Please enable JavaScript in your browser to experience all the custom features of our site.

RabbiHorowitz.com
Please Use Our New Website
still under constructions
to purchase safety books and educational materials
https://thebrightbeginnings.com

Mr. Harry Skydell, Chairman
Mr. Mark Karasick, Vice Chairman
Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, Director
Rabbi Avrohom M. Gluck, Director of Operations
The first 1000 members will have a chance to win a
16 GB
iPod
touch
with Rabbi Horowitz audio

Membership Benefits:

  • Save articles to your favorites folder.
  • Save and print selected articles in a PDF journal.
  • Receive emails containing the latest comments on your favorite articles.
  • Mark articles as "READ".
  • More member features coming soon...

Raffle Rules:

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. To enter, complete the signup form and join as a member. Incomplete entries will be disqualified. All entries shall become the property of CJFL. CJFL is not responsible for lost, misdirected or delayed entries.

The contest is open to the general public. Members need to be at least 18 years old. Identification must be produced on request. Employees of CJFL, its raffle sponsor, advertising and promotional agencies and their respective affiliates and associates and such employees' immediate family members and persons with whom such employees are domiciled are excluded from this raffle. ALL PREVIOUSLY REGISTERED MEMBERS WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY ENTERED INTO THIS RAFFLE. The prize is not redeemable in cash and must be accepted as awarded. Decisions of the raffle judges are final - no substitutions will be available. By claiming the prize, the winner authorizes the use, without additional compensation of his or her name and/or likeness (first initial and last name) and municipality of residence for promotion and/or advertising purposes in any manner and in any medium (including without limitation, radio broadcasts, newspapers and other publications and in television or film releases, slides, videotape, distribution over the internet and picture date storage) which CJFL may deem appropriate. In accepting the prize, the winner, acknowledges that CJFL may not be held liable for any loss, damages or injury associated with accepting or using this prize. CJFL retains the rights, in its absolute and sole discretion, to make substitutions of equivalent kind or approximate value in the event of the unavailability of any prize or component of the prize for any reason whatsoever. This contest is subject to all federal, provincial and municipal laws. CJFL reserves the right to withdraw or terminate this raffle at any time without prior notice. One entry per person.


Parshas Bamidbar
by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

Not Rated Yet   |   Viewed 2849 times since 12/19/06   |   0 Comments
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size    [ Change Font Size ] Email This Article to a Friend
   

12/19/06

A Torah Thought for Teens – Parshas Bamidbar

“B’shlosha devarim nitnah Torah – b’aish, bamayim, u’bmidbar” (Midrash Bamidbar Rabbah, 1:7)

This is the lashon (text) of an interesting Midrash in this week’s parsha. It relates that there were three elements associated with the giving of the Torah to the B’nei Yisroel – fire, water, and [the sands of] the Desert.

Lightning and flashes of fire were in the air when Moshe received the Torah (Shmos 19), the clouds dripped water while the Jews were at Mount Sinai (Shoftim 5), and the parsha begins this week by describing the setting for Kabbolas HaTorah – in the Desert (Bamidbar 1:1).

Many commentaries attempt to explain the deeper meaning found in the cryptic Midrash that enumerates these three elements. What is the message to be extracted from the Midrash?

A POWERFUL INSIGHT

Rabbi Meir Shapiro z’tl., the Lubliner Rov, explains the Midrash and offers a powerful insight into our obligation to serve Hashem at all times. He maintains that the Torah is informing us that we must maintain our eternal commitment to the values and lessons of the Torah – regardless of the setting. Fire, like heat, always rises to a higher plane. Regardless of the direction in which a match is turned, the flame always rises. Water, on the other hand, is pulled downward by gravity and always flows to the lowest possible point.

The Lubliner Rov comments that these diametrically opposed elements, fire and water, represent the up-and-down phases in the human experience, while the desert represents the love that the B’nei Yisroel displayed to Hashem – following Him in the harsh, unforgiving desert with pure faith that our needs would be met.

UPS AND DOWNS

Sometimes we are on the rise, and everything we touch seems to turn to gold (similar to the flames of a fire which always rise). There are darker periods where we seem to be in a downward spiral (like water which flows unchecked in a downhill direction.). The Midrash is informing us that during these two diametrically opposed phases – success and failure – we must maintain our commitment to Hashem and His Holy Torah.

It is my strong belief that there are no blessings without challenges and no challenges without opportunities. When Hashem gives us material blessings, we have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits associated with comfort and financial peace of mind. Along with success, however, come the temptations and challenges. Will we maintain our compassion as our quality of life improves? How will our success affect our dealings with those less fortunate ones among us? How will this impact our morals and value system?

Challenges and the difficulties we confront in life bring with them are certainly fraught with danger – but at the same time, rich with opportunity.

“ADVERSITY INTRODUCES A MAN TO HIMSELF”

This profound quote, “Adversity introduces a man to himself,” is one of my favorites. It reinforces the notion that our challenges – and how we respond to them – are an integral component of our persona.

The inevitable bumps in our lives are very challenging – in so many ways. However, there are great opportunities for growth during these seemingly dark periods in our lives. Challenges help us find our inner strength, clarify our priorities, and force us to focus on what is truly important – ‘What Matters Most’ to us.

TORAH GIANTS

Think for a moment of the names of our greatest treasures – the leaders who illuminated our collective eyes to the beauty of Torah. Rashi. The Ba’alei Tosfos. The Rambam. The time period of 800-900 years ago was a phenomenal growth period for the qualitative and quantitative growth of Torah.

Looking at the monumental accomplishments of the Gedolim (sages) of that time, one would be led to thinking that they lived in a tranquil time. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the era in which these gedolim grew to towering spiritual heights was tumultuous and war-torn. The two crusades took place during those years, and the horrific plundering and murder of many tens of thousands by the crusaders affected the entire Jewish world. Rashi and the Ba’alei Tosfos lived in The Rambam was forced to flee from his home and wrote some of his chiddushei Torah (Torah thoughts) while escaping from danger on a ship in stormy seas, as he writes in one of his seforim.

Perhaps it was the stormy times that made these giants grow taller. They rose to – and above – the challenges of their environment and enriched all future generations of their talmidim with their Torah.

NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW

The Lubliner Rov explains that the Midrash informs and reminds us that there is no better time than the present to devote ourselves to learning Torah and to deriving the eternal values of its lessons.

“B’aish, Bamayim, U’bamidbar”.

At all times, in all places, and in every type of environment – there are opportunities for greatness in Torah learning and spirituality.

Best wishes for a Gutten Shabbos

© 2007 Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, all rights reserved



To sign up for Rabbi Horowitz’s weekly emails, please click here.


Reader's Comments:      Rating & Comments Policy      Rate & Write a Comment!
 Average Rating:       Not Rated Yet
Subscribe to this Article
(by subscribing you will receive email notification
when new comments are posted)
There are no comments yet. Click above to write the first comment.
Dear Readers:

Please visit our Parenting Resource listing to learn about agencies and services that you can make use of. If you know of an agency that can be of assistance to others, kindly drop an email to our site administrator at admin@RabbiHorowitz.com and pass along the information to him.

I ask that you please consider supporting the work we are doing to improve the lives of our children. Click on these links to learn more about our teen and parent mentoring program that serves hundreds of teens and their families, or our KESHER program, now in 20 schools in 4 states. Your financial support can allow us to expand these services and help more children.

If you believe in the governing principles of this website – to help effect positive change through the candid discussions of the real issues we collectively face, please consider becoming a daily, weekly or monthly sponsor of this website and help defray the costs of it’s maintenance.



Working with Families and Educators on Behalf of our Children

This site is managed by The Center for Jewish Family Life, Inc., 56 Briarcliff Drive, Monsey, NY 10952
Project Y.E.S. was founded by Agudath Israel of America
The Center for Jewish Family Life/Project YES - 56 Briarcliff Drive, Monsey, NY 10952 (845) 352-7100 ext. 114 Fax: (845) 352-9593
email: email@kosherjewishparenting.com


Advertisements