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Share the Road

May 19, 2014

“Every day is a great day, if you don’t believe me, try missing one.” Tom Hafey

Below is a summary of this week’s Parsha Bamidbar from – In the Sinai Desert, G‑d says to conduct a census of the twelve tribes of Israel. Moses counts 603,550 men of draftable age (20 to 60 years); the tribe of Levi, numbering 22,300 males age one month and older, is counted separately. The Levites are to serve in the Sanctuary, replacing the firstborn, whose number they approximated, who were disqualified when they participated in the worshipping of the Golden Calf. The 273 firstborn who lacked a Levite to replace them had to pay a five-shekel “ransom” to redeem themselves.

When the people broke camp, the three Levite clans dismantled and transported the Sanctuary, and reassembled it at the center of the next encampment. They then erected their own tents around it: the Kohathites, who carried the Sanctuary’s vessels (the Ark, menorah, etc.) in their specially designed coverings on their shoulders, camped to its south; the Gershonites, in charge of its tapestries and roof coverings, to its west; and the families of Merari, who transported its wall panels and pillars, to its north. Before the Sanctuary’s entranceway, to its east, were the tents of Moses, Aaron, and Aaron’s sons.

Beyond the Levite circle, the twelve tribes camped in four groups of three tribes each. To the east were Judah (pop. 74,600), Issachar (54,400) and Zebulun (57,400); to the south, Reuben (46,500), Simeon (59,300) and Gad (45,650); to the west, Ephraim (40,500), Manasseh (32,200) and Benjamin (35,400); and to the north, Dan (62,700), Asher (41,500) and Naphtali (53,400). This formation was kept also while traveling. Each tribe had its own nassi (prince or leader), and its own flag with its tribal color and emblem.

Two things motivated me to do this short Blog

  1. This morning I went swimming. There was a big queue of people when I arrived. The receptionist processed my swipe card and said “Enjoy your swim Ian”. Leaving the pool she said “Have a great Monday Ian”. I was totally blown away that she remembered my name. It makes such a difference when people are so friendly.
  2. Walking to Shul on Saturday with Sam, a car drove past (OZM452) and the passenger stuck his head out the window and started making very rude anti-semitic comments (no need to mention). I did not re-act and memorised the number plate. I explained to Sam about anti-semitsim. As a young kid he was perplexed – Why?

Yesterday was Lag B’Omer[1]. I noticed the following comment from Naftali Bennett[2]  “This is the day when the epidemic which killed tens of thousands of Rabbi Akiva’s students ended. They died because no one respected each other…. we should adopt one of the great rules of the Torah: ״וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ״ – “Love your neighbour as yourself” – Wishing you a good week and a Chag Sameach my sisters and brothers.

Last week the Richmond Legend Tom Hafey passed away. I did not know much about him, but when I noticed his picture I instantly recognised him. Often riding towards the Spirit of Tasmania port I passed an oldish guy in his bathers (Summer, Winter, Rain and Cold) and he would always make a comment with an ever present wave of friendliness, camaraderie and encouragement. You always felt as if he knew you. Comments like – “hey, isn’t it great to be alive out here” and “have a great day fellas” to mention a few. On further reading I read about the influence he has had on others and his exercise routine. Below is an extract he did last year:

Tom Hafey 2“Steve: Fantastic. Tom Hafey is a former Australian Rules football player and coach and an icon of Australian sport. He is 81 years young, but age that number doesn’t play a big role in Tommy’s life. He’s still going strong, training harder than most men 60 years his junior! Tom is considered to be one of the most successful and inspirational coaches of the post-war era. He began his senior football life as a tough, relentless back pocket specialist who played 67 VFL games for Richmond between 1953 and 1958, but it is as a coach that he is better remembered. Throughout his career, Tom Hafey coached four teams to Premierships in ten Grand Final appearances and is one of only six coaches to have coached over 500 AFL/VFL games.

These days, while most people his age would be happy to still be walking, Tom is still training every day like an athlete, doing motivational speaking all over the country, running coaching clinics and having a massive, positive influence on tens of thousands of Aussies every year.

Tom, you’ve never touched alcohol or cigarettes and gave up cakes and biscuits 40 years ago, so you obviously have a pretty phenomenal diet.”[3]

Tom Hafey was a role model, and an inspiration.

Riding or running with my mates I always try to greet fellow athletes and I am so surprised how many people do not acknowledge or ignore you. I am not sure why?

Share the RoadOr often riding on my bike people drive past very impatiently – hooting or screaming. I am not sure why?

In this week’s Parsha G‑d instructs Moses to count the Jewish nation, G‑d says pekod, not meneh. This is reflected in the Hebrew word for “count,” pekod, which also means to “remember” and “be concerned with.” – (Nachmanides)

I noticed the following quote today that is very relevant – “Some people aren’t “anti social”, they’re just selective when it comes to the people they associate with.” – ‏@WOWFactsOfLife

Be FriendlyWe all need to make an effort be more friendly and tolerant. We need to be CONCERNED about our fellow people… What more can I say, except that it is so nice to be treated well with warm words and friendliness.

Tom Hafey’s website has the following marathon runner’s mantra[4]: “Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle — when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”


[1] Lag B’Omer, is a Jewish holiday celebrated on the 33rd day of the Counting of the Omer, which occurs on the 18th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar.

[2] Naftali Bennett is an Israeli politician. He is the Minister of the Economy, and the leader of the right-wing political party The Jewish Home, as well as the extra-parliamentary movement My Israel.




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One Comment
  1. Mom permalink

    Wish everyone could take a lesson from some of your comments & stories it would be a more tolerant & happy world. Good lesson Ian. Xxx

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