BESHALACH — Woody Allen has said that 90% of life is showing up. Maybe his number is too high but being willing to get involved, to step out, to show up, to make the phone call, to make the appointment, to introduce yourself, can bring outsized results. Taking the initiative can give you momentum to carry you to your goals. In our parsha this week the Israelites left Egypt and were cornered at the sea by on-rushing Egyptians. The Israelites were terrified and about to give up hope. The only one who had the courage to walk into the sea...Read More
BESHALACH — “This is boring!” “When are we going to get there?” “He has more toys than I do!” Children can get into the habit of complaining and whining again and again. They often seem not to notice their many gifts and blessings and simply complain as if they live a life of hardship and deprivation, despite how much they have. In this week’s Torah portion, the children of Israel do likewise. After passing through the Red Sea and arriving safely in the wilderness, the first thing they do is whine. “We don’t have any food or water!” “We’re...Read More
BESHALACH — What gives us our sense of value? Is it our own accomplishments or others recognizing that we’ve achieved success? Is it possible to be humble and self-confident at the same time? We can learn an important message from Moses. In this week’s portion, his authority was challenged by disgruntled members of the Jewish nation. Moses was well aware of his special relationship with God and the responsibility he carried as leader of the nation. Nonetheless, he truly did not view those achievements as reason for arrogance. Moses was a confident leader but a humble man, recognizing that...Read More
BO — All of us become stubborn at times. We don’t want to listen to what others are telling us about ourselves. It’s hard to change and we resist. None of us want to listen to difficult truths. Likewise with Pharoah, the leader of Egypt, in our Biblical portion. He didn’t want to listen to Moses. He didn’t want to let the Israelites go. He hardened his heart, so plague after plague ensued. When we refuse to listen, life becomes harder. We become “plagued” with problems. But we can minimize stubbornness in ourselves and our children. Gentleness is the key....Read More
BO — There are certain stories we tell our children again and again — stories of our own growing up and how we came to be who we are and do what we do. Stories that our parents taught us, stories that often include immigration and making it in America, as well as how life used to be in the “olden” days, feed our children’s imagination, giving them a sense of who they are in the world as well as resources with which to face their own daily struggles. Those stories are telling (so to speak!) what we want...Read More
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