VA-YAK HEL / PEKUDEI — As parents, we all know how much work goes into running a household. Nothing happens by itself; someone must do the dishes, make lunches, drive carpool, go shopping, etc. Children need to have the confidence that they’re cared for, but they should eventually learn about the efforts involved and what they can do to pitch in. How do we balance the two ideals? In our Portion, the Jewish people constructed the Sanctuary (Mishkan). All members of the community were required to do their part, commensurate with their abilities. Whether the contribution took the form...Read More
KI TISSA — Our lives are full of commitments, responsibilities, school, and work. Often we are caught up in the demands of our lives and easily forget to focus on what is most important to us: our families and our “inner selves”. When the pressure of our daily life takes us over without a break, difficulties often eventually strike. Thousands of years ago, before the Torah, time was broken only into months by the moon. The Torah introduced the concept of weeks for the first time in history. Not only did the Torah break time into weeks, it also...Read More
TETZAVEH — We all have talents and abilities, as do our siblings and friends. At times we have difficulty recognizing a sister’s talents; at other times we may be jealous of a sibling’s unique capabilities. We must develop the confidence in our own roles to the point that we can let our brothers and sisters shine. This week’s Torah portion teaches us about the appointment of Aaron as High Priest and of his descendants as priests forever. This is a permanent and dramatic role that is being granted to Aaron and his family. Moses, who spent his life fighting...Read More
TERUMAH — The old adage says there’s no place like home. And it’s true, that there’s no place like home to come to at an end of a tiring work day, a business trip, or a vacation. When children have had strange and sometimes frightening experiences or an exhausting day, it’s so comforting to come home to mom and dad and snuggle up in one’s very own bed. This week’s parsha is about building a sanctuary, a home for God. A sanctuary is a holy place where God will meet with human beings. God’s home is a beautiful place, made with precious...Read More
TERUMAH — Children often complain about homework and chores. Too much of the time they do these things unwillingly, grudgingly. Parents need to coax, chide and threaten before their child’s responsibilities are complete. Moaning and groaning ensue. In the end, most parents see to it that children learn to be responsible, but they are baffled about how to encourage a better attitude in them. In this week’s Torah portion, the Israelites offer materials and skills to build the sanctuary. However, not everyone has to give, only “everyone whose heart makes him willing”. The people of Israel ultimately give freely...Read More
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