services to children, teens and families. I shared the agency’s origin and the many lessons I have learned through this journey. As I mentioned, it is my hope that my experiences will add to your toolbox of life skills.
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These lines are written in loving memory of our dear father, Reb Shlomo Zev ben Reb Baruch Yehudah Nutovic, a”h, whose first yahrzeit is 7 Menachem Av. May the positive lessons learned from this essay be a zechus for his neshamah.
All responsible leaders in our community have roundly condemned the recent violence in Beit Shemesh and Meah Shearim.
A surefire way to gauge the generation in which a person was raised is to have him or her fill in the following sentence: Where were you when ?”
Baby Boomers would ask, “When President Kennedy was shot?” Thirtysomethings would respond, “When the space shuttle exploded?” Today’s teenagers would reply, “On 9/11?”
One week ago on my website I announced my intention to attend the next court appearance of a man who was arrested last year and is now standing trial on 10 felony charges of child abuse.
Dear Rabbi Horowitz:
We were taken aback when our 18-year-old son just called us from Eretz Yisrael (we live in Europe) and told us that he was coming home and wants to immediately go to work. He said that he is wasting his time in yeshiva, and just can’t take it anymore. He said that he will “run away from home” if we don’t allow him to go to work.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/getting-the-big-picture-2/2008/07/23/
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