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Different or Wrong?

Friday, 3 July, 2015 - 8:12 am

By now, most of you know that our fourth child, Binyamin, was born last week Tuesday. How did the other kids react? Each one in their own way.

There are certain instructions that apply equally to all the children; no touching the face, no raising your voice near the baby, wash your hands before touching the baby.  There are also things that apply to the specific child; one may be able to hold the baby while another may just show him a book.

This is one of the messages from the verse "Mah Tovu" – “How goodly are your tents, O Jacob, your dwelling places, O Israel!” The Talmud (quoted by Rashi) says: How goodly are your tents: For he saw that the entrances were not facing each other. 

How does G-d enter into one’s house? It depends on the specific person’s soul. There are certain things that apply equally to all people like daily prayer e.g. saying the shema twice daily, yet there are other things that vary by the person. For one, the method of saying the prayers/shema is slowly and/or quietly and for another it is said fast and/or out loud.

By placing the entrances to their tents so that each one had a unique path to their doorway, this teaches us that the Jews in the wilderness showed respect to the other’s individualized path to G-d.

Take a moment and recognize that different does not necessarily mean wrong.

Hope to see you soon,

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman 

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