B’ha’alot’cha 5763-2003

"The Message of the Manna"

The Manna is the food from heaven that sustained the Jewish people for forty years while they wandered in the wilderness. Manna, in effect, represents the heavenly means of support that is provided to each household. The Malbim, Rabbi Meir Yehudah Leibush, cites seven important lessons to be gleaned from Manna. Ultimately, the lesson is that we must be the masters of our labors and our careers and not allow them to master us.

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Matot-Masei 5761-2001

"Setting Our Priorities Straight"

In parashat Matot we learn of the tribes of Reuben and Gad (later joined by half of Menashe) who choose to remain on the eastern side of the Jordan. Moses is concerned that they will not join in the battle to conquer the Holy Land. The tribes respond, "We will build pens for our livestock and cities for our small children," and of course they will send troops. Moses, however, corrects them, telling them that their children should come before their livestock. The value of human life is infinite and must always come first, even in a thoroughly materialistic generation such as the one in which we live.

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