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Each week we feature a different Florida Rabbi.


Rabbi Larry I. Charson
Congregation B?nai Kodesh

The Hebrew slaves that left Egypt with Moses were given a great gift. Besides being freed from slavery, they were blessed to witness many miracles that demonstrated not only G-d?s existence, but also His commitment to them. They witnessed the ten plagues, the humbling of Pharaoh, the parting of the Red Sea, they heard G-d?s voice at Mt. Sinai, they saw the pillar of fire and smoke that led them on their journey, and they experienced the miracle of the manna which provided them with all the nourishment they needed in the desert.

In addition, they were given a spiritual picture of their future and their children?s future ? a life in the Promised Land akin to the life in the Garden of Eden, only better ? better because they would be adults, a kingdom of priests, not children like Adam and Eve.

What would you give to personally witness a few miracles with your own eyes and ears? What would you give to know for certain the existence of a loving, benevolent G-d who is running this show we call life? And what would you give to be free from your fear of the unknown, your fear of death?

Yet despite experiencing these events with their own eyes and ears, some of our ancestors lost faith. They chose to buy into the illusion that was Egyptian slavery, rather than the spiritual life promised them at the end of their journey. This spiritual failing led to the sin of the golden calf, a rebellion over the lack of meat in their diet, and numerous challenges to Moses? authority.

What is the Torah telling us, and what are we to learn from it? Are we faced with a similar challenge? Do we not live in a spiritual desert?

If modern secular society puts us in different clothes and affords us new ways to earn a living, that?s not so awful. What is awful is when we throw out the baby with the bath water, when we buy into secularity to such an extent that we leave no room in our hearts for what has been for thousands of years a beautiful, loving, life sustaining truth ? the spiritual life of the humble Jew guided by Torah.

You want a sign? Miracles? Plagues? G-d?s voice? They?re all around us! All we need is to learn how to turn the knob on our spiritual radios.

"A wind from YHVH started up, swept quail from the sea and strewed them over the camp... The people set to gathering quail all that day and night and all the next day... and they spread them out all around the camp. The meat was still between their teeth, nor yet chewed, when YHVH struck the people with a very severe plague. That place was named Kibroth-hattavah, the Graves of Craving, because the people who had the craving were buried there."
(Ba-Midbar/Numbers 11:31-34)

G-d bless you all.

Rabbi Larry I. Charson
(561) 798-9088
Rabbi Charson can be reached at [email protected]


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