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Potential!

May 22, 2015

tumblr_lnrbvdnmht1qlq9r6o1_500“#Motivation: ‘Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.” – Miguel Angel Ruiz[1]

Summary of Parsha Bamidbar from http://www.chabad.org  – 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.

“#Motivation: ‘Sports gives us ability to test ourselves mentally, physically & emotionally in a way no other aspect of life can” -Dan O’Brien

I heard a beautiful Torah Drosha on Shavuos, from Menachem Chanan. One of the points he made was that, we don’t study Torah for success, we study Torah to reach our potential. In this competitive world that we live in, I thought this was very true.

I follow on Instagram a user @jewishfoodhero . She recently shared how she got this name. Below is summary:

“I started fantasizing about a “Jewish Food Hero” – a female archetype that could help me feel more connected to Judaism and create meals that are good for my body, my soul, my family, and the world.

The Jewish Food Hero calls out to the healthy hero within each of us. It helps us all to create a new and healthy food future for the Jewish people, one that is connected to our most beautiful traditions while being grounded in the present.

I am not the Jewish Food Hero. Jewish Food Hero is the potential within all of us.”

With Shavuot coming up, I would like to share a thought that is relevant to reaching our potential. A lesson from the Revelation at Mount Sinai from Rabbi Marc Angel[2].

“The Revelation at Mount Sinai was a national experience for all the people of Israel—but it also was very personal. Each Israelite heard the same words—but in different ways!

The Revelation accounts in the Torah also provide guidance on how to live as full, real people, with a healthy and wholesome sense of self. The Talmud reports (Berakhot 8b) that the Holy Ark in the Tabernacle contained the two sets of the Tablets of the law: the broken pieces of the first set, and the complete tablets of the second set. “Luhot veshivrei luhot munahot ba-aron.”

A lesson from this is: we each have “complete” and “broken” tablets within ourselves. We have our greatest strengths and achievements; and we also have our failures and shortcomings. If we only focus on the “complete” aspects of our lives, we may tend to become arrogant and egotistical. If we focus on the “broken” aspects of our lives, we may become demoralized and crushed. To be whole and strong human beings, we need to value both sets of tablets within us. We need to draw on our strengths and learn from our failings. We need to balance self-confidence with honest awareness of our limitations and weaknesses.

On Shavuoth, as we celebrate the anniversary of the Revelation at Mount Sinai, we should direct our thoughts to that special moment in the history of Israel and to the ongoing lessons it provides to us in our own lives.”

“Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you.” -Arnold Palmer

[1] Don Miguel Ángel Ruiz (born 1952), better known as Don Miguel Ruiz, is a Mexican author of Toltec spiritualist and neoshamanistic texts

[2] http://www.jewishideas.org/rabbi-marc-d-angel

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