Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.
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.
* * * * * * * * * *
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.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
“You want to know what this wine looked like, which wine King David drank, white or red…. We can see if it’s red or white, strong or weak.”
I should be pursuing plateaus of pure and holy, but I’m busy delving and developing palatable palates instead.
If we truly honor the other participants in a conversation, we can support, empathize with, and even celebrate their feelings.
I witnessed the true strength of Am Yisrael during those few days.
“There are no people on earth as foolish as you who deny the Living God.”
She writes intuitively, freely, and only afterwards understands the meaning of what she has written.
“I knew it was a great idea, a win-win situation for everyone,” said Burstein.
Not knowing any better, I assumed that Molly and her mother must be voracious readers.
“I would really love my mother-in-law …if she weren’t my mother-in-law.”
For each weekly reading, Rabbi Grysman begins with a synopsis of the Torah portion, followed by a focus on a major issue.
It’s Rosh Hashanah. A new year. Time for a fresh start. Time for a new slate. Time for change.
Governor Rick Scott visited North Miami Beach/Aventura on the morning of Wednesday, September 17.
While the cost per student is higher than mainstream schools, Metzuyan Academy ESE is a priceless educational opportunity for children with special needs in South Florida.
Those of us familiar with the do’s and don’ts of accepted practice in the mental health profession saw similar blaring warning lights in our minds, as should have occurred when the facts were made public regarding the accusations against Nehemia Weberman. This case may very well be our community’s most important abuse trial during our lifetimes. It is imperative that we have a huge turnout in support of the victim, a courageous young lady who, may she be gezunt andge’bentched, is determined to see this through to the end so others won’t suffer like she did.
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/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: