Yehuda Lave
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The whole is greater than its parts in life and in Judaism

The whole is greater than its parts in life and in Judaism

Rabbis have a full-time job explaining the mysteries of the Bible to those studying it.

The Bible has a lot of mysteries to seemingly straight forward stories, which require many years of study to understand all of its mysteries.

Rabbis have been studying the Bible and Talmud for now 3332 years and we are just scratching the surface of the mysteries.

One of the major principals of the Bible is that every word is chosen and there is not a single word that is superfluous. From this principle, conclusions are drawn from even an extra “a” or “the”.

Since that is a major principle, you can imagine the surprise when the longest reading from the Torah (Bible) in the synagogue last week (called Parsha Nasso), has 12 repetitions of the same story of each of the leaders of the tribes (12 of them) bringing the same gift. If the gift was all the same why not list it once and then say ditto for each tribe. Many individual lessons are learned from the major exception to the rule, that is not apparent without the Rabbi’s teaching.

Parshas Naso is the longest single Parsha in the Torah, at 176 verses.

Many of these are the seemingly repetitive offerings of the tribal princes, on the day the Temple in the desert (the Mishkan) was anointed and they began to bring daily gifts.

Each prince chose what to bring and they all chose the same items as offerings. At this point, the Torah sums up the offerings by tabulating how many golden spoons and how much incense, along with how many animals, were brought in total. This is odd because we could simply do the math ourselves and know how much was brought.

The Malbim (a great commentator) explains that there was a purpose in making the calculation and sharing with us. We might have thought that each Prince brought his own personal gift, and this is indeed what happened. Each Prince represented himself, and he also represented his Tribe, but it was HIS offering.

However, when they had all completed their individual offerings, the sum represented a gift from the entire nation. Each person had a share in this communal offering in that he or she had participated in what was now a national project and they were to be rewarded for that.

There is an expression that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and in Judaism, this is very true. When one Jew does something that is great, but when he does his part and someone else does his, they combine to form a union of mitzvos being done. Each person doing his share gets credit for doing his part but also for being a part of the greater amount of good being done by each other person doing his part.

In the Tochacha (the curses in the Bible when we don’t follow G-d) read in Parshas Bechukosai several weeks ago, it says that when we go in Hashem’s Laws, “five of you will chase a hundred (enemies) and a hundred of you will chase 10,000.”

The more of us who are involved, the greater the ability. This is the exponential power of Jewish unity. By doing our parts, each of us helps the other to complete great things and together we rise higher by lifting each other up.

The whole is greater than its parts in life and in Judaism

A Fishy Story

Shlomo and Rochel go to their local kosher restaurant and order the “Salmon Special.” When their food arrives, Shlomo and Rochel are not impressed. It doesn’t even look like Salmon. So Shlomo calls over the waiter.

“Waiter,” he says, pointing to their plates, “be honest with me, these pieces of fish are from cans aren’t they?”

“From cans, sir?” says the waiter, indignantly. “They’re not from cans. They came directly from Alaska.”

Rochel pipes up, “But were they exported or deported?”

About the Author
Yehuda Lave writes a daily (except on Shabbat and Hags) motivational Torah blog at Loving-kindness my specialty. Internationally Known Speaker and Lecturer and Author. Self Help through Bible and Psychology. Classes in controlling anger and finding Joy. Now living and working in Israel. Remember, it only takes a moment to change your life. Learn to have all the joy in your life that you deserve!!! There are great masters here to interpret Spirituality. Studied Kabbalah and being a good human being with Rabbi Plizken and Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, my Rabbi. Torah is the name of the game in Israel, with 3,500 years of mystics and scholars interpreting G-D's word. Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement
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