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Shabbat Commentary

9/10 June: Shabbat Behalotecha comes in 9.02 pm, goes out 10.22pm

The Torah records two means by which the Israelites were notified that they would be continuing their journey through the wilderness.

In Chapter 9, Verses 15-23, we are told that when the Cloud of Glory over the Mishkan (tabernacle) dispersed, it was a sign that it was time to break camp and travel to the next location in the wilderness.

However, in Chapter 10, Verses 1-10, the Torah records the fact that the priests were to blow special trumpets to notify Israel of the impending journey. Why are two means of communications necessary?

People hear and learn in different ways.   One person might be moved to help the poor because God commanded it.  Another person might do it only because a friend says “hey, will you sponsor me in my walk against poverty?”

There is even wisdom is knowing that some people will respond to an e-mail, while others will respond to a phone call.   Some of us are woken up by the words of the prayers and some of us by the music.

If you understand how you yourself hear and learn best  ( written, visual, auditory, commands, requests…) you can help yourself be more productive.  But what you need is not necessarily the same as what your partner, children or colleague needs.   By telling us of the two signals that the Israelites received to move camp, the Torah is teaching that if you recognize how others hear and learn, you can reach them and you can move them.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Paul Arberman

June 7, 2017