Be'halot'cha 5772

June 3, 2012

7 min read


Be'halot'cha (Numbers 8-12 )

GOOD MORNING! Years ago my 6 year old son was late for dinner. After frantically calling the neighbors in the building with kids his age, I finally located him and got him on the phone. Frustrated with anxiety and concern and upset with his lateness, I angrily asked, "Do you know what time it is?" After a moment of silence, I hear his small voice asking the parents of his friend, "Excuse me, my father wants to know the time." I immediately realized that my anger did not communicate and had no effect; it was the wrong time and the wrong manner to get through to this child.

I believe that every child gives a parent the opportunity to work on and improve one (or more) of his own character traits -- likes frustration and anger. Being a parent can be trying, but the rewards are great. There's an old Yiddish saying: small children, small problems; big children, big problems. Small children, small opportunities; big children, big opportunities. It is the only job that by the time you're trained ... you're out of a job. Here is an interesting piece from "Quote Magazine" (September 1, 1985) about what children want from parents. They surveyed children 8 to 14 years old in 24 countries. Here are the top 10 wanted behaviors:


What Children Want

  1. They want harmony -- their parents should not have unresolved and destructive conflict in front of them.
  2. They want love. They wish to be treated with the same affection as other children in the family.
  3. They want honesty. They do not want to be lied to.
  4. They want acceptance. They desire mutual tolerance from both parents.
  5. They want their parents to like their friends. They want their friends to be welcomed in the home.
  6. They want closeness. They desire comradeship with their parents.
  7. They want their parents to pay attention to them and answer their questions.
  8. They want consideration from their parents -- not to be embarrassed or punished in front of friends.
  9. They want positive support -- for parents to concentrate on their good points rather than their weaknesses.
  10. They want consistency. They desire parents to be consistent in their affections and moods.


In essence, these children want from us are what we should give every human being -- respect, consideration and love. In addition, we owe our children to be good role models to learn from and to emulate. Perhaps the following piece will give some insight into what kids learn from us:


If A Child Lives With

If a child lives with criticism ...
          ... he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility ...
          ... he learns to fight.
If a child lives with fear ...
          ... he learns to be apprehensive.
If a child lives with jealousy ...
          ... he learns to feel guilt.
If a child lives with tolerance ...
          ... he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with encouragement ...
          ... he learns to be confident.
If a child lives with praise ...
          ... he learns to be appreciative.
If a child lives with acceptance ...
          ... he learns to love.
If a child lives with approval ...
          ... he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with recognition ...
          ... he learns that it is good
          to have a goal.
If a child lives with honesty ...
          ... he learns what truth is.
If a child lives with fairness ...
          ... he learns justice.
If a child lives with security ...
          ... he learns to trust in himself
          and others.
If a child lives with friendliness ...
          ... he learns the world is a nice place.

What is your child living with?



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Torah Portion of the Week

Aharon is commanded in the lighting of the Menorah, the Levites purify themselves for service in the Tabernacle (they trained from age 25-30 and served from age 30-50). The first Pesach is celebrated since leaving Egypt. The Almighty instructs the Jewish people to journey into the desert whenever the ever-present cloud lifts from above the Tabernacle and to camp where it rests. Moshe is instructed to make two silver trumpets to be sounded before battle or to proclaim a Yom Tov (a holiday).

The people journey to the wilderness of Paran during which time they rebelled twice against the Almighty's leadership. The second time they complain about the boring taste of the maneh and the lack of meat in the desert. The Almighty sends a massive quantity of quail and those who rebelled died.

Moshe asks his father-in-law, Yitro (Jethro) to travel with them in the desert, but Yitro returns to Midian.

Miriam, Moshe's sister, speaks lashon hora (defaming words) about Moshe. She is struck with tzora'as (the mystical skin disease which indicated that a person spoke improperly about another person) and is exiled from the camp for one week.

* * *

Dvar Torah from Twerski on Chumash

by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D.

The Torah states that there were people who were in a state of ritual impurity because they had come in contact with the dead; therefore, they were unable to participate in the Pesach offering. They complained to Moshe:

"Why should we be diminished by not offering God's offering?" Moshe responded, "Stand and I will hear what God will command you" (Bamidbar 9:7-8).

Rashi comments, "How fortunate is a mortal who can feel secure that he can turn directly to God and receive an answer." Reb Yechezkel of Shinuv asks, "Inasmuch as the Torah states that Moshe was the most humble person on earth (Numbers 12:3), is this not out of character for Moshe to feel that he has free access to speak with God at any time? How could someone so humble be so presumptuous?"

When Moses saw how heartbroken these people were because they were unable to participate in the Divine service of the Pesach offering, he was certain that their sincere desire to serve God would merit a Divine response. Moses was not presumptuous. His statement, "Stand and I will hear what God will command for you" was based on his conviction of their merits, not his.


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The best present to your child is your presence


With Deep Appreciation to

Raphael & Dorothy


With Special Thanks to

Dr. David


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