Friday, July 22
- 06:50 am – Shacharit
- 07:00 pm – Mincha
- 07:56 pm – Candle Lighting
Saturday, July 23
- 07:45 am – Shacharit at Salem Towers
- 08:45 am – Shacharit
- 09:08 am – Latest Time for Kriat Shema
- 10:30 am – Junior Congregation
- 11:15 am – Kiddush
- 04:45 pm – Ladies’ Class in Brachot (at the home of Rabbi & Rebbetzin Rabinowitz, 265 Fellsway East)
- 06:30 pm – Men’s Class in Derech Hashem
- 07:30 pm – Mincha
- 08:00 pm – Se’udah Shlishit
- 08:50 pm – Ma’ariv
- 09:04 pm – Shabbat Ends
Week of July 24 – 29
- 08:00 am – Sunday
- 06:40 am – Monday and Thursday
- 06:50 am – Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday
- 07:55 pm – Monday – Thursday
- 07:00 pm – Friday
- 08:25 pm – Monday – Thursday
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Weekly Words of Torah
Working- A Goal or a Means?
Insights into Parshat Matot of Rosh Yeshivat Sha’alvim, Rav Yechezkel Yakobson, from the Asicha volume, by Rav Re’uven Ungar of Sha’alvim.
The members of the tribes of Gad and Reuven requested to stay on the Eastern Bank of the Jordan River (Ever HaYarden), rather than settling in the primary area of The Land of Israel. They noted the abundant sheep that they possessed; the Ever HaYarden was conducive for grazing the flocks of sheep.
Rashi quotes the Midrash that focuses on the order of actions presented by the tribes of Gad and Reuven. “We will build fences for our sheep and cities for our children” (Bamidbar 32:16). Apparently, the petitioners were more concerned about their financial possessions than about the welfare of their children. Moshe Rabbeinu instructed them to invert the order- to initially build cities for the children, afterwards to tend to the flocks of sheep. The Midrash instructs us to be happy with our lot; we should not excessively pursue amassing wealth (Bamidbar Raba, 22:8).
In practice, the members of these tribes left their families for 14 years to conquer The Land of Israel. This was in accordance with the arrangement made with Moshe Rabbeinu; subsequent to the fulfillment of this condition they would be entitled to settle in the Ever HaYarden. If asked for the rationale of their actions, they would have responded that everything was done for the sake of their families- to provide a strong economic base.
Nowadays, we witness a similar phenomenon- the race for amassing great wealth. The means has become the goal. While it is correct that people do not have to live in poverty it is undeniable that in the pursuit of wealth people frequently ignore their families. If the aim of working is to provide for the family, then time should be reserved to be spent with children and spouses- even if this means a slightly lower salary.
The members of the tribes of Gad and Reuven were not criticized solely for verbally mentioning an improper sequence of action. Rather, this indicated a reversal of priorities- which was acted upon in the 14 years in which they were removed from their families.
Our intention is not to discourage pursuing a livelihood, nor to be resigned to live beneath a decent standard. On the contrary, many difficulties may arise from poverty. Yes, we aim to make a livelihood- but this is a means to an end, not a goal within itself. If this point is not engaged, we run the risk of being carried away in pursuing wealth.
One of the questions a person is asked in The World to Come is “Did you faithfully engage in business” (Masechet Shabbat 31a). Perhaps the intention of this question is did our pursuit of livelihood constitute part of our Divine Service? Was it performed to enable us to properly raise our families and to provide the optimum conditions in serving Hashem, or did it become a goal within itself?
May we merit to properly prioritize our goals in life and to act accordingly.