My name is Claire, and my name is Talia, and this week the parsha in Israel is Parashat Beha’alotcha, but the parsha outside the Land of Israel is Naso. This is because last Shabbat was the second day of Shavuot outside the Land of Israel, so we read the portion for Shavuot. However, in the Land of Israel last Shabbat was just a regular Shabbat because Shavuot is only one day there, so they read Parshat Naso. It’s a bit confusing. We decided to speak about the parsha in Israel, Parshat Beha’alotecha.
Beha’alotcha means to rise up, and it speaks about how Aaron the Kohen Gadol would step up to light the Menorah in the Mishkan.
This parasha teaches us how to make the seven branched menorah. God speaks to Moses, describing the Golden Menorah and all its details. Then, the Levites are appointed to serve as assistants under Aaron and his sons.
The portion then repeats the events that ended the Book of Exodus, describing how the Shekhinah cloud covered the tent of meeting, and that whenever the cloud lifted, the people of Israel would set out, and wherever it settled, the people would camp. The Israelites traveled this way for 40 years in the desert, never knowing how long the journey would last.
Hashem then instructed Moses to make two silver trumpets to be used to summon the camp to attention. The kohanim used different sounds to signal events. When both trumpets were blown, all of Israel were to meet Moses at the entrance of the Mishkan for instructions. If only one trumpet was sounded, then just the leaders were to be summoned. When Israel was to decamp and move to another location in the wilderness, both trumpets would blast the sounds tekiah-teruah-tekiah.
During the second year in the desert, the Israelites wept and said, "If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish that we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks , the onions and the garlic. Now our souls are dried out. There is nothing at all! Nothing but this Man to look to!” Manna was like coriander seed - the people would go and gather it, grind it, boil it in a pot, or make it into cakes. It tasted like rich cream.
When the dew fell on the camp at night, the manna would fall upon it. Moses heard the people weeping, every family apart, each person at the entrance of his tent. Hashem was very angry, and in Moses’ eyes, it was evil."
Manna is a special food that Hashem created that fell from the sky. It had many flavors. The Israelites were acting very greedy and were not grateful that they always had enough food and after everything Hashem has done for them.
In this parasha we learn not to be greedy and to be grateful for what we have. We are also reminded to thank Hashem for what he has given us - because we have a great life!
In Pirkei Avot it says: "איזהו עשיר השׂמח בּחלקו" - “Who is rich, the one who is happy with what he has”
One time, I went shopping with my grandma. We spent a lot of money at one store. I was really happy. But then we went to another store and I wanted to get a lot of things but my grandma said I could only get a small thing because she had already spent a lot of money. I got annoyed because I wanted to get a lot of things. I ended up getting one thing instead. I thought about it in the car, and then I realized that I should be grateful and not greedy because she went out of her way and spent her own money for me. I apologized to my grandma and told her thank you and that I was really happy for what I got. I had a great time with my grandma that night.
Last weekend I was at my house packing for camp. While my sister was packing, she told my mom that she wanted new sneakers. When my mom said yes, I got mad because I had gotten new sneakers for graduation, but my sister wasn’t graduating, so why should she get new shoes? I told my mom that it was unfair and that Gg could get a new pair when she graduates. My mom told me not to be selfish. I then realized how greedy and ungrateful I was. I apologized to my mom and I decided then and there to be more mature and to not be greedy or ungrateful because in life, situations like that will come up and we all have to make the right decisions to care about others and have an attitude of gratitude.
We are going to repeat this one more time because we think that it is very important. Don’t be greedy and ungrateful, because our parents give us so much!!!!!
You know who else has given us so much - all of our teachers and all of the staff here at Lehrman! Since it is the last Friday of the school year, we would like to thank them for teaching us so much about life for all these years! We would also like to say that we are going to miss Lehrman a lot and will definitely visit many times. Thank you again to all the staff for helping build an amazing Lehrman community!!!!!
Thank you and Shabbat Shalom!