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20/21 January: Shabbat Shemot

rabbipaulsmlShabbat comes in 4.13 pm: goes out 5.22 pm

This week we begin a new book of the Torah, Exodus,  and we read about how God chose Moses to confront Pharaoh and lead his people out of slavery in Egypt.  It’s interesting to me that Moses’ greatest weakness is directly tied to his greatest strength.  He is a man who has difficulty controlling his anger when he sees injustice. That means that he won’t tolerate the Egyptian hitting a Hebrew slave.  But it also means that he has no tolerance towards the people after they start complaining in the desert.

Eventually Moses will hit his limit with the people’s complaints.  Rather than speak to a rock as God commands, he will strike the rock with his staff and rebuke the people. That will force the end of his leadership; another person will be chosen to bring the people to the land.  How often are our strengths and weaknesses mirror images of one another?   How do we overcome the negative aspects a characteristic and utilize the positive part ?  Surely self-awareness is the start.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Paul Arberman

January 19, 2017