CANDLE LIGHTING

Parashat Bamidbar

Friday, May 26       7:58 PM

 

 

 

MABROOK

Shabbat Hattan

Philip & Debbie Polansky

Bar Mitzvah

Shmuel Cohen 

News and Events

Guest Speaker

Rabbi  Guindi

Saturday, May 26   8:25 PM

 

 

 

 

Parashat   

Bamidba

 

Erev Shabbat

7:58 PM

Candle Lighting

 

 

6:30 PM

Shir Hashirim/Minha

Main Synagogue

 

7:00 PM

Kabbalat Shabbat/Arbit

Main Synagogue

 

6:30 PM

YSLC Minyan Shir Hashirim/Minha Midrash 

 

8:00 PM Late Minyan Annex Midrash

Shabbat

5:45 AM

Shaharit - First Minyan

Main Synagogue

 

8:15 AM

Shaharit - Main Minyan

Main Synagogue

 

9:00 AM

Shaharit - Young SLC

Salem Midrash

 

9:15 AM

Shaharit - Kids Minyan

Annex Midrash

 

1:30 PM

Minha Gedolah

Main Synagogue

 

3:00 PM

Tehillim

Main Synagogue

 

5:40 PM

Mishmara Social Hall
 

6:20 PM

Shiurim Main Synagogue

 

7:20 PM

Minha

Main Synagogue

 

7:55 PM

Seuda Shelisheet

Social Hall

 

7:55 PM Perek/Michtam Main Synagogue

 

8:25 PM

Deracha

Main Synagogue

 

8:40 PM

Arbit

Main Synagogue

 

8:59 PM

Shabbat Ends

Main Synagogue

Devar Torah

"Show me who your friends are, and I'll tell you who you are..."

Throughout the years, the above-mentioned proverb has been subject to strong debates among people who either strongly agree or disagree with the expression. As a matter of fact, most of those who oppose the saying look at characteristics that are superficial: "It's not because you hang out with wealthy people that you are wealthy”, or "friends simply supplement who we are and may only represent part of your characteristics". In reality, however, this saying is well reflected in this week's Parasha and teaches us a strong message relevant to all.

 

The Jewish nation was counted twice in Sefer Bamidbar. Once in our Parasha as the nation began the 40 year long journey in the desert; and once at the end of that journey, in Parashat Pinhas. In these passages, the leaders who were in charge of counting their own tribes are listed in detail. Interestingly, however, the text changes the name of one of the leaders. Indeed, at the beginning the Parasha, the Nassi of Shevet Gad is known as “Elyasaf Ben De’ouel”, but later the Torah calls him Elyassaf Ben Reouel”.

Rabeinu Efrayim, one of the Baale Hatosafot (commentary on the Gemara) explains the following:

During the settlement, the tribe of Gad was placed next to the rebellious tribes of Reuven and Shimon. Therefore, while Shevet Reuven, specifically On Ben Pelet, rebelled against Moshe Rabenu and loudly rallied with Korah, the tribe of Gad closely spectated. Similarly, when the leader of Shevet Shimon, Zimri ben Salou publicly challenged Moshe Rabenu and rudely took the Midyanite princess in his possession, the tribe of Gad quietly absorbed the unfolding of events. 

Although there is no explicit indication in the Parashiot that the tribe of Gad actively rebelled or agreed with their neighbor's actions, there is also no evidence that they disagreed or opposed to their immorality. Shevet Gad was simply a neutral party that spectated and absorbed their surroundings.

Therefore, the Torah goes out of its way to change their leader's name, in order to teach us that there is no way we can spectate and not be subconsciously influenced. Hashem created us with brains and the ability to think - we can make inferences and draw conclusions. The leader of Shevet Gad might have not actively rebelled against Moshe Rabenu, but his thought process was compromised. His belief system was corrupted and went from “Deouel” - knowing Hashem, to “Reouel” - evil to Hashem…

 

When we choose friends and neighbors, we put ourselves on the line. Subconsciously, we follow human nature and change our opinions and behaviors. We must learn to strengthen our belief system and always stand up for what is right without quietly accepting our "friends'" and neighbors' wrongdoings. We cannot claim that other people's actions are none of our business... Misconduct that surrounds us is our business - our subconscious business. The Torah teaches us that even a Nassi or a Hacham does not have immunity against his neighbor's bad influence!

May Hashem give us the strength to openly object to misconduct, and may He protect us from being swayed in the wrong direction.

Rabbi Abraham Hayoun