Shabbat Emor

Candles Friday May 2nd 7.33pm
Havdalah May 3rd at 8.29pm

There is a very sad story at the end of this week’s Torah reading. The son of an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father cannot find his place amongst the Israelites who came out of Egypt. In his anger and frustration he publicly curses God. Moses does not know how to deal with him and so he has to consult God. Why? Wasn’t the Law clear to him after Sinai?

The commentators are divided as to why the young man became so bitter. Some say it is because he was an outcast because of his non-Jewish father. Some say it was because his mother was a woman of loose morals. Others say he did not get the support and love of his parents. Perhaps this is why Moses hesitated. He was sensitive to the circumstances that conspired against this young man.

So you see we have always had such problems. The fact is that even the best of parents produce children who go off track or rebel. It may have something to do with the home, or genes or circumstances. Even the most religious of families produce those who reject Judaism and the most irreligious sometimes produce children who become committed. There are no guarantees but there are ways of reducing the odds. Regardless of what our children do we must love them. But it is up to us to do the right thing both in terms of how we train them and in the examples that we ourselves show them.