יום חמישי י"ג באדר תשפ"א 25/02/2021
Search
  • The Mission Continues

    As in the past so it remains today - we were and still are under the selfsame commitment to adhere to the directions of the Gedolei Yisrael, who stand guard against breaches of purity threatening our camp. When we were required to ask – we asked. When we were instructed to depart – we left. The moment we are summoned back to raise the flag, every other consideration is pushed to the side and we answer: We are ready!

    Read More...

בראי היום

  • Harav Yisrael Friedman zy”a, the Rebbe of Husyatin

    מוטי, ויקיפדיה העברית

    The ancestral chain of Harav Yisrael Friedman, the founder of the Husyatin chassidic court, originates with the holy Baal Shem Tov. The Husyatin chassidus has its roots in Galicia and eventually came to Tel Aviv, during the turbulent years between the two World Wars.

    Read More...

Place

  • Maccabi'im Gravesite

    In honour of Chanukah, we will discuss a fascinating, ongoing investigation attempting to establish the place of burial of Mattisyahu Kohen Gadol and his family.

    Read More...

Join Our Mailing List!

Please add a Valid Email Address
Join
Thanks!

In Weekly Parsha

Parshat Matot

How to "Plan" Life?

14/07/2009 14:28
The tribes of Reuven and Gad were blessed with abundant cattle, and they needed extensive, high quality pasture land to maintain their herds. As they neared the Promised Land, members of these tribes noticed that conditions to the east of the Jordan River suited their needs exactly.

They immediately approached Moshe and presented their request:

"The land that HaShem smote before the Children of Israel is cattle land, and we have cattle…if it finds favor in your sight, let this land be given to [us], your servants, as property. Do not make us cross the Jordan River."

Moshe's reaction was stern: "Your brothers are going to war and you are going to sit here (settle) here?" This terse sentence has become a byword of reproach, used from that time until today to reprove those who relax in their homes while their countrymen suffer on the battlefield.

Moshe did not just reply with words of rebuke. He compared the petitioners to the spies in the desert, who had moved the hearts of the people against the idea of entering the Holy Land.Responding to Moshe's reprimand, the tribes of Reuven and of Gad said that they had not intended to avoid battle. They said that they wanted to build stockades for their sheep and cattle and cities for their families. They added that they would lead the forces of the Children of Israel – that they would form the vanguard of the battle lines. In addition, they said, they would not return home until every one of the rest of the Children of Israel would be settled on his own property.

This answer appeased Moshe Rabbeinu and he agreed to their request.

Why did Moshe respond so severely to their request? How did this request resemble the deed of the spies?

Perhaps Moshe understood immediately that the request derived from worry about the future of their herds. He was not pleased, however, that concern for their material welfare headed their list of priorities.

It was not fitting that their main concern was fencing in their herds, before they had actually entered the Land, even before HaShem's command to them to conquer the Land had been accomplished,

This problem of priorities in life planning, on the part of the tribes of Gad and Reuven, is discernible also in their response to Moshe. They said: 

 "We will build pens (corrals) for our sheep and cattle...and cities for our little ones."

Their concern for their livestock is expressed before their concern for their children. Rashi comments "they had more pity for their money then they did for their sons and daughters, so they mentioned cattle before they mentioned little ones."
 This was the same mistake made by the spies who had scouted out the Promised Land while the people waited in the desert. The spies preferred to consider material matters over spiritual ideas.

Moshe Rabbeinu corrected this mistaken approach to life when he told the tribes of Gad and Reuven,"Build cities for your little ones and sheepfolds for your sheep."

He specified "cities for your little ones" before mentioning "sheepfolds for your sheep."

There exists no blemish in having concern for one's material future. It's simply undesireable to put that consideration before one's concern for one's spiritual future.