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Be'halot'cha 5779

Be'halot'cha (Numbers 8-12 )

by Kalman Packouz

GOOD MORNING!  What is the shortest sentence in the English language? "I am." What is the longest sentence? "I do." ... Marriage is like a deck of cards. It starts with two hearts and a diamond -- and too often ends looking for a club and a spade ... Did you ever wonder why there are so many jokes about marriage? A joke can temporarily ease the pain that the relationship with the one person one chose to build a life of happiness and meaning is perhaps too often a source of distress. A joke makes you feel that you are not the only one. I would like to share how to relieve some of the stress in marriage by preventing arguments!

The First Rule of Marital Happiness: Don't argue. It takes two to fight. If you don't argue back, if you answer in a soft voice ("A gentle answer turns away anger" --Proverbs 15:1), then you won't have fights. People think that they have to respond to invectives -- often, either to defend themselves or as a psychological necessity to return hurt. It is important to keep focused on the goal -- to stay happily married and build a life together. That was the goal when they got married and it should still be the goal. There are strategies to minimize fights and minimize the impact of the "slings of barbs and arrows."



1) AGREE! If the person insulting you is right, agree. You can't argue with someone who agrees with you.

2) TAKE IT TO THE BANK! Why do we respond to negative remarks from a spouse (or from anyone)? We feel that the insult diminishes us, cuts us down, makes us less. Piece by piece we are reduced to a pile of rubble -- so we respond in defense of our existence, often with anger and our own accusations. What if someone would give you 10,000 dollars every time you were insulted? Imagine a thick stack of 100 dollar bills with a rubber band around them being placed into your safety deposit box with every insult. It certainly would take the sting out of the insults!

3) INSANITY! We marry someone because we love them, because we want to stay married to them, because we want to build a life together. Who should be the last person you insult on this earth? Your spouse! To insult your spouse is insane. Don't be insane! And if your spouse insults you, don't take it seriously.


How do you not take your spouse's insults seriously? Put it in perspective. For example, you are walking down the street past a psychiatric hospital. Out walks a fellow in a patient's garb. He comes up to you and says, "You are the most inconsiderate, insensitive, self-centered human being God ever placed on this planet!" How do you feel? The normal reaction would be, "Gee. I hope he's not violent. Poor fellow. I wonder what he got committed for." If one's spouse lets loose a verbal barrage either s/he has a good point (then softly admit that you're wrong) or you are the recipient of an erroneous emotional outburst. View your spouse as experiencing a moment of temporary insanity (but don't share this with your spouse!) -- and then you won't feel the pain or be drawn into a verbal brawl that you will regret. Here are some additional guidelines for happiness in marriage:



by Zelig Pliskin (author of Marriage)

  1. Be wise. Ask yourself: "What is wise to say or do now?" We all have wisdom stored in our brain. Access it
  2. Practice the art of appreciation and gratitude mentally (think it) and verbally (say it).
  3. Practice the art of being kind with words and actions. "What is the kind thing to say or do now?"
  4. Practice the art of being understanding and compassionate. Ask: "What does my spouse need right now?"
  5. Practice the art of identifying your spouse with his or her positive ways of being.
  6. Practice the art of giving positive feedback. Comment on the good and positive.
  7. Practice the art of asking for what you want in a way you both will feel good about.
  8. Practice the art of being in a good mood or positive state as often as possible, and of being mutually respectful even if you aren't in a good mood right now.
  9. Practice the art of not saying what is wise not to say.
  10. Practice the art of learning from everyone you can how to keep upgrading what you say and do.



Torah Portion of the Week

Beha'alosecha, Numbers 8:1 -12:16

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
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

The Torah states:

"And Moshe cried unto the Lord, saying 'Please God, heal her (Miriam), I beseech you" (Numbers 12:13).

Miriam, Moshe's sister, was stricken with tzoraas for speaking against Moshe! And what is Moshe's response? He prays for her to be healed! What can we learn from Moshe's behavior?

The Ralbag (Rabbi Levi ben Gershon, who lived 1288-1344) shares with us an illuminating insight. From here we learn that even if someone acts against you and is punished for his act, you should pray for him or her and do what you can to help. Keep this in mind for those you love!

Miriam's intent was well-intended. However, aiding those who wish to hurt you is definitely not a Jewish value, not a praiseworthy behavior and not a beneficial idea!


Candle Lighting Times

June 21
(or go to

Jerusalem 7:12
Guatemala 6:16 - Hong Kong 6:52 - Honolulu 6:58
J'Burg 5:07 - London 9:03 - Los Angeles 7:50
Melbourne 4:50 - Mexico City 7:59 - Miami 7:57
New York 8:13 - Singapore 6:54 - Toronto 8:45

Quote of the Week

If you give everyone a piece of your mind ...
you have no peace of mind


If you drop it, pick it up.
If you empty it, refill it.
If you break it, fix it.
If your eat or drink out of it,
wash it.
If it howls, feed it.
If you step on it, wipe it off.
If you open it, close it.
If it rings, answer it.
If it cries, love it.



In Loving Memory of

Minny Kapilivsky

Beloved Wife,
Mother & Grandmother

Mark & Sara Vogel

In Loving Memory of

Shmuel ben Berel Leib

The Manger Family



In Loving Memory of

Esther bas Chaim

Howard & Tobi Ash

In Loving Memory of

Selma Rappaport




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