This week's parsha
Unless otherwise noted, "This week's Parsha" comprises articles taken from contributors to the Chabad.org website. We show the original author's name here, so that proper attribution is given. For the sake of brevity, footnotes cited in the original author's writings are omitted from this website. If you need to see the citations, please refer to the original articles on the Chabad.org website.
Manna, Food of Starvation
A family friend once told me that she would notice a peculiar quirk whenever her father-in-law, a Holocaust survivor, would stay at her house.
Every night before retiring to bed, Zeide would wander into the kitchen and unobtrusively check out the contents of her pantry. If there was bread on the shelf, he’d relax and head off to his bedroom. But if there was none, he would invariably leave the house to buy a loaf.
You Can(’t) Help Yourself!
If you look around, I am sure you could spot the life-coach who can't get his own life together; the marriage counselor whose marriage is either history or well on the way; and the parent who preaches to her children to "stop scratching and biting over blocks of Lego" while she is constantly brawling over pride and money.
It is quite obvious that many of us can help anyone but ourselves.
We have advice for our children on how to handle stress. We advise our co-workers on how to manage their time. We teach our students the value of study. And of course we educate our parents how to be parents...
The Effective Critic
The first verse of Devarim, the fifth and culminating book of the Torah, sounds prosaic. “These are the words that Moses spoke to all Israel beyond the Jordan -- in the wilderness, on the plain opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Di-zahav.” There is no hint of drama in these words. But the sages of the Talmud found one, and it is life-changing.
What is odd in the verse is the last place-name: Di-zahav. What and where is this place? It hasn’t been mentioned before, nor is it mentioned again anywhere else in Tanakh. But the name is tantalizing. It seems to mean, “Enough gold.” Gold is certainly something we have heard about before. It was the metal of which the calf was made while Moses was on the mountain receiving the Torah from G‑d. This was one of the great sins of the wilderness years. Might the enigmatic mention of a place called “Enough gold” have something to do with it?