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Friday, 19 July, 2013 - 12:02 am


In the heavens above and the earth below (4:39)

Surely we know that the heavens are above us and that the earth is below our feet; why couldn't the Torah, whose every word and letter is measured, simply say "in the heavens and the earth"? But here is a lesson in how we are to approach the heavenly and earthly aspects of our own lives. In all that pertains to the heavens, to our spiritual achievements, we must look upwards, to those greater than ourselves, and strive to emulate them. But as regards our earth, our material possessions and attainments, we must look below us, to those who have less than we do, and be grateful for what we have. (The Lubavitcher Rebbe)

Human beings have a natural tendency to look at others and compare our own lives with theirs. This week’s Parsha is giving us the correct context for this, as the Rebbe explains. If this is our responsibility as Jews, how much more does it magnify as parents who set an example for our children in our attitudes. If we train ourselves to only look at the material possessions of those who have less than we do, and feel grateful and giving… what a gift this will be for our children as we raise them in a world and society whose values reflect dollar signs and immorality.

This Shabbos, speak with your children about spiritual achievements of others, “Wow! Isn’t it special how ____ helps our elderly neighbor? I hope we can help her more this week, too.” Work with your children to recognize the needs of those who have less than you… “we are so lucky we have a backyard to play in! Let’s invite our friends ____ to come and play because they don’t have a backyard…”

May we merit a time when true G-dly values will influence all of mankind with the coming of Moshiach Now!

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