I want to congratulate Yeshaia Blakeney on his acceptance to Rabbinical School. Rabbi Shy is an amazing Rabbi, Spiritual Leader and Mensch! Beit T’Shuvah, the entire community and I are Blessed to have Yeshaia lead us and be our Rabbi and friend! Thanks Shy for believing and being your true self.
I also want to recognize our amazing Board of Directors. They are the wise elders of our community and they continue to keep Beit T’Shuvah a leading force in helping people live well. Thank you all for your support, guidance and leadership.
This week's Torah Portion is Hukkat. This translates to 'statutes'. My theme this week is leadership.
In this Parsha, both Miriam and Aaron die. These two people were co-leaders, with Moses, of the Israelite people from the time they left Egypt. They helped the people live and die in their wandering through the wilderness. Miriam was a person that is not spoken about a lot in Torah, yet her presence is always felt by me. She followed Moses when he was put in the ark and sent down the Nile. She convinced Pharaoh's daughter to allow Moses' mother to be the wet nurse of baby Moses. Miriam led the women in dance after the Red Sea crossing. She was Moses' confidant and mentor, I believe. Are you aware of and honor/revere the people who helped you grow?
Miriam is called a prophetess. She was a woman who knew the right thing to do and was not perfect. She led people to the water, she gave people the ability to water their souls. This is why, I believe, that the water dried up when she died. Who helps you water your soul? Who is the source of strength that is your reminder of God and your own God-Image?
Aaron also dies in this Parsha. Aaron was a man who knew the value of and the necessity of T’Shuvah. He participated in the worst sin we can commit, Idolatry. He built the Golden Calf. He was a man who was afraid of conflict and loved people. He was a man who experienced pain and led people to redemption and joy. What do you think your "worst" sin is and how can you do T’Shuvah for it and forgive yourself? How do you lead others in experiencing pain and not dwelling in despair?
Aaron was a man of peace. He knew war and served peace. He made Shalom, peace and wholeness, when there was strife. He led people to never forget gratitude and T’Shuvah. And, he was imperfect! Are you making Shalom in your life and in the lives of others? Are you aware of and doing T’shuvah for your imperfections?
Both of these leaders were human. They both served God and others in their unique ways. They both made mistakes and failed forward. They both were content being second to Moses. They both were dedicated to living their lives without needing to be Number One! Are you following in their footsteps? Are you taking your proper place as leader, supporting cast, etc. in your life and in the lives of others?