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#SafetyFirst

February 17, 2016

 “Great things never came from comfort ” – @myrelationshipwithfood

Torah Parsha (portion) Tetzaveh in a nutshell from http://www.chabad.org

G‑d tells Moses to receive from the children of Israelpure olive oil to feed the “everlasting flame” of the menorah, which Aaron is to kindle each day, “from evening till morning.”

The priestly garments, to be worn by the kohanim (priests) while serving in the Sanctuary, are described. All kohanim wore: 1) the ketonet—a full-length linen tunic; 2) michnasayim—linen breeches; 3) mitznefetor migba’at—a linen turban; 4) avnet—a long sash wound above the waist.

In addition, the kohen gadol (high priest) wore: 5) the efod—an apron-like garment made of blue-, purple- and red-dyed wool, linen and gold thread; 6) the choshen—a breastplate containing twelve precious stones inscribed with the names of the twelve tribesof Israel; 7) the me’il—a cloak of blue wool, with gold bells and decorative pomegranates on its hem; 8) the tzitz—a golden plate worn on the forehead, bearing the inscription “Holy to G‑d.”

Tetzaveh also includes G‑d’s detailed instructions for the seven-day initiation of Aaron and his four sons—Nadav, Avihu, Elazar and Itamar—into the priesthood, and for the making of the golden altar, on which the ketoret (incense) was burned.

Sitting on a plane saying Tefila Haderech (prayer for a safe journey) I was thinking about safety.

Going for a run this week at the very early time of 4:45am I noticed a girl running on her own and I thought what a great city Melbourne is! People can get out in the dark, so early without a worry in the world about their safety. Look it was a different story on Fitzroy street where clubs were still pumping and there were drunken party goers, but that is a different blog. You may think I am crazy, but truthfully I really enjoy my early morning runs, being in the fresh air, it’s a time to think and I love to watch the sun rise PLUS you get a good workout in before breakfast.

Last week while running around Centennial Park in Sydney I noticed how geared the roads in the park are for the safety of cyclist. There are hundreds of cyclists doing laps without worrying about cars. It’s amazing! NSW has a new campaign #GoTogether. I suppose similar to #ametrematters. But the message if the campaigns is respecting others.

This weeks Parsha focuses on the clothing worn by the Cohen. I would say that clothing is a safety mechanism and a form of protection. I read two Torah thoughts that I have brought down below on how people have their own self imposed protection mechanism protecting what they say and how they act towards others. I know these restrictions and character traits are learnt through self refinement and effort.

In this weeks Parsha Moshe’s name is not mentioned. The commentators argue why this was so. I read a beautiful reason brought down by Rabbi Frand. This was not a punishment it is, rather, a price that Moses was willing to pay in order to save his beloved people after having argued for them to be saved after the incident of the golden calf. The great Moses was prepared to say to G-d: “Erase me from the book You have written,” because he was much more concerned with the safety and security of the Jewish people, than with his own honor. Moses was a humble person who was very careful with his words.

In the Parsha it says – “This is what you shall do to sanctify them. (29:1)”

I read a beautiful though on this about Horav Mendel Kaplan, zl, the legendary Rosh Yeshivah, he would sense a spark of holiness in every human being. When he spent time in Japan and China, he could not bring himself to ride in a rickshaw, even though this was a common mode of transportation, because it required another human being to pull him. Late in life, when he would drive, he would use the horn only for safety purposes, never as a way to vent frustration. When he would drive into a gas station, he made a point to park nearest to the attendant, so that the worker would not have to walk more than necessary. He would treat every one with respect – never talking down to anyone, regardless of his position or disposition. The warm feelings he demonstrated towards others were always reciprocated. When you make someone feel good, they appreciate it and respond in turn.

Rules in sport are to bring a certain discipline to the sport, to create a level playing field and to protect the players from injury and there bodies from abuse. Let’s not talk about drugs in sport. Rules must be upheld and respected.

Reading Dean Jones weekly column in The Age on Saturday I noticed a comment on Kiwi Cricket Captain Brendan McCullum on the importance of sportsmanship, protecting sport and the image of the game that I think young sportsman need to consider.

McCullum’s first rule as skipper was to protect the reputation, integrity and “the spirit of the game”. This will be his legacy to future Kiwi captains. Let’s not forget he was the main guy from New Zealand to give evidence in the recent Chris Cairns perjury trial.

In our workplaces there are rules to protect workers both physically and to protect the way business is done. ( I can write how privacy rules and compliance has gone way to far but…) Maybe better than what you see in other countries where countries are run by cowboys, bribery and corruption are rampant and no one cares about the workers.

Our kids love the safety of their parents and homes for so many reasons – for a hug, a chat, advise, to assist with homework and to know they there.

In Messina Gelato store it basically says that their products may contain allergens and if you are allergic you should not eat their products. I was thinking … Is this type of safety message discriminatory, putting customers safety first or protecting the store owners?

We all love to be safe and secure whether that’s walking around the city you live in, on the road or sports fields, in a plane, in our workplaces, choosing food to eat and of course in our homes.

BUT there are times we do need to step out of the comfort of these “Safety Barriers” that have been set up by ourselves, authorities, society and in our minds, when for example like me we start a new job, move into a new industry or enter a sporting endurance event. (Yip I am about to enter the Great Ocean Road 60km ultra marathon).

“And suddenly you know it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings” – @myrelationshipwithfood

PS – Loved the Safety message on the Great Ocean Registration – “For all runners considering the Ultra Marathon, please understand that this is a challenge which you must be up for both physically and mentally. Please ensure you adjust your training to suit this course, and can run the 60km within the event cut-off time (6.5 hours) prior to registering for this event.”

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