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Moses appointed twelve emissaries to scout out the Holy Land and return with a report. The representative for the tribe of Ephraim was Moses’ primary disciple, Joshua. Until this time, the lad’s name was Oshua. But Moses added a letter to his name and called him Joshua.
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Home » Education, Pekudi

Pekudei: Learn to Love It

Submitted by on March 13, 2006 – 5:45 amNo Comment | 2,650 views

A Generous Text

This week’s Parsha continues the theme from the previous Parsha in describing our ancestor’s enthusiasm for building the Mishkan (tabernacle) and their exacting commitment to its great detail. After transmitting G-d’s detailed instructions for building the Mishkan the Torah could have simply concluded with the words “Vayasu Ken,” and they (the Jewish people) obeyed. Why does the Torah go to such detail when it is usually so economical with its words?

Instruction and Inspiration

Teachers strive not only to transmit his lesson but also to spark the student’s curiosity, to engender within him a desire to follow the instruction. The Torah is no different. Torah is a book of instruction. Thus it endeavors to inculcate within us, its students, affection for its tradition.

It is not enough for us to learn the letter of its law it is imperative that we also develop an appetite for its spirit. Torah wants to nurture within us a thirst for its information, a hunger for its heritage, a yearning for its compelling atmosphere and an appreciation for its sanctity.

Thus, the Torah dedicates two full portions to describe the atmosphere of yesteryear. To give us a feel for the ambiance that prevailed in the home of our ancestors, to convey their enthusiasm for the Torah and their adherence to its laws. To teach us not only that they obeyed G-d’s commandments but also why. Why they found it so compelling.

A Modern Day Example

I have talked to many Jewish adults who remember their Talmud Torah years. Those youthful memories are often unpleasant. Teachers frequently used the stick more then the carrot. They were taught to study the Torah but they did not learn to love it. It was assumed that with time they would develop this love on their own but for many that expectation fell short; their parents and teachers failed them.

When we set out to teach our children let us remember that commitment is not enough; we must also aspire for conviction.

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