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Role Playing!

Friday, 25 May, 2018 - 9:01 am

The Sushi, Blintzes and Cheesecake were thoroughly enjoyed by the seventy-five souls who attended the Shavuot celebration. Our hearts were warmed by the morning Minyan’s all three days. Heaven was smiling when on Shabbos morning our quorum included a 14-year-old teenager from Sacajawea and a 92-year-old WW2 vet Davening together. Yet, the most memorable part of the holiday for me, was spending time with my Aba, as the kids call him “Zayde”, and his wife Leah. They are so much fun, so thoughtful and so energetic. We had many great conversations, including one about child rearing and things we could’ve both done/do better.

In this week’s Torah portion, Naso, we continue the conversation about the role each Levite family played in the Tabernacle. Levi had three sons, and each had a form of service:  The clan of Gershon was charged with the curtains of the Tabernacle and the veils of the enclosure; the clan of Merari was charged with the walls of the Tabernacle and the pillars of the enclosure; and the clan of Kehot carried the vessels used in the Tabernacle and the screen. Kehot, who was the middle brother, was given the most prestigious responsibility, yet, they all accepted G-d’s vision regarding service, encampment and prestige. We do ourselves a disservice when taking down the G-d given roles. Later, Korach tries just that and it fails miserably.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”. He was right. Every morning a new movement is invented to tell the Jew (and every other group on earth) what is in fashion, what is outdated, what parts of Judaism are still ok and what can be uttered and what can’t. I know people who are even scared to share Torah ideas for fear of how “open minded” people will respond. We need to get over it and remember that G-d gave each individual, each tribe, each nation their unique role and it should be celebrated. Some days, I’d love to be a Kohen, but I am not. Some days I am sure Merari wanted to be Gershon or Kehot, too bad, he wasn’t. We don’t always get to choose; some things G-d chooses for us. 

I can sing “If I were a rich man”, but I can’t lose sleep over it if I’m not!

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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