6/04/2015

Shabbat Beha’alotecha

Candles Friday June 6th at 8:05pm
Havdalah June 7th at 9:00pm

We are delighted to announce that Pej and Michele Barlavi will be naming their baby daughter Milla with us this coming Shabbat. Dr & Mrs Ray Youssefyeh, uncle and aunt, will be hosting a special Kiddush in honor of the occasion.

We have reached the part of the Torah that deals with the time the Children of Israel spent in the Sinai Desert. It was a place we know today to be largely barren with occasional water holes and oases. It cannot have been easy for anyone.

And so its only natural that people were under pressure, stress, strain and deprivation and began to complain instead of counting their blessings. After all that's what we do nowadays all the time.

But complaints fall into several categories, genuine complaints, altogether dishonest complaints and badly framed or inappropriate complaints. We see them all in this weeks reading.

Yitro, Moses’s father in law is constructive. He analyses the situation. He sees that Moses has not organized his administration effectively and so he gives him constructive advice.

The people then complain about the food they are getting. They are not starving, they just do not like it. But in saying how wonderful it was in Egypt we know they are being dishonest. They are distorting reality to suit their polemic.

Miriam and Aaron have what they believe is a legitimate complaint against Moses though there are different interpretations as to exactly what it was. But the punishment comes because of the way in which their objections were made public. It was the manner of the complaint that was wrong.

This is a challenge to us all today. We may see something we think is wrong or that we are unhappy about at home or at work. We have to find the right way of airing it, the sensitive and tactful approach rather than being provocative and aggressive.