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Thursday, 4 July, 2013 - 6:50 pm


"Avenge the vengeance of the children of Israel upon the Midianites…” (Bamidbar 31:2)

The double terminology indicates that before the nation of Midian can be defeated, its supernal "minister", which embodies the spiritual essence of Midian, must be vanquished. (Keli Chemda)

In this week’s Parsha, Moshe is commanded to wage war against the Midianites… and its supernal angel, as explained above. What is Midian’s spiritual essence, which is embodied in its angel? The Rebbe Rashab explains that since the Hebrew word for strife in rooted in the word “Midian”; the evil essence of Midian is divisiveness and hatred amongst people. The root of all strife is selfishness and ego, the inability to see the other. Before the Jewish People could enter the land, all traces of ego and hatred amongst themselves had to be removed.

As parents, one of the hardest things to do is to objectively see our children and their social situations. The most respectful and open adult could quickly become judgmental and accusing when their child is hurt! Some natural negative feelings such as the following come very quickly... No child at the park has any right to grab MY son’s shovel! What kind of horrible parenting… How does she let HER kids talk like THAT? I wonder why its so hard for HIS child to share…

When we stop and think for a moment, none of these reactions are actually HELPING our child; if anything, they are bringing even MORE negativity to the situation. In order to attain true happiness, confidence and peace (similar to entering the Land), we must first remove all negative feelings about others. How would you react if it was your sister’s child? Probably by trying to help figure out the situation instead of gossiping from afar… Every fellow Jew is our brother and sister! May our Unity bring about the true Entering of the Land—the coming of Moshiach Now!


These are the journeys of the children of Israel going out of the land of Mitzrayim (Egypt)... (33:1)

We read in the Torah this week about the many travels and encampments which the Jewish People experienced on their way to the Holy Land. The first journey was the exodus from Egypt, followed by the subsequent travels from one place to the next in the desert. Why, then, are ALL of the travels considered “leaving Egypt” as stated in the above verse?

Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the first Chabad Rebbe, explains the spiritual significance of leaving Egypt, which occurs in every Jew’s life every day. The word “Mitzraim” (Egypt) also means “narrowness” and “limitations”. Being redeemed from Egypt happens when we go beyond what we feel is stopping us from reaching our spiritual goals, allowing the infinite G-dly power of our souls to express itself. A Jew is expected to constantly grow. When we reach one goal, we are given strength to move right to the next goal. And each move is considered LEAVING EGYPT! Becoming comfortable after growing, without pushing ourselves to the next level... brings us right back to the “narrowness” and “limitations” of Egypt.

As parents, many challenges and personal “limitations” can seem to hold us back from being the best we can be. So we work on one thing at a time, be in our patience, organization, etc. There is always something to work on! And we must always keep in mind: when we reflect on “leaving Egypt” - finally reaching one goal, it must always be with the resolution to “leave Egypt” once again by setting a new goal.

This Shabbos, let’s think about the successes of the past week—the special times we carved out for each child, the mitzvos we did together, the times we held back from raising our voices… and right away set a new and higher goal for next week. May we experience the personal and global redemption from “Egypt” with the coming of Moshiach Now!

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