Category: problem solving

LET EVERYONE SHINE…

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...

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WHAT’S THE USE OF COMPLAINING?

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...

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A STUBBORN HEART…

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....

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FREE WILL…

VA-ERA — Try telling a teacher, parent, or friend that you just HAD to do something they deem inappropriate. Nine times out of ten, the response will be “That’s ridiculous! Nobody can force you to do something!” We have a deep belief in, and awareness of, our freedom to choose when making decisions. In Va’era, this week’s Torah portion, God informs Moses that He will harden Pharoah’s heart and Pharoah will refuse to release the Jews from captivity. Pharoah’s heart is ‘artificially’ hardened, but the rest of us are in fact free to choose between right and wrong. The contrast is deliberate. Throughout life, one encounters decisions. As we grow, the...

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MINDING YOUR OWN BUSINESS VS INTERVENING – FINDING THE CORRECT BALANCE…

TORAH PORTION: SHEMOT Sometimes we see things, whether at work or at school, and we know they are wrong.  But the question for us is to decide when to intervene.  We all make decisions regarding when it’s “just not our business” and when it would be wrong not to say something.  But knowing which is which is difficult.  If we see someone helpless being demeaned, it’s important to step in and help out.  Whether acting discreetly or out in the open is a decision we will have to make in each situation. In our Torah parsha this week, Moses...

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