| Clergy Corner

CLERGY CORNER: “Ought” and “Ought Not”

Posted on 17 September 2014 by L.Moore

Someone who comes to services voiced her upset because during my sermon I said that we are SUPPOSED to live our lives a certain way and I went on to say that we OUGHT to do as many mitzvot as possible.

She told me she couldn’t stand when somebody tells her that she is “supposed to do something.” You see her idea of freedom is the ability to do whatever she wants, whenever she wants, no matter how much it may hurt another.

Rabbi Bradley Artson, wrote about a conference organized by Elie Weisel. Weisel had seen so much hate in his life, and having survived the Holocaust he knew what hate could lead to. The main questions that arose during this conference had to do with why people hate and why people band together to express hatred. But there was another question that arose that I wanted to pose to you today.

Many people have historically criticized Judaism as being a religion of law instead of faith and love.

And yet, when Nobel Lauriet Elie Weisel held a conference on hate, the question was posed — what is the opposite of hate? You might think that the great minds at the conference immediately thought that the opposite of hate is love. But I have a surprise for you. These amazing minds felt that only a belief in an execution of the law can defeat hatred.

Rabbi Artson notes that this confirms the Jewish conviction that law is the indispensable expression of love and decency. And, when people abandon law, it is at the peril of their own character, justice and survival.

The mitzvot that are given in the Torah are a list of laws, a list of the things we are supposed to strive to do. They are a list of oughts. So, today, I am dubbing The Commandments and The Golden Rule as “OUGHTISMS.” If you look up the word “ought” in the dictionary, you will find that it refers to obligations; it refers to things we owe to G-d, to others and to ourselves.

It is also defined not only as a duty or moral obligation, but as a natural expectation. And we certainly have natural expectations of others and of ourselves. For instance, we ought to honor our parents, we ought to avoid stealing, we ought not murder and we ought to find ways to help others.

Someone came up with a very clever idea for helping others. They came up with this idea of raising money through a bucket challenge, not a bucket list; but a bucket challenge, where one would use a bucket full of ice and have it dumped on them to raise money for the Amyotrophic Lateral Schlerosis (ALS) foundation.

This ought to have been a wonderful way of raising money for this cause. And indeed a great deal of money has been raised. Even a young teen with Autism wanted to help. And when classmates approached him, he was delighted to get the chance. But these rotten kids did something that I simply can’t comprehend; instead of using ice, they dumped a bucket full of feces and urine onto that boy. They ought to have known better; they should have behaved differently, but they didn’t. It would seem that the laws of human kindness have no meaning to them.

I have been asking myself all week — if one of them was a child of mine, what on earth would I say? What would I do? How would I feel?

Dear readers, I hope you take some time this week to think about what you would do!

Shalom my friends,

Rabbi Craig H. Ezring

Rabbi Ezring is the Spiritual Leader of Temple Beth Shalom of Deerfield Beach just South of Hillsboro Blvd. on Military Trail. You can come and hear his message of the week during regular Shabbat Morning Services (9 – 11:30 a.m.).

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CLERGY CORNER: Do you still remember?

Posted on 11 September 2014 by L.Moore

Do you still remember how you felt? Do you remember the feelings you had that day 13 years ago?
Maybe you had feelings of fear because you did not know when or where the next attack was going to come from. Maybe you felt anger because you lost family or friends in the attacks. Maybe you felt confused because you did not understand why all this bad stuff was happening to our country. I remember seeing all three of those emotions from people all over our country. I pray that we not only remember one day every year what happened on Sept. 11, 2001; but, I pray that we always remember!
2 Peter 3:2
2 I want you to remember what the holy prophets said long ago and what our Lord and Savior commanded through your apostles.
-NLT
It has been 13 years now and we need to make sure we remember that we, as a united country, turned to God in our time of need and He brought us comfort.
I remember all the members of Congress standing on the Capitol steps and praying to God for help. I remember seeing men and women risk their own lives to try and save those who were in the middle of those disasters with no fear. I remember our enemy trying to scare us and intimidate us on our own soil, in our very own country. I remember a great country and a great people rising up together and turning to God for help. With God’s help (because we asked for it), we rose above what our enemy tried to do to us. I even remember feeling anger when we went to New York City the following year to visit family and being able to see the two holes in the ground that were left.
Please do not ever forget the tragedy that happened that day. Do not forget the lives that were taken in those horrible events. Do not forget the lives that were given by our civil servants. Do not forget that God helped us through that horrible time and allowed us to begin to heal. Remember and pray for those that lost their lives and also for those who gave their lives to help others.
2 Kings 17:38-39
38 Do not forget the covenant I made with you, and do not worship other gods.
39 You must worship only the Lord your God. He is the one who will rescue you from all your enemies.”
-NLT
I want you to remember not only how we all felt as a nation but also remember how we responded by turning to God and by protecting our freedom. God wants us to remember the teachings we got from the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. Do not forget God’s teachings or the way you felt that day 13 years ago. Please do not forget that still today our military has men and women fighting for our freedoms overseas and let us all pray they come home safely.
Tony Guadagnino is the pastor at Christian Love Fellowship Church.

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CLERGY CORNER: “Labor Day” or “La-Bore Day?”

Posted on 04 September 2014 by L.Moore

Labor Day just came and went and many of us are right back where we were before, at work!

So, you might be wondering, what does Jewish tradition say about work? Let me give you just a few examples.

For those of you who are struggling, working overtime, working two jobs, for those of you who come home achy and exhausted from heavy labor, and for those of you who are under constant stress in the workplace, this line from the Talmud might be of interest to you. It says, “To earn a living can be as hard as to part the Red Sea.” (Talmud: Pesahim, 118a)

Also in the Talmud (Kiddushin), we read, “Not to teach your son to work is like teaching him to steal.”

And there is an old adage that says, “The hardest work is being idle.” And you will have to pardon the pun here, but I simply can’t resist telling you that if you disagree with this statement, you just might be an “idle worshipper.” (Feel free to groan … LOL).

I read a story many years ago from the works of Psychoanalyst Morris Mandel. As I recall, it tells of a young woman who has a most unusual job. She sits in a store window all day with one of those old potter wheels where one foot sits on a pedal that must keep a good and constant rhythm going up and down while the other foot rests flat on the floor throughout the work day.

A customer watches in fascination for a while and goes over to the woman at the potter’s wheel and says, “Your foot must get awfully tired having to move up and down so rapidly all day long.”

To which the laborer responds, “No, it’s not the foot that works that’s tired …it’s the foot that just sits there; it’s the foot that is idle.”

Indeed for some of us, idleness just might be, as my Christian Colleague would say, “The Devil’s Work.” And whenever I hear that, I can’t help but picture Flip Wilson using his famous comedic excuse, “The Devil made me do it.”

On Labor Day weekend, many of you may have gotten to travel. Many of you might also have to travel on business during the year. When I was growing up, United Airlines had a wonderful advertising slogan that said, “Fly the friendly skies of United.”

But nowadays, instead of being united in the skies, it seems that many just have too much idle time on their hands. And so it was that two passengers recently thought of themselves and of no one else and, in the midst of the idleness sitting on a plane for hours, they both lost their cool.

One was using a device, a knee defender that makes it impossible for the person sitting in front of you to lean their seat back. He refused to remove it when a complaint was made and that is when the other passenger lost it as well and threw a cup of water in the other’s face. Both will argue that they were in the right, but they both had too much time on their hands and they were both wrong. On top of that, their childish behavior led to everyone else being delayed.

Drink not from the bread of idleness,” lest it lead you to sin. Keep busy with your labor and with Mitzvoth and you will not become an “idle worshipper.”

Shalom my friends,

Rabbi Craig H. Ezring

Rabbi Ezring is the Spiritual Leader of Temple Beth Israel of Deerfield Beach. The Temple is located one block South of Hillsboro Blvd. on Military Trail. Come by and see how warm and haimishe this Congregational Family is. Better yet, become a part of our family!

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CLERGY CORNER: Fixing Ferguson & fixing the planet

Posted on 28 August 2014 by L.Moore

Imagine God decided to break the covenant with humankind and flood the earth again. But this time, Noah’s ark is big enough to hold all humanity. Everybody in the world would have another chance. Our fate would depend on everybody in the ark getting along!

This is a scary idea for several reasons, not the least of which is we would all be in the same boat. Because if we were all in the same boat, it would be hard to distinguish people jumping overboard on their own from people being thrown overboard by somebody else.

No time would pass on the new ark before people would segregate by race, religion, culture and language. Territories on the ark would be fought for and claimed. Competition for resources would be intense. Walls would be built to keep undesirables out. A scant few pockets of genuine joy would be threatened by jealousies that annoy. These things and more would occur before flood waters recede; that is, if flood waters recede …

Ferguson, MO and what happened there is not new.

It is a sad sequel provided by the “Show Me State” that gives us a fresh peak under the rug … Another young man’s life is tragically lost; another policeman’s life is dreadfully wrecked. Families mourn, communities are torn, friends defend friends, looters loot and shooters shoot, politicians and, even clergy, scramble to grab a picket sign or a microphone when God only knows and understands.

Paul writes to the church in Rome, “God does not show favoritism.”

What Paul is telling Christians in Rome is, “We all are already in the same boat …” Our boat is called planet earth and we all occupy this space under the same expectations of the same God. How ‘bout we begin with that, hmm?

What are God’s expectations of people of faith?

The answer to this question is key because if we satisfy God’s expectations then tragedy like the one in Ferguson, Mo. will be averted. God’s expectations are found, in part, in God’s law: the Commandments, the Torah and the Holiness Code, and some would argue the entirety of the Holy Bible.

We need law, but when we see people use and abuse even God’s law to establish or sustain their own ideas, their territory, their walls, their pockets, their expectations, then we begin to realize all of us have the capacity to miss the forest for the tree.

Christ Jesus comes, in part, so we may more clearly see God’s expectations for the planet. It was a lawyer, an expert in the law, who asked Jesus, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”

He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the words of all the prophets.(Matthew 22: 36 – 40)

Our role as followers of Christ Jesus could not be clearer.

Yes, the president has a job to do. The Attorney General has a job to do. A governor, mayor, sheriff, prosecutor, defense attorney, journalist, a minister preaching the social gospel, a grand jury has a job to do. We all have a role to play, but the sooner we understand we are all in the same boat subject to the same expectations of the same God, the sooner these tragedies end.

If you want to make things better, then, sure, run for office, grow the economy, create living wage jobs, elevate access to quality education, register voters, establish more crime prevention programs; improve police community relations. Really, there are many good things you can do …

But if you want to fix Ferguson, if you want to fix the planet, then “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul, and all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.”

Dr. Dennis Andrews is a reverend at Community Presbyterian Church, at 1920 SE 4 St. in Deerfield Beach, 33441.

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CLERGY CORNER: Time for a Tune-Up

Posted on 20 August 2014 by L.Moore

For the past several weeks, many of us have been complaining about the weather “conditions” here in sunny South Florida. We’ve complained about the heat; although it’s true some love that heat; and we have complained about the deluge of rain that we have had.

Then there’s the Middle East; everyday people ask about the “conditions” over there. Every day the news is filled with reports as to what conditions this side or that side is requiring just to sit down at the table together.

There are even conditions in regard to marriage. In fact, if you look at a Ketuba, a Jewish marriage contract, you would find the “conditions,” the solemn obligations of marriage, including I will love, I will honor and cherish you; I will protect and support you, and I will faithfully care for your needs as prescribed by Jewish law and tradition. I pledge you all my love and devotion, and I take upon myself the fulfillment of all the duties incumbent upon me as your spouse.

So you see, marriage comes with “conditions.” In fact, pretty much every relationship I can think of comes with “conditions.” I know there is something we refer to as unconditional love, but that love can grow grossly awry if certain “conditions” aren’t met.

Even the Almighty puts “conditions” on us. The covenant we made at Mount Sinai has been likened to a wedding: G-d the groom, we the bride and the Torah as the wedding contract.

Of course, the secret to any relationship is communication and all too often we fail to communicate properly. And, before you know it, that union we have, that closeness, that warmth, suddenly turns cold. And, if it doesn’t turn cold suddenly, it sure as heck turns cold over time.

I often tell people that they should go to a counselor for a tune-up, that they should go to see what state their relationship is in. They should stop in to see what “condition” their “condition” is in. Oddly enough, it’s one of the reasons we pray to G-d; it’s one of the reasons we come to our House of Worship; we stop in to see what “condition” our “condition” is in, our “condition” with G-d.

I was talking to someone the other day. I tried to encourage them to come to join us at Temple Beth Israel of Deerfield Beach. They said they didn’t need to join a temple or a community; they told me their faith was in their heart. Now, please don’t get me wrong. I hope each of you has faith in your heart, but I also hope that you have more of a commitment than that; I hope that you have faith in your head, in your hands, in your feet, in your home, in your business, in your community, and, yes, in your marriage.

A marriage can easily fall apart when one partner constantly says, “I love you,” but their actions never show it because they’re never there for you. The same is true in our contract with G-d. You can’t just say “I love you.” Your relationship requires actions, commitment and communication. Marriage is a continuing process, if you don’t grow with it, if you don’t regularly check in to see what “condition” your “condition” is in, you may be heading for a separation or a divorce.

The same is true with our faith and our relationship with G-d. Go to your House of Worship, communicate with G-d, communicate with your Congregational Family, contribute; and when you pray, take a good hard look inside yourself and see what “condition” your “condition” is in.

Shalom my friends,

Rabbi Craig H. Ezring

If you enjoy reading this column or are in need of a “Spiritual Tune-Up,” why not join us for a Shabbat Morning Service at Temple Beth Israel of Deerfield Beach. We’d love to see you there. The Temple is located at 201 S. Military Trail.

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CLERGY CORNER: Children of God

Posted on 14 August 2014 by L.Moore

They always say that time goes faster and faster as you get older. They always say that we should enjoy our children while they are small because the time goes by very fast and it is gone before you know it. I never really understood those statements until I had my own children, and I started getting older.

My wife and I did not start our family until we were in our 30s. And now (a few years later — ha-ha) our son is 15 and our daughter is 13. Both of our children are in high school now and I just think – WOW!

As a parent, I want the best for my children. I want them to do well in school and get an education. I want them to be safe from all the bad and evil things that are in the world today. BUT, I do not want to be their God and make all of their life’s decisions for them. I want them to learn and grow and be able to take care of themselves so, when mom and dad are not around, they will know how to make wise decisions and do the right thing.

Matthew 7:9-11

9 “You parents — if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead?

10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not!

11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

NLT

As my wife and I began to raise our children, it was then that I began to realize how much God truly loves us. The very same way that we love our own children is the same way that God loves His children. God want the very best for us. God wants us to do well and learn as we go through life, and get educated so we will make the right decisions. God wants to protect us from the bad and evil things in this world. The Bible teaches us that safety is not in the absence of danger, but in the presence of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 6:17-18

17 Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the LORD. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you.

18 And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty.”

NLT

The same way we pray and hope that our children listen to us and make the right decisions when opportunities come is the same way that God feels about us. God wants us to listen to Him and make the right decisions when the opportunities come. The best ways I have found to learn from God is by reading your Bible, praying and going to church. There are also benefits for our children to obey their parents and do what they are told to do. We have benefits of obeying God and by doing what He has asked us to do. As we pray for our children to be happy, healthy and holy, let’s also pray for ourselves as well.

Tony Guadagnino is a pastor at Christian Love Fellowship Church.

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CLERGY CORNER: A Journal of our journey

Posted on 07 August 2014 by L.Moore

Satanyana taught, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

Of course, we live in a day and age where people tend to rewrite history not through their own eyes, but through their own lies. It would seem that every news story we hear, no matter how much a station may claim to be unbiased, has its own spin to the story. And those stations that claim to give you the facts and only the facts … that does not mean that they necessarily give you all the facts, just the ones that help show their point of view.

I have been listening to the various sides of the story in regard to what is going on in the Middle East, and not only am I amazed at how different and biased the views are, but I am stunned when I hear different spokespeople give what they consider to be historical accounts of the situation’s origins. These voices want to explain how things went from point A to point B. They want to tell us what led us to this point in our journey. But what do you do when people can’t even agree on past history? What do you do when you have so-called historians who deny the Holocaust or those who deny a Jewish presence for ages in the Holy Land? How can people learn from history if the history they are being taught is a made up journey

The Torah has a list of 42 places that we journeyed along in our road to freedom and those who study such matters still know where the brunt of those places are.

They know what they were called in ancient days and they know what they are called in our modern world. But, in Numbers 33:19, we read, “They set out from Rithmah and encamped at Rimmon-perez.” Do you know what Rithmah and Rimmon-Perez are known by today? Do you know why you can only guess at the answer? Because we no longer know where those two areas are. Over the years of telling the story, we have forgotten some of the details.

Let me give you my midrash on this list of 42. You see, when I go to get information for a funeral eulogy, I have certain questions I ask. The questions might seem very general in nature, but each is designed to stir a memory. For instance, when I ask a widow if they went on a honeymoon, they don’t just answer, “We honeymooned in Miami Beach.” No, just the naming of that place they journeyed to brings back wondrous memories. Like the other day when a widow told me that she and her husband honeymooned in Miami and they both got so burned on the first day that they spent the rest of their honeymoon rubbing calamine lotion on each other. I think that this list of 42 in the Torah is about our honeymoon with G-d. It is about our beginnings as a married couple. It is about our beginnings as a family, and each name of each encampment is there to stir a memory, and it is there for us to add in the details.

This week, let us think not just of our ancestor’s journey; let us think of the places we have been on our journey. Let the memories flow. Share them with your children and your children’s children so those stories will not disappear.

Shalom my friends,

Rabbi Craig H. Ezring

Rabbi Ezring is the Spiritual Leader of Temple Beth Israel of Deerfield Beach. While the kids are going back to School, we invite you to come back to Shul and join our warm and caring congregational family.

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CLERGY CORNER: A Legacy of Faith: CELEBRATING 90 YEARS

Posted on 30 July 2014 by L.Moore

“Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations “(Psalm 90: 1).

Moses’ statement written for the benefit of the tribes in the wilderness is often borrowed and applied to contemporary communities of faith.

It is a declaration that beyond buildings and roofs, God himself is the abode of the believer.

In God, he puts his trust, his confidence and his faith. His offspring and succeeding generations inevitably follow the same pattern and make the same proclamation. It springs from the realization that God guides, comforts, protects and provides for those who put their trust in Him. He can be counted on to be faithful, dependable and true.

One such community of faith in our fair city is the Cathedral Church of God (365 S. Dixie Hwy).

For 90 years, the congregation has witnessed the faithfulness of God as they have served him and the community.

In August of 1924, at the corner of Dixie Highway and SW 2 Street, a small group of Christian believers proclaimed the “Full Gospel” and laid a foundation for what would become Deerfield Beach’s first Pentecostal church.

In the ensuing decades, the church would grow as many individuals and families began to put their faith in God and bear witness to the power of the Gospel. Many of the founding members’ progeny are still actively involved in this ministry of faith.

Today, the church is celebrating a rich history and legacy that has lasted for several generations. Cathedral Church of God is one of the leading congregations in the Florida/Cocoa Church of God (Cleveland, TN). It has produced numerous leaders who have served the state and national offices in administrative positions. Various other ministries and congregations have also emanated from the church.

Current community outreach includes an afterschool tutoring program, bi-weekly feeding program, and support for various social service agencies. All of which are an expression of an abiding faith in God and a desire to demonstrate that faith in service to others.

In honor of their 90-year milestone, the church is planning a host of activities for the month of August.

In addition to the dynamic worship and preaching that takes place every Sunday, there will be an outreach to the community on the church’s property August 13 to 15 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. each night. Activities include music, testimony, proclamation and praises, as well as distribution of bags of groceries and children’s backpacks on Friday, August 15th.

Saturday, August 30 at 3 p.m., the church will hold a celebration and homecoming service with many dignitaries (both civic and ecclesiastic), ministry partners, friends and former members.

The concluding event will be a grand banquet at the Westin hotel in Ft. Lauderdale on Sunday August 31 at 3 p.m.

The entire community is invited to come and help celebrate in any of these events.

More information can be obtained by calling the church’s office at 954-427-0302.

Bishop Patrick L. Kelly,

Pastor

Cathedral Church of God Deerfield Beach

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CLERGY CORNER: From Small Beginnings

Posted on 24 July 2014 by L.Moore

My wife and I were thrilled this week to touch, feel and see one of life’s most exciting new possibilities. The occasion was to spend quality time with Lucy Anne, our first granddaughter.

Born the first day of July, Lucy Anne weighs all of 9 lbs. She is fragile and completely dependent on the loving care of those entrusted with her well-being. But Lucy’s delicate frame will strengthen and grow. Before we realize it, she will demonstrate signs of mobility. She will be turning over and sitting up. She will be crawling then walking. She will be running even before she is potty trained. I imagine her in pre-school tomorrow and driving a car next week, but, hopefully, not on I-95!

However quickly life passes, like cars in the far left lane of the interstate; however messed up the world appears to be, whenever God presents new life in the form of a newborn child, then we pray the sun keeps rising and setting perfectly. We have this hope because we desire yet another generation touch, feel and see the thrill of new possibilities too.

But how is it so engrained in our psyche that we look to the future with such optimism for a tiny infant so small and weak and vulnerable in a world so large and troubled?

Like deep roots of a tree tall and strong, the explanation is in our faith. Jesus speaks to his followers about this in a parable saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater

than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” (Matthew 13)

You see, we all may have small beginnings, but we are children of a big promise.

Paul writes in his letter to the Romans, “It is the Spirit that bears witness with our spirit that we are all children of God. We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to His purpose. What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, then who is against us? For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8)

And so, my prayer is not only that the small will physically grow strong, but that we will all spiritually grow strong in our faith.

For, as we see a seed grow from small beginnings to become a tree strong and tall providing space for nesting and shade for resting, the roots of faith run deep to withstand the world’s testing. This is the ground of our confidence in Christ in whom we are heirs to a promise greater than the world. Through Christ our well-being is guaranteed.

Turns out we are not so fragile after all because nothing can separate us from the love of God in whose loving care we have been entrusted since before we were born….

Reverend Andrews is a minister at Community Presbyterian Church of Deerfield Beach (Steeple on the Beach), located five blocks south of Hillsboro on A1A. This Sunday’s chapel worship is at 10 a.m. and the message is “From Small Beginnings.”

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CLERGY CORNER: We will rock you

Posted on 16 July 2014 by L.Moore

Moses descended from Mt. Sinai, but as he sees the children of Israel singing and dancing around a Golden Calf, he lets his temper get to him; and what does he do? He takes those stone tablets and throws them down and breaks them. The tablets are no longer stone; they are just a bunch of rocks.

WE WILL, WE WILL ROCK YOU … ROCK YOU…

Later, in the Torah, we read about Moses and rocks again.

The children of Israel cry out for water. Moses turns to G-d and He tells Moses to speak to a rock and water will fl ow. But it seems that Moses still has a problem because, instead of speaking to the rock, he hits it. In the JPS translation of the Torah, rather than saying, “speak to the rock,” it says, “… before their eyes, you shall order the rock …”

No matter which translation you use, it is pretty apparent that Moses was told not to hit the rock, but rather, to speak to the rock.

But, why does G-d tell Moses to speak to a rock? The Sages wisely asked, “Does a rock have ears with which to hear or eyes with which to see?”

So who was supposed to hear Moses’ words? In Numbers 20:7-8 we read that Moses is “to speak in front of their eyes…” That’s right, the children of Israel have eyes with which to see and ears with which to hear.

It is no secret that when we try to teach Torah to some people, it is like talking to a rock. They are not open to hearing the words. It gets frustrating and sometimes we have an urge to lash out. But let’s learn from the greatest of all teachers, from Moses himself, that lashing out at the people is not going to satisfy their thirst.

I don’t know if you remember studying rocks in school, but there are three different types:

The first is Igneous. The word igneous comes from the Latin root, ignis, which means fire. Igneous rocks are formed as they cool off after a great heat. If you look in the Thesaurus, you will find the synonyms quite interesting, as they include hot-headed and impulsive. Yet it also includes passionate and enthusiastic.

Moses was passionate; he was enthusiastic. He also could be rather impulsive. As human beings, we all have a bit of the igneous rock within us.

Then there is the Sedimentary rock, a layered rock that comes from many grains, including fossils of just about everything from the past including remnants of the dinosaur. As humans, we have many layers and come in many grains, and, we all carry remnants of our past.

And last, but certainly not least, there are the metamorphic rocks. These rocks change over the years, as the things they go through, all the pressure and all the heat, give them new shape.

Again, I turn to the Thesaurus and find that the synonyms for metamorphic include to age or to mature. Also included in the synonyms are to develop. As humans, we should be constantly trying to grow and mature, to develop ourselves.

We are rocks Igneous ,and, as such, we need to learn to be less hot headed and more passionate. We are the rocks Sedimentary, and, as such, we need to learn to handle the heat and play it cool. We are the rocks Metamorphic, may the changes we make in ourselves and in this world be for a blessing.

Shalom my friends,

Rabbi Craig H. Ezring

Rabbi Ezring is a member of the National Association of Jewish Chaplains and of the Association of Professional Chaplains. He works professionally in this capacity with a number of healthcare facilities in the area, and with hospice. He is the Spiritual Leader of Temple Beth Israel of Deerfield Beach.

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