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.
I was hanging around a social function recently and overheard a few ladies chatting about their growing broods. There were the usual kvetches about chutzpah, which soon morphed into a general discussion about sibling rivalry and the optimum size and makeup of the perfect family. A friendly argument broke out whether they preferred sons to daughters and whether they were better mothers to their older children than their younger ones.
My heart went out to one woman who was standing on the side unable to join in the conversation. She is yet to have children. Even her best friends don’t know how much time and money she and her husband have spent trying to have a child. Though I have been in regular contact with them on their journey, I only know some of the pain they experience daily.
The Case for Large Families
"You have how many siblings and cousins!?"
Great conversation material. It’s never let me down.
Growing up in Brooklyn, I never considered large families unusual. Many of my classmates came from big families. Although having four first cousins in my grade was unique even by local standards, I never gave it much thought. Big families were fun, dynamic and normal.
Over the years, as I found myself mixing in different circles, I became aware that large families are really the exception, not the rule. There aren’t many people with more than 10 siblings and hundreds of first cousins. Who knew?
Fire - Holy and Unholy
The shock is immense. For several weeks and many chapters -- the longest prelude in the Torah -- we have read of the preparations for the moment at which G‑d would bring His presence to rest in the midst of the people. Five sedras (Terumah, Tetzaveh, Ki Tissa, Vayakhel and Pekudei) describe the instructions for building the sanctuary. Two (Vayikra, Tzav) detail the sacrificial offerings to be brought there. All is now ready. For seven days the priests (Aaron and his sons) are consecrated into office. Now comes the eighth day when the service of the mishkan will begin. The entire people have played their part in constructing what will become the visible home of the Divine presence on earth. With a simple, moving verse the drama reaches its climax: “Moses and Aaron went into the Tent of Meeting and when they came out, they blessed the people. G‑d’s glory was then revealed to all the people.”
Just as we think the narrative has reached closure, a terrifying scene takes place: