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Thursday, 4 April, 2013 - 8:27 pm

These shall you eat of all that are in the waters: whatever has fins and scales (11:9)

All fish that have scales also have fins (and are thus kosher). But there are fish that have fins but do not have scales, and are thus impure. If so, the Torah could have written only "scales," without having to also write "fins"? ... Said Rabbi Abahu, and so it was learned in the study house of Rabbi Yishmael: This is so that "Torah be increased and made great" (Isaiah 42:21). (Talmud, Niddah 51b)

The Rebbe explains the fins and scales of a kosher fish to represent two aspects of Torah learning. The fins represent the talents and capabilities which one uses to propel forward in his success. The scales are the “armor” - the constant awareness of Hashem’s Presence—the Yiras Shomayim. Both are very important, but the above teaching portrays the importance of Fear of Heaven—scales, which will always deem a fish kosher.As parents, we each possess a strong desire to develop our children’s talents and capabilities. Indeed, these will propel them forward for success! But we must remember the importance of imparting the awareness of Hashem. When one has a strong sense of Yiras Shomayim, their talents will naturally blossom and propel them forward like fins. The desire to do the will of Hashem will motivate the depths of the soul to express itself.

This Shabbos, think about increasing the awareness and awe of Hashem in your family. Telling children stories of Tzaddikim and about miracles of Hashem really fortifies this concept. “Hashem is always with us! And He knows what is on our minds and hearts—so let’s make Him proud!” May we experience a time of true safety and peace with the coming of Moshiach Now!

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