In our community, character matters. We created a program to help us balance our character traits. Browse our learning materials and strengthen your own character. This should be the basis of every healthy faith community.
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by Rebbetzin Malkah
When we think about taking a holiday, we imagine pristine beaches with white sand, blue water, blue skies. Or perhaps it is that mountain vista with ice cold streams bubbling down river rock dotted beds, deer crossing the forest laden roads and the clean quiet. But how many of us imagine a hut topped with branches so we can see the stars, walls for protection from the wind and sun, and a chance to eat and sleep in the outdoors during one of the more unsettling times of the year? Most of us probably don't conjure up such images in the autumn, but it is precisely at this time when we read Kohelet (Ecclesiastes), enter the outdoors, and contemplate our true purpose and the meaning of life: outside the safety and comfort of our home.
By Rebbetzin Malkah
Each one of us has one. It doesn't matter how great or small we may be - we each possess some vehicle upon which we transport our desires in order to see their fruition. This week's parasha illuminates so much more than a talking donkey that transports Balaam and his wicked desires. The rabbis contend that this story of Balaam, as an allegory or prophetic vision, is its own book. Slated almost as a commercial break in the middle of Bamidbar, parasha Balak offers us deep insight into the human psyche and the inner workings of an unhealthy neshama. Taking a break from the troubles of Yisrael, it lays out the tragedy of a soul gone awry and shows us the power of speech, blessing and desire.