Weekly Torah Commentary – Korach June 23, 2017

Torah reading:  Numbers 16 – 18

Haftorah reading: I Samuel 11:14 – 12:22

The Torah reading this week narrates the rebellion of Korach and his followers against the leadership of Moses.  In keeping with that account, the Haftorah reflects the same theme albeit in terms of the whole congregation of Israel.  It is especially interesting that it is Samuel, a descendant of Korach, who deals with the present situation in a vastly different manner than his ancestor.

From Israel’s earliest days, God had always provided the nation with a righteous leader – either a prophet or a judge, and it was God’s intent to continue to do so.  He reserved the position of King for Himself and rightly so.  Samuel understood this well and the thought of any ‘king’ over Israel other than the Holy One Himself was totally outside of Samuel’s understanding and thinking.

But the people wanted a king; they wanted to be like the other nations, not unique in their national character.  Samuel the prophet inquired of the LORD who allowed him to anoint Saul as king over Israel.

So all the people went to Gilgal.  There they made Saul king before the LORD in Gilgal; and there they slaughtered feast peace-offerings before the LORD; and there Saul, as well as all the men of Israel, rejoiced exceedingly.  I Sam. 11:15)

Saul

Over and over again, Samuel instructed the people that such a king must be different than the kings of other nations.  He himself must be subservient to God’s laws and be careful to promote God’s honor rather than his own.  He must be a servant to the people, not a master who rules arbitrarily.  He must guide Israel in the ways of the LORD. Saul did well as king for awhile, but the end of his story is tragic.

Samuel continually pleaded, argued and instructed the people to follow the LORD and to live according to His ways, but over and over again, they sought their own will and went astray.

Hidden in this account is a principle that we do well to learn.  Anytime we pursue and actively ‘make happen’ something that is not God’s will for us, tragedy of one sort or another follows.  I am reminded of a verse in the psalms:  He gave them their request but sent a wasting disease with it.  (Psalm 106:15)  When the children of Israel were in the desert, they frequently complained and begged Moses – and God – for what they did not have.  Their complaining was so persistent that at one point, God granted their request for meat by sending quail into the camp.  However, their reaction was not to thank God but to eat gluttonously until they made themselves sick.  It is that picture that I believe the psalmist had in mind when he penned psalm 106.

What does that say to us today?

We do not always know what to ask God for.  Truth be told, we may well pray misguided prayers more often than not.  We find it difficult to really trust that our Father in heaven does know what is best for us.  We have our plans; we have our ideas.  His plan is better every time.

Have you ever prayed and prayed and prayed for something in particular and after a while, God answers but once you have it, you think to yourself, ‘Why did I want this?’  It turns out not to be everything you thought it was going to be?  That is what the psalmist meant when he said, ‘He gave them what they asked for but sent a wasting disease with it.’

God is not unkind or cruel to do so.  He hears your petition and I believe He genuinely tries to get our attention, correct our thinking and steer us in a different direction.  But we are a stubborn people.  We get fixated on what we want and don’t hear that still small voice within saying, ‘Go this way instead.  It’s better.’

So when we don’t listen, He sometimes answers but with the answer comes conditions or results that we didn’t expect.  That’s exactly what happened when Israel demanded a king and it’s exactly what happens to us as well.

In Tune with Torah this week = Think back over your life. Can you think of times you prayed for something in particular and God didn’t give it to you? Later on, did you realize that your Father knew best and you wonder why you ever asked in the first place?  It became so obvious that what you thought you wanted would have ended in disaster.

Perhaps now you’ve been praying a long time for something your heart is set on.  Have you asked the LORD: Is this Your best for me?  If not, please change my heart and re-focus my attention.

Shabbat Shalom

 

 

Weekly Torah Commentary — Emor May 1, 2015

EMOR – Leviticus 21 – 24

As is often the case, the name of this week’s Torah reading is taken from a word in the very first verse: emor – “speak”. In fact, the act of speech appears three times in this verse:

And God said to Moshe: Speak to the kohanim, the sons of Aharon, and say to them: Let none [of you] defile himself for a dead person among his people (Vayikra 21:1).

There is nothing unusual in the verse that states that God spoke to Moshe; this is one of the more common phrases in the Torah. But the next two uses of the verb emor in this verse – translated here as “speak” and “say” – create an uncharacteristic passage.

One reason could be that the Torah is creating an emphasis that might otherwise have been absent. By doubling the use of the verb, perhaps the message is that Moshe is charged with speaking to the kohanim (priests) in a way that will be heard, so that the message is understood and internalized.

The noted commentator, Rashi, suggests that this verse implies the responsibility of adults towards children. Taken at face value, Rashi’s comment contains an uplifting message: Not only should adults take responsibility for themselves, they should invest in the next generation and guide the young and innocent away from sin. We might easily use this teaching as a springboard for a broader discussion concerning the importance of positive, proactive education and the need to take responsibility for the next generation.

However the Talmudic discussion actually stresses a far more ominous topic: Our verse is quoted in a passage that analyzes a number of cases in which an adult may be tempted to actually cause a child to sin. Far from an innocent or uplifting discussion of the virtues of religious education, the particular Talmudic passage we are referring to addresses adults who actively lead children to sin.

Causing someone to sin is akin to feeding them spiritual poison, and this behavior stains the soul of the instigator as well as the perpetrator – particularly when the transgression is committed by a young, unsuspecting and impressionable soul.

The conclusion we are forced to draw from a careful study of the first verse in Parshat Emor teaches responsibility: firstly, that we must educate the next generation, but equally important, it warns us against corrupting the next generation and causing our children to sin. This message is far more sobering for it brings into bold relief the issue of example. Do we tell our children ‘Do as I say, not as I do?’ or do we model for them the righteousness and integrity we want them to have in the future.

In Tune with Torah this week = setting a very high benchmark in our personal lives, mindful that as adults we are standard bearers. And the children are watching!

Shabbat Shalom

Weekly Torah Commentary – Chayah Sarah Nov. 13, 2014

NOTE: Though I wrote and hit the command to “Send” last Friday, for some reason last week’s commentary showed up today! I apologize for the delay. You get two this week!

CHAYAH SARAH
Genesis 23:1-25:18

This week’s reading deals with two major issues: the death and burial of Sarah, the wife of Abraham; and the search for a wife for Isaac. The events are covered in great detail, more so than many other events.

Certainly the acquisition of a burial plot for Sarah is of great significance for it becomes the first step in the acquisition of the land of Israel by Abraham and his descendants. Abraham purchased the field and the cave. When he takes possession of it, he establishes a foothold in the promised Land.

Next we turn to the process of finding a bride for Isaac. At first glance it seems that the amount of detail is disproportional but then again, the extensive detail indicates the importance of this event.

And Abraham said to the oldest servant of his house, who ruled over all that he had, “Put, I beg you, your hand under my thigh. And I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that you shall not take a wife for my son of the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I live. But you shall go to my country, and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac.” (Genesis 24:2-4)

Eliezer, the servant, was Abraham’s trusted companion, the man whom Abraham had earlier imagined would perhaps one day be his heir. (Gen. 15:2-3)

And the servant took ten of his master’s camels…And he said, “O Lord God of my master Abraham, I beseech you, send me good speed this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham…” And she said, “Drink, my lord;” and she hurried, and let down her water jar upon her hand, and gave him drink…
And the man, wondering at her, held his peace, to see whether the Lord had made his journey successful or not. And it came to pass, as the camels finished drinking, that the man took a golden ear ring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold…And the man bowed down his head, and worshiped the Lord. And he said, “Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who has not left my master destitute of his mercy and his truth; As for me, the Lord has guided me in the way to the house of my master’s brothers…”

And after entering the house of Laban, Rebecca’s father, Eliezer explains his mission:

And he said, “I am Abraham’s servant…”

After relating what Abraham had commanded him to do, “…they called Rebecca, and said to her, “Will you go with this man?…..And they sent Rebecca their sister, and her nurse away, and Abraham’s servant, and his men… And Rebecca arose, and her maids, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man; and the servant took Rebecca, and went his way…And Rebecca lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. For she had said to the servant, “What man is this who walks in the field to meet us?” And the servant said, “It is my master.” Therefore she took a veil, and covered herself.

Rebecca is aware that Isaac, and not Eliezer, is the master of the house, even before ever seeing Isaac. Yet, Eliezer seems so impressive. Only in comparison to Isaac is Eliezer’s stature reduced in her eyes.

To become Abraham’s “right hand man”, this servant must have been an extremely impressive individual. He had to have possessed the qualities of loyalty, integrity, reliability, diligence and humility. WE see all of these at work as Eliezer completes his journey.

Eliezer arrives just before sunset, yet he asks God to “work things out” before the day is done. This shows Eliezer’s incredible trust in God. What was the source of this trust? He was a servant of Abraham. He had seen Abraham. He learned from the Father of Faith how to trust God for what was needed.

Sometimes we forget the impact our personal faith can have on those around us. Your individual trust and confidence in God is a living example to your family and your friends. As Abraham’s faith ‘rubbed off’ on Eliezer, so is ours supposed to do the same. In the words of one teacher, “Faith is better caught than taught!”

In Tune with Torah this week = Faith is personal but it is also communal. Your faith and mine can have a profound effect on those around us IF we are careful to speak words that express FAITH rather than doubt or anxiety. An act of gratitude is intrinsically related to maintaining a strong faith. As we recall and give thanks for all of God’s past blessings, we dispose our heart to trust Him for the future; in so doing, we set an example to those around us.

Shabbat Shalom

Weekly Torah Commentary — Noah October 24, 2014

Noach  Genesis 6:9-11:32

This week’s reading brings up an extremely relevant issue: the relationship of individual and collective responsibility in a nation.

Our western society emphasizes individual rights while nations like Russia and China accord much more weight to the ‘national interest’ or national priorities over the individual.

The Torah presents a delicate balance between both.  Individual responsibility is given equal prominence with national or collective responsibility.  In simple words, the nation is only as strong as its individual members.  One of Judaism’s sages, Hillel, put it this way:

“If I am not for myself, who will be? (personal responsibiity) But if I am only for myself, what am I?” (communal responsibility).

NoahNow let’s look at this concept with regard to the Torah reading this week.  It begins with the flood of Noah’s day and ends with the attempt to build the Tower of Babel.  If we simply read without ‘connecting the dots’, it would appear that these events have nothing in common.  The failures of Noah’s generation are detailed for us: “The world was corrupt before God, and the land was filled with violence. God saw the world, and it was corrupted. All flesh had perverted its way on the earth” (Gen. 6: 11-12). Wickedness, violence, corruption, perversion: the hallmarks of national moral failure.

By contrast, the description of Babel seems enviable. “The entire earth had one language and a common speech” (11: 1). The events in Noah’s day were about destruction; in Babel the focus is on construction. Sin in that society is not described. Yet there certainly was something unpleasing to God, given the outcome of the story.

Both the Flood and the Tower of Babel are rooted in actual historical events.  Despite the attempts of liberal modernists to mythologize the Bible, excavations at Shurrupak, Kish, Uruk and Ur – Abraham’s birthplace – reveal evidence of clay flood deposits. Likewise the historian, Herodotus, tells of the sacred enclosure of Babylon, at the centre of which was a ziqqurat or Tower of seven stories, 300 feet high and many references have been found in the literature of the time that speak of such towers “reaching heaven.”

But the Torah is much more than history. The events contained therein express a profound moral, social and spiritual truth about humanity. The Flood tells us what happens to civilization when individuals rule and there is no collective and enforced moral code. Babel tells us what happens when national agenda sacrifices individuals for its own ends.

Are we not watching – in our very own day – the same kind of disintegration as that of Noah’s society: When there is no rule of law to constrain individuals, the world is filled with violence.

Babel demonstrates the opposite.  The practice of the neo-Assyrians of that day was to impose their own language on any and every people that they conquered.

The reference seems to be to the imperial practice of the neo-Assyrians, of imposing their own language on the peoples they conquered. One inscription of the time records that Ashurbanipal II “made the totality of all peoples speak one speech.” The neo-Assyrians asserted their supremacy by insisting that their language was the only one to be used by the nations and populations they had defeated. Babel, like Egypt would be later, represents nations or empires that subjugate entire populations, destroying their national identities and tradtional freedoms.  (Sound familiar???)

With this in mind let’s take a second look at this week’s reading.

Genesis 10 describes the division of humanity into seventy nations and seventy languages. Genesis 11 tells of how one imperial power conquered smaller nations and imposed their language and culture on them, refusing to respect the integrity of each nation and each individual. When at the end of the Babel story God “confuses the language” of the builders, He is not creating a new state of affairs but actually restoring the old.

Therefore we can see that the story of Babel clarifies the dangers of crushing individuality – the individuality of the seventy cultures described in Genesis 10.  When the rule of law is used to suppress individuals and their distinctive languages and traditions, this is wrong.

So the Flood and the Tower of Babel, though apparently opposites, are actually intimately connected. In fact, the entire Torah portion this week is a brilliant study in the human condition. There are cultures who exalt individual rights and there are others who place the national interest above the individual. Both will ultimately fail.  The first will lead to chaos and violence while the second will pave the way for oppression and tyranny.

Recognizing this, it will come as no surprise that after the two great failures of the Flood and the Tower of Babel, in next week’s Torah portion, we are introduced to Abraham who was called on to create a new form of social order that would give equal honor and attention to the individual as well as to the nation; to personal responsibility as well as to the common good. That remains the unique and special gift of the Scriptures to the world.

In Tune with Torah this week = the essence of the message is balance.  While God has endowed each human being with ‘certain inalienable rights’, with them comes a ‘certain inalienable’ responsibility to one’s fellow man.  Learning to balance the two appropriately may be our most challenging quest, particularly at this crucial moment of history.

Shabbat Shalom

Weekly Torah Commentary — Beresheit/ Genesis October 17, 2014

Genesis 1:1 – 6:8

In less than a single 24 hour day, humanity fell from grace to disgrace, from innocent utopia to banishment; from sheltered existence to the harsh grind of reality.

Genesis 2: 16-17 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Notice that this commandment was addressed to ‘the man’, to Adam. Eve (Chavah in Hebrew) had not yet been created. Therefore, it was Adam who had to have related God’s command to Eve about the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Now notice what God said: ‘…you shall not eat…” God did not say ‘you shall not touch…’ However, it’s not far fetched to assume that touching it would greatly increase the likelihood of plucking it from the tree and eating it!

Genesis 3:1-5  Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

There were two trees in the Garden of Eden that stood apart from the rest of the trees, shrubs, plants and herbs: the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life.

There was no prohibition against eating from the Tree of Life nor from any other form of vegetation in that garden paradise.  God is Life, the Author and Giver of Life.  The Torah is also called the Tree of Life.  To feed on the Words and Wisdom of God on a daily basis is to enjoy true Life.  That was the menu God gave to Adam and Eve in the Garden and it would have yielded an eternal, perfect life.

The one thing – the ONE SIMPLE restriction – forbade them to eat of the knowledge of good and evil.  You would think that in a perfect and abundant atmosphere such as they were in, it would be a simple thing to avoid just one tree!

But something much bigger was at stake.

Knowledge, like many things in life, can be wonderful; and it can also be deadly.  Great knowledge can lead to great pride and arrogance which destroys a relationship with God; and indeed, often with others as well.

To “know” God and to “know” His Word is first and foremost a matter of the heart and the spirit.  Intellectual knowledge, represented in the Garden of Eden by the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, is a poor substitute for ‘knowing’ Him, the Holy One of Israel, the Almighty, Everlasting One; the One Whose will has always been to dwell among His people.

Don’t misunderstand me; I am not anti-intellectual; university degrees are filed in my desk drawer.

But I am very much against knowledge for knowledge’s sake rather than for the purpose of deepening a personal, vibrant and growing relationship with Avinu Malkeinu, our Father, our King.

At Sinai, it was not a university that the God of Israel established; but a community of people whose destiny was to become a living sanctuary, a breathing Temple of His presence in this earth through an ever growing relationship with Him.

When Eve took that first bite and then enticed Adam to follow her example, intellectual reasoning based on appearance had its first devastating conflict with a loving Father Whose desire was intimate relationship: the fruit of the Tree of LIFE.

In Tune with Torah this week = As we begin a new cycle of studying God’s Torah, let us set our intent correctly.  Let each week’s reading and commentary be as fruit plucked from the Tree of Life creating in our souls a deeper hunger for God’s presence and a deeper passion to order our lives according to His ways.

Shabbat Shalom

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IN TUNE WITH TORAH – the book, birthed from this blog, contains a year’s worth of Torah meditations from past year’s postings,  is available on Amazon.com

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InTune

 

Weekly Torah Commentary — V’etchanan August 8, 2014

Deuteronomy/Devarim 3:23-7:11

As we plunge a bit further in to the Book of Deuteronomy, we see Moses reminding the children of Israel of their distinct and unusual calling:

Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived? Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes? (Deut. 4: 32-34)

As these words are being recorded, the children of Israel have not yet entered their own land. They are not yet a sovereign nation, except in vision. Yet Moses wanted to impress on their collective psyche the certainty that they were a people unlike any other nation. God Himself had called them to greatness and their experience at Sinai was unique in world history.

Moses repeats the critically important passage that has become the primary expression of Judaism’s faith: “Hear (listen) O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You are to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

In the continuing narrative he will remind them, not once but twice that they must teach their children what was transmitted at Sinai. Furthermore, he declares their eternal mission statement in no uncertain words: “You are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.” (Deut. 7: 6)

The next line is very curious:

The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you are the fewest of all peoples. (Deut. 7: 7)

Now hold on! Didn’t God promise Abraham that his children would be as numerous as the stars of the sky? And the grains of sand on the seashore? And didn’t Moses just say a few verses earlier: “The LORD your God has increased your numbers so that today you are as numerous as the stars in the sky” (Deut. 1: 10)?

What gives here? How can he now declare that they are the “fewest of all peoples”?

Yes, in fact the children of Israel were far more numerous now than they used to be. When they descended to Egype, they were a company of seventy souls; a single family. Now they are a nation of twelve tribes!

Yet, compared to other nations of the world, they are still pretty small and he drives the point home by listing the nations they would have to overcome when they entered the Land: “…the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you …” (7:1). Israel was not only smaller than the great empires of that day, they were even small compared to the nations immediately in front of them.

Wasn’t that discouraging? Why would Moses say such a thing? Because he knew them so well. Look at this verse: “You may say to yourselves, “These nations are stronger than we are. How can we drive them out?” Now here’s the salient point: “But do not be afraid of them; remember well what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt. (Deut. 7: 17-18) Moses wanted to impress upon them that the fear that had plagued them in earlier situations in the desert must not plague them when they enter the Land.

In God’s eternal wisom, He decreed that Israel would be the smallest of nations for a reason that speaks directly to its divine calling. Israel is to show the rest of the world that a people does not have to be numerous in order to be great. Israel’s unique history has demonstrated over and over again that by faith in the Holy One who chose them and delivered them from Egypt, they do not need large numbers to conquer their enemies. Victory will come “‘Not by might nor by power, but by My spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” (Zech. 4:6)

This proclamation of Moses has been fleshed out in Israel’s history to this very day. It is a nation who by being small, becomes a unique and abiding testimony to the One Who is greatest of all. It is a fact that Jews have impacted the world in a way that is completely out of proportion to their numbers. In science, in medicine, in literature, in music, in technology Jews have excelled. But it is not for themselves; it is because this people was chosen to take responsibility, to make a difference in the lives of others, to contribute significantly to the betterment of this world; ultimately, to demonstrate the presence of God to a floundering world.

The anthropologist Margaret Mead once said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Gandhi said: “A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.”

This concept is embedded in the Jewish consciousness. One person, one small group, can change the world. Israel is called to model that; it is part of our calling to be a ‘light to the nations’. But understand this: it was never intended as a private possession of the Jews, unavailable to the rest of the world. It’s our job to demonstrate it; it’s the job of the rest of the nations to follow the example.

In Tune with Torah this week = one person can change history. How are YOU doing?

I look forward to your comments.

Shabbat shalom

Weekly Torah Commentary — Massei July 25, 2014

Massei Bamidbar/Numbers 33 – 36

This Shabbat we read the very last portion in the book of Bamidbar/Numbers. Entitled “Massei”, it recounts the journeys of the children of Israel over the forty years they lived in the desert. Did you know there were forty-two locations where they stopped? In modern terms we might describe that as moving forty-two times in forty years!

But then, isn’t LIFE a journey for each of us? We may not physically change our geographic location as often as the Israelites did, but change we do! Whether we are aware of it or not, every day we change just a bit.

Life is indeed a journey. We experience challenges and heartaches, joyful times and unique moments, all of which contribute to the fabric of our days. The highway of life is not always smooth; occasionally there are potholes; sometimes we travel along the edge of a physical or emotional cliff. At other times, the seas of life are calm and beautiful and we want that day to last forever.

Properly understood, our challenges are blessings in disguise; they are opportunities. Obstacles enable us to taste the sweetness of victory. Weaknesses are stepping stones to new strengths and fears are open doors to deeper and stronger faith. For life is also like a magnificent musical score just waiting to be played. With every step forward in our personal growth, the sound of the music swells.

Along our journey we will be confronted with many situations, some will be filled with joy, and some will be filled with heartache. How we react to what we are faced with determines what kind of outcome the rest of our journey through life will be like.

Each day can be described as a ‘stop’ along the way, a new ‘location’. And indeed it is for we will never again be younger than we are today and yesterday’s experiences caused us to wake up this morning ever so slightly different than we were 24 hours ago. What will we do in this new ‘location’? We’ve ‘moved’ again. What’s next?

Time is a relentless master; it waits for no one, have you noticed? If we have invested previous stops in our journey focusing on the negative and the painful, we missed out on some precious lessons God intended for us. We can’t go back to the past, but in this new ‘location’,we can certainly learn from our mistakes and move on because life is not a destination; it’s a journey. And it is the sum total of all our experiences and our actions or reactions related to them that ultimately make us who we are.

The people whose journey intersects with ours are people we were destined to meet. Everyone comes into our lives for one reason or another. Some become lifelong friends; others stay awhile and move on. We may not understand how but every person who crosses our path is put there for a purpose: to help us become the best we can be. Sometimes – in fact, frequently – the passing visitor to our life’s journey often makes a lasting impression; has an impact that changes us in a profound way. What a blessing that is.

But let’s turn it around. As a passing visitor to someone else’s journey, or a long time friend, or a family member, what impact are you having on others? Is someone’s life better just because your life journey and theirs has intersected? For a day? For a month? For years? Even lifelong? Are they urged on to become the best person they can be because of your influence on their journey?

Sometimes all it takes is one special person to help us discover a whole different person inside us that we never knew existed. And the rest of our days are richer because of it. And stronger compared to the person you were.

In Tune with Torah this week = reflecting on the journey of our own life thus far, stop and think of various people whose impact on you has helped you become a better person. Thank God for those people, past and present and if it’s within your ability to do so, make a call, write a note, or send an email and convey your ‘Thank you’. No human being has ever overdosed on gratitude!

Shabbat Shalom