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Friday Candle Lighting: 4:53pm
Shabbat Ends: 5:42pm
Taking Off Your Gloves
You hurry down the platform. You have to take the next train out of town. The train whistles. It’s about to leave. To open the door of the carriage you need to remove your glove. As you do so, the glove slips from your grasp, floats neatly between the bottom of the train and the platform, and lands on the track. There’s nothing you can do. Either you lose the train and save the glove, or lose the glove and catch the train.
What would you do? Miss the train and save the glove? Or save the glove and miss the train? Well, this is what one of the great figures of the Mussar movement did:
He took off his other glove and threw it under the track.
If you look in the written Torah you’ll be hard pressed to find a single mention of the word â€˜rights’. Obligations â€“ of these, the Torah is full. Obligations of a master to a slave; the obligations of a child to its parents; of a pupil to his teacher and vice versa; of a community to the poor; of the individual to the community; obligations to the orphaned, to the sick, to the convert; the obligations of man to G-d. â€˜Rights’, however, are something that the Torah hardly mentions. Why?
You can construct a legal system that spells out people’s rights ("â€¦all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights…" ) or you can write a code, like the written Torah, that spells out their obligations. You’ll get to the same place. The end result will be the same because to the extent that you have obligations you don’t need rights, and vice versa. The end result will be the same.
With one big difference.
If you base a system of law on rights you turn people into takers; if you base it on obligations you turn them into givers.
The Torah wants to create a nation of givers, a nation who will throw the other glove under the train so the person who finds it will have another to complete the pair.
Rabbi M. Weiss Rabbi Y. Sakhai
Em Habanim Congregation
Weekly Parashat Hashavua class with Rabbi Joshua Bittan on Wednesdays at 8:30pm for more info. visit www.emhabanim.com
Avot Ubanim Program has started for fathers and their kids of ages 4 and up every Saturday night from 7:30pm – 8:30pm, Lots of prizes and great Pizza every week!
Em Habanim Sephardic Congregation is pleased to make available its elegant venue for your celebration. Excellent location with easy access to freeways. For more info. visit emhabanim.com