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Integrity!

Thursday, 14 February, 2019 - 10:04 pm

Raising five children, like living life, is complex, but a vital component throughout the process, is constancy.  Children need the integrity of consistency, but it’s hard for them to integrate this invaluable attribute, if they see their parents live capriciously. We are their role model and therefore must live with the standards we wish of them. I had the opportunity of visiting with Shoshana for a few hours this week and this was the theme throughout our conversations: integrity, integrity, integrity. Living with integrity is not just a bonus attribute to support wholesome living but it’s really at the core of all of life’s experiences.

In this week’s Torah portion, Tetzaveh, we read of the daily commandment “ The one lamb you shall offer up in the morning and the other lamb you shall offer up in the afternoon.”. The Midrashic sages debate the most important verse of the Torah. Is it the Shema Yisroel, the proclamation of, and belief in, G-d’s oneness? Is it to love your fellow as yourself? Is it the idea that G-d created every human in His image and should be treated with dignity? Yet, despite the importance of these concepts, Ben Pazi says that the verse commanding two daily offerings in the Holy Temple is most central, even more than those more popular ideas. The Midrash concludes that Ben Pazi is correct.  

What did Ben Pazi recognize that the other sages didn’t? It’s that Judaism without consistency is destined to failure.

Internalization, building a deep relationship with our Creator, is key and it’s impossible without a steady experience enabling its growth. Bringing bonus Musaf offerings, windfall spiritual highs, are awesome, but can only survive long-term, if they sit on the shoulders of a daily relationship with G-d. There’s no guarantee that holidays will be as super uplifting as we’d like or that our children will adhere to the values we impart to them, but at a minimum we should do our part of “walking the walk” with G-d and humanity, not just “talk the talk”.

In the words of a wise author “Consistency isn’t rocket science, it’s commitment”!

May G-d guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Moshiach speedily. May He protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!!

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