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Showing posts from May, 2013

Stop Complaining: Dvar Torah on Be'ha'alotekha

The desert is not a happy place for the Israelites. We spend much of the Torah repeating the same story over and over again: the people sin, God punishes them, the people ask Moses to make it stop, Moses prays, the punishment ends, and wherever they are gets named after the events that happened there. It happens over and over and still the Israelites never learn from it.
Three verses that appear in our Torah portion are a story in and of itself:
The people took to complaining bitterly before God. God heard and was incensed: a fire of God broke out against them, ravaging the outskirts of the camp. The people cried out to Moses. Moses prayed to God, and the fire died down. That place was named Taberah, because a fire of God had broken out against them.
How can we understand these three verses? This short piece is a complete story in and of itself. What can we learn from it. We all know that it is not good to complain, there must be something else here that we can learn. The Torah does not …