July 13, 2024
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July 13, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

This week’s Torah portion teaches us about the kohanim, the special Jewish priests. They had the important job of conducting services in the Tabernacle and guiding the people to become the best they could be. The high priest, the kohen gadol, wore an especially beautiful uniform that was made up of holy and meaningful objects that helped him lead the people in the right way. One of these was a special breastplate that he wore suspended on gold chains from his neck. It was made up of precious jewels with letters engraved on them. When the nation had an important decision to make they didn’t just decide on their own. They came to the kohen gadol and asked for advice. God caused the letters on the chest-plate to light up and spell out the answer. They would follow this advice and always succeed. From here we learn the value of asking for advice from someone with more experience to help us know what to do.

In our story a boy realizes that sometimes it’s smarter not to be “too smart” to ask for advice.

The Race

Andrew and Jonathan were ready to go. Their club was going to have a big go-cart race.

Mr. Shore, the club leader, told them the rules. “Boys,” he said. “You have to make the carts all by yourselves, but you’re allowed to come and ask me for ideas or advice.”

The next day Andrew met Jonathan on his way to Mr. Shore’s office.

“Where are you going?” asked Andrew.

“I’m going to ask the club leader for some tips on how to build the go-cart. Wanna come?” Jonathan asked.

“No thanks!” said Andrew. “I don’t need advice from anyone. I can figure it out all by myself,” he added proudly.

“Did you ever make a go-cart before?” asked his friend.

“Well, no,” said Andrew. “But I’m sure it’ll be easy.”

Jonathan went on his way to the leader’s office. Mr. Shore was happy to see him, and gave him some good pointers. Jonathan had to work very hard, but following his leader’s advice, he made a really fast go-cart.

Andrew, on the other hand, wasn’t as successful. His go-cart came out looking more like a shopping cart and went only about half as fast.

Jonathan won the big race, and when Andrew saw his friend’s beautiful trophy, he said to himself, “Maybe next year I’ll ask for help after all.” 


Nesanel Yoel Safran is a writer, chef, and a teacher/student of Jewish spirituality. He blends these assorted vocations on his blog, Soul Foodie, where you can join him on mystical cooking adventures and glean practical wisdom for the kitchen—and for living. https://soulfoodiecom.wordpress.com/

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