Photo Credit: Jewish Press

It is not a simple challenge, especially during summer vacation: finding the right dosage of everything, knowing how to balance family and work, home and the outside world, children and WhatsApp.

The tribe of Re’uven and the tribe of Gad say to Moshe Rabbenu in this week’s parshah: “We will build sheepfolds here for our cattle, and cities for our little children.” Notice the order: First they build folds for their sheep, and only later cities for the children. Business first, and only then the family.


In Moshe Rabbenu’s answer to them the order is reversed: “Build you cities for your little children, and folds for your sheep.” First, take care of the children, and only later tend to the cattle.”

Of course, is not just stating the chronological order, but rather, it highlights priorities, and indicates value judgement. Rashi writes about this as follows: “They cared for their money more than they cared for their sons and daughters. Moshe told them: this is not right. Place importance with important things and give less importance to the less important things.”

And in fact, this is one of the main themes on the agenda of humanity till this very day: the combination and balancing between the two, the constant checking whether we confuse the means with the end.


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Sivan Rahav-Meir is a popular Channel 12 News anchor, the host of a weekly radio show on Galei Tzahal, a columnist for Yediot Aharonot, and the author of “#Parasha.” Every day she shares short Torah thoughts to over 100,000 Israelis – both observant and not – via Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp.