First Things First
Matot (Numbers 30:2-32:42 )
A philosophy professor came into his class. He took a large transparent empty jar and started to fill it with massive stones. The professor asked his students: “Is the jar full?” They confirmed that it was.
Next the professor poured in a box of small pebbles and filled the open areas between the rocks. Finally he added a bucket of sand.
Now the jar was truly full.
The professor, explained, ‘The jar is like your life – the stones are the most important things, – your family, health, morality.
"The pebbles are other things that matter – your job, house and car. The sand represents the small stuff.
"If you put the sand into the jar first, there would be no place left for pebbles and large stones.
"Make sure your priorities in life are correct. Fill it with the important things first."
In this week's Torah portion the tribes Gad and Reuven after deciding to live on the other side of the Jordan explain their plans to Moshe.
“We will build sheep pens for our livestock here and cities for our children.” (32:16)
“All right,” said Moshe (32:24), “build towns for your children and pens for your sheep…”
Notice that Moshe reversed the order of their priorities.
Remember what is most important. First make sure that you have attended to the needs of your children. Afterwards, you can worry about your cattle.
An important life lesson about priorities. But also specifically when it comes to kindness.
Kindness begins at home, if possible it shouldn’t end there, but it has to start there.
Don’t fill the jar with sand and leave no space for the rocks.