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Be'halot'cha 5767

Be'halot'cha (Numbers 8-12 )

by Kalman Packouz

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GOOD MORNING! What would you do if as a child you overheard the doctor tell your mother that you were so sickly that he didn't expect you to live to be a teenager? Joseph Greenstein had the answer - he ran off to join the circus. Saved by the circus strongman (who happened to be Jewish) from being beaten to death by a vicious anti-Semite, Joe was "adopted" by the strongman who taught him how to eat properly, exercise and most important, how to concentrate the powers of his mind. Not only did Joseph Greenstein live to his teenage years, not only did he live into his 80's, but Joseph Greenstein went on to become one of history's greatest strongmen - The Mighty Atom!

___Most people reading this likely think that the good Rabbi is pulling their leg. The Mighty Atom? So, just ask your parents or grandparents! The Mighty Atom was a legend in his time. Though only 5'4" tall, he could bend horseshoes with his bare hands, bite through nails, pull three firetrucks down the road, prevent an airplane from taking off with a rope tied to his hair. He was amazing! And for a generation of Jews - and probably for a generation of anti-Semites, too - he single-handedly changed the image of the nebical (pitiful) Jew. He taught the power of the mind and the power of self-improvement.

___His biography, The Spiritual Journey of Joseph L. Greenstein - The Mighty Atom, World's Strongest Man (by Ed Spielman) is out of print. If you are lucky enough to find a used one, it will probably cost about $50. You can learn more about him at .

___The Mighty Atom was not just brawn, he was a powerful intellect and a wise man. Below are words of wisdom on the art of child rearing.

How To Ruin Your Children - Guaranteed 100% Infallible

  1. Begin in infancy to give the child everything he wants. In this way he will grow up to believe that the world owes him a living.
  2. When he picks up bad words, laugh at him. This will make him think he is cute. It will also encourage him to pick up cuter phrases.
  3. Never give him any spiritual training. Wait until he's 21 and then let him decide for himself.
  4. Avoid use of the word "wrong." It may develop into a guilt complex. Later, when he is arrested, he can conclude that society is against him and that he is being persecuted.
  5. Pick up everything he leaves lying around, books, shoes, clothes. Do everything for him, so that he will be experienced in throwing all responsibility upon others.
  6. Let him read any printed matter that he can get his hands on. Be careful that the silverware and drinking glasses are sterilized, but let his mind feast on garbage.
  7. Quarrel frequently in the presence of your children. In this way they will not be too shocked when their home is broken up later.
  8. Give a child all the spending money he wants. Never let him earn his own. Why should he have things as tough as you had them?
  9. Satisfy his every craving for food, drink and comfort. See that every sensual desire is gratified. Denial may lead to harmful frustration.
  10. Take his part against neighbors, teachers, policemen. They are all prejudiced against your child.
  11. When he gets into real trouble, apologize to yourself by saying: "I never could do anything with him."
  12. Prepare for a life of grief. You will be likely to have it.

___One book that I would highly recommend on raising children is To Kindle A Soul by Lawrence Kelemen available at your local Jewish bookstore, at or by calling toll-free to 877-758-3242.

For more on "Raising Children" go to!

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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 manna 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. (It has been said that the difference between in-laws and outlaws, that at least outlaws are wanted... Of course, in this case the father-in-law was wanted.)

___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
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

___The Torah states:

"According to the word of the Almighty they shall encamp and according to the word of the Almighty they shall travel." (Numbers 9:23)

___What lesson for life can we learn from this verse?

___When a person is in his usual place, it is relatively easy to keep higher standards of Torah observance. However, when a person travels, said the Chofetz Chaim, there are many tests that arise. When in a strange place, away from one's familiar environment, one is faced with new difficulties. Also, there is not the social pressure to maintain one's standards. A person needs to make a special effort to observe Torah values.

___This is hinted to in our verse: Whether at rest in one's home environment or traveling, all that you do should be "according to the word of the Almighty."

___Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetzky was about to take his place at the end of a long line waiting to board a bus, when someone in front of the line who knew him called out, "Rebbe, you can come here in front of me!"

___"I'm not permitted to," replied Rav Yaakov. "It would be stealing."

___"I give you permission. I don't mind."

___"But what about everybody else behind you?" said the Rosh Hayeshiva. "I would be stealing their time and choice of seat by moving them back one. Who says they allow me to?" And Rav Yaakov took his place at the end of the line. (The Jewish Observer, November, 1985)

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If you want happiness - don't seek happiness.
Seek meaning.

In Honor of the Bris of
Jacob Messinger
named for his great, great grandfather
who in 1914 founded
Congregation Bnei Jacob
in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


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