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THIS WEEK'S SHABBAT MESSAGE
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MEIR ben JEMILEH A'H
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For forty years the Children of Israel traveled in the desert. Now, as they stood on the threshold of the Promised Land, the Torah recounts the stops they made during their journey. Over 40 locations are mentioned in the review of their itinerary. What is strange about this sequence is that in each case the usually terse Torah states the place from which they left and then the place at which they camped. Then it repeats the place at which they camped and states the new location of their camp. Why the redundant style. Of course they left from the last place where they last camped - why repeat it?


             In a fast paced world people have become accustomed to run for their new goal while never looking back to their past. One may rush from task to task without any reference to a previous activity. The Torah wants us to know that every action has its ramifications and that no achievement hatched without the groundwork being laid by a preparatory deed.


            This is one of the interpretations of “Maaseh abot siman la banim”-- the actions of the fathers are a portend for the children. Upon his arrival in the Holy Land Abraham Abinu traveled from place to place criss-crossing the land from border to border. Rashi elucidates the reasons for the specific places mentioned in the Torah. Each had significance in the success or failure of the children of Abraham even hundreds of years later. He knew that his actions were not limited to a specific time frame and that they could affect the success of his offspring in the future conquest and settlement of the Land of Canaan.


           What Abraham knew is important to every one of us. What one does has significance for many years and many generations into the future. As a matter of fact one’s deeds are not finite but eternal. What you do today will affect your status for eternity. It will not only affect you and your offspring but it can also influence the future of many others. It will not only count in the conduct of this world but it will also be important to the realities in the next world. Nothing one does is isolated. It is part of a chain that extends from the moment of performance into eternity. Consider it well and do your best- you don’t know what it will affect but you can be sure that it will.


 


DID YOU KNOW THAT


All Jews have accepted the custom to refrain from eating meat in the 9 days from Rosh Hodesh Ab to the Fast of Tisha B’Ab. One may eat meat on Shabbat that falls in the 9 days. The question is may one eat leftovers from Shabbat during the weekdays? The days when people did not have freezers and refrigeration gave rise to the leniency to allow consumption of leftovers on Motsa-eh Shabbat during a Melaveh Malkah meal. Some even allowed eating this food during the week. Today, however, one may not eat the Shabbat leftovers during the week. Even those who still permit one to eat the Shabbat surplus on Saturday night for a Seudah Rebieet only do so if the person normally eats meat every Saturday night during the year. If however one normally eats dairy foods during the year for the Melaveh Malkah then they should refrain from eating the leftovers in the 9 days. The suggestion is to feed them to small children who are permitted to eat meat or to freeze and save them until after the nine days.


 


CONSIDER THIS FOR A MINUTE


 


If we had already corrected our flaws that brought on the destruction of the Bet Hamikdash it would have been rebuilt already. We must fix the flaws in ourselves and not attribute the current situation to the misdeeds of those who lived thousands of years ago.



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