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Parasha Insights

ARE YOU GREEDY FOR MORE?

Physics Teacher: You students need to look in your books. You need to be attentive so you can really learn and achieve. Isaac Newton was sitting under a tree when an apple fell on his head and he discovered gravity. Because he was attentive. Not like your kids!”

Student: “Yes sir, if he had been sitting in class looking at books like us, he wouldn’t have discovered anything.”

There is a Midrash on this weeks Torah portion Yitro, that tells us about Moses’ children.

When Moses asked Yitro for the hand of his daughter Zipporah, Yitro said: “Commit to one thing that I ask of you, and then you can have her as a wife.” Moshe asked, “What is it?”

Yitro replied, “The son born first… Read More »

HOW MUCH DO YOU CARE?

We do not care how much you know until we know how much you care.

The opening of our portion Beshalach related how Pharaoh had a change of heart right after he let the Jewish people go. "He said to the Children of Israel: They are lost in the land, the desert closed in on them."

Yonatan ben Uziel was one of the 80 sages who studied under Hillel the Elder during the century before the destruction of the Second Temple. He is the author of Targum Yonatan, an Aramaic translation and elucidation of the Torah, and a book of Kabbalah known as Megadnim. The Talmud describes his holiness by saying that when he studied Torah, any bird that flew over him was “burnt up.”

The Targum Yonatan interprets the verse literally.… Read More »

GRATITUDE FOR REBELLIOUS CHILDREN?

A couple had two little boys, ages 8 and 10, who were excessively mischievous. They were always getting into trouble and their parents knew that, if any mischief occurred in their town, their sons were probably involved.

The boys' mother heard that a Rabbi in town had been successful in disciplining children, so she asked if he would speak with her boys. The Rabbi agreed but asked to see them individually. So the mother sent her 8-year-old first, in the morning, with the older boy to see the grand rabbi in the afternoon.

The great rabbi, a huge man with a booming voice, sat the younger boy down and asked him sternly, "Where is G-d?”

The boy's mouth dropped open, but he made no response, sitting there with his mouth hanging… Read More »

WHAT IS SIGNIFICANT IN YOUR LIFE?

The patient tells the doctor after he took care of him from a potentially serious situation: Since we have become such close friends, I will not pay you. I don’t want to insult you by offering payment. But I want you to know, that as a sign of deep gratitude, I did put you in my will for after my death.

“That is so kind of you,” said the doctor. “But give me that prescription I just gave you; I’d like to make a little change in it.”

The Baal Shem Tov once said: “A soul comes down for 70-80 years just to do a favor to another Jew—a material favor, or a spiritual favor.”

Does this make sense? A life of 80 years is long, tedious, painful, exhausting, and packed with action. The person… Read More »

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