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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 13, 2008 /10 Sivan 5768

Trading manna for whine

By Rabbi Berel Wein


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The wise and holy learn from the ancients


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Torah reading this week emphasizes the rule in life of seizing the moment of opportunity. Moses tells the Jewish people that "we are traveling now to the place that the Lord has promised" to give to us as our national homeland. But this proposed victorious march somehow unravels.


There is an incident with Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, who does not agree to accompany his adopted nation to its destination, the Land of Israel. Moses' entreaties to him are of no avail. He has, what to him are, legitimate if not even holy reasons to return to his home and abandon Israel. His behavior makes an impression, albeit only subconsciously, on the psyche of the Jewish people in the desert. Their optimism and self-pride is weakened. They therefore begin to complain about their present conditions in the desert. Having given up on their future, they can think only of their present.


One's present is always frustrating and fraught with problems. Now, the manna that falls from Heaven daily is no longer an acceptable menu. When one is in a bad mood no food can taste good in one's mouth. A wife may have prepared the tastiest gourmet meal for her husband's supper, but if he arrives in a foul mood carrying his work's problems home with him, then the meal will somehow be unsatisfying. The complaints regarding the manna will lead directly to the disaster of the spies that will appear in next week's Torah reading. And the result of this debacle is that Moses' grand march to the Land of Israel will never take place for the generation that escaped Egyptian bondage and lived under miraculous conditions in a vast wasteland.


Every human being, and nations as well, has moments of opportunity to be grasped. No opportunities in life are permanent except for the ever present ability to repent and improve. Opportunities that we allow to pass us by will, in the main, never return. This is true in commerce, personal health, family relationships and all other areas of life as well. The sages in Avos taught us that every person has "his hour" — his particular opportunity for advancement and accomplishment. The wise and holy person recognizes such moments and opportunities and acts immediately. The fool and the lazy let these opportunities escape. Rabbi Akiva said that one should never procrastinate or postpone Torah learning for the opportunity may not arise again.


Judaism is about action, optimism, and enthusiasm. The national tragedies that the Torah deals with in this week's reading and in next week's portion as well, all stem from weakness of self and demoralization. If we do not believe in ourselves then nothing can be good, even manna from heaven.


A generation of complainers and naysayers eventually becomes a generation of tragedy and doomed hopes. Our generation has been blessed with many great opportunities, not the least of which is the ability to study Torah and to live in the Land of Israel. These opportunities should be grasped and treasured.

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JWR contributor Rabbi Berel Wein --- Jewish historian, author and international lecturer offers a complete selection of CDs, audio tapes, video tapes, DVDs, and books on Jewish history at www.rabbiwein.com Comment by clicking here.


© 2007, Rabbi Berel Wein