Friday, February 13, 2015

Mishpatim Text Message

Parashat Mishpatim (these are the laws)

This section holds many rules and laws that were given to the People of Israel together with the 10 commandments.
It should not surprise us if we find many similarities with other ancient laws, such as the Hammurabi Code (which came before the time of the Torah).
Our sages tell us "Derech Eretz kadma laTorah." Being a good human being, a person who respects the civil laws comes before the Torah.
There were important people before the Torah was received - Adam, Noah, Shem, Ever, Chanoch - who contributed to preparing the ground for the revelation in Mount Sinai.
If we find the way to conduct ourselves correctly, it is going to be easier to receive the Torah and its laws.

In memory of my beloved mother and teacher Miriam Rachel bat Israel Itzchak Z"L

Monday, February 9, 2015

Yitro Text message

Parashat Yitro

This week, we read some verses that can teach us a great lesson.
Exodus 18:5 and Jethro, "Moses' father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife unto Moses into the wilderness where he was encamped, at the mount of Gd:
and he said unto Moses, I, thy father-in-law Jethro, am come unto thee, and thy wife, and her two sons with her.
And Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, and did obeisance, and kissed him."
 The first thing many of us may do after a long time without seeing our kids would be to kiss and hug them. And that is correct.
Moses teaches us we should not forget the elders. If we show respect to them, if we take care of them, our kids will do the same with us as we grow older.
In memory of my beloved mother and teacher Miriam Rachel bat Israel Itzchak Z"L

Beshalach Text message

Parashat Beshalach (When Pharaoh sent out the people)

The Midrash tells us a very interesting nuance to the crossing of the Red Sea.
When Moses lifted his rod, nothing happened. He tries again and again, and nothing. Panic. Moses seems to be powerless. Suddenly, out of the crowd, comes Nachshon ben Aminadav. To the astonishment of the people, Nachshon jumps into the water. The Red Sea opens.
Nachshon understood that up to this point, all the redemption was performed by G-d. Moses was following G-d's commandments; G-d sent the plagues to Egypt. It was time for human beings to become partners of G-d in the redemption process.
Today it is our time to jump and take the plunge.
In memory of my beloved mother and teacher Miriam Rachel bat Israel Itzchak Z"L