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Weekend Gossip!

Thursday, 28 February, 2019 - 9:59 pm

Montanans are not ones to complain about inclement weather, but the past couple of weeks has changed the rules of the game and almost everyone I’ve run into is basically saying the words I keep thinking “enough is enough”. To paraphrase from Tevya on Fiddler on the Roof “I know Montana is Your chosen State but could You choose someplace else once in a while”. Naturally, the weather brings people together. We are more understanding of canceled appointments, we are more thoughtful about a car or person at the side of the road, we are more forgiving to the post office who won't deliver to some areas and when my SUV was stuck, it didn’t take eight minutes before two friends immediately came to pull me out.

This week’s Torah portion, Vayak'hel, begins with these words “Moses called the whole community of the children of Israel to assemble, and he said to them: "These are the things that the Lord commanded to make. Six days work may be done, but on the seventh day you shall have sanctity, a day of complete rest to the Lord…You shall not kindle fire in any of your dwelling places on the Sabbath day." On the first post-Egypt Yom Kippur, Moses descends the Mountain with the Second Tables and G-d’s forgiveness, and the next morning he gathers the people, commands them to build a Tabernacle and that Shabbos ingenuity, deciphered as the 39 forms of creativity including lighting fires, is prohibited, even when used in service of G-d.

To me the verse has an additional meaning: to bring people together, to “assemble the children of Israel”, you need a Moses, an individual who is principled and firm, yet loving and devoted to the wellbeing of his people above all. Moses reminds them that each Jew needs a day of rest, a Shabbos, and on that day, we cannot ignite fire, we can’t be engulfed in divisive fiery rhetoric, gossip or screaming matches. Moses teaches us that in life, when trying to build our own internal Tabernacle, in our body, our home, our workplace, we need to introduce a peaceful experience of rest that is free of all types of “fire”. For that to happen we each need a Moses that can guide us to be disciplined, humble and focused on the task at hand without getting caught up in the “saga of the day”.

I have a Moses, do you?

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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