Bamidbar: Spiritual Parents

I heard there was a big "hubbub"  shortly before and during Trump’s visit to Israel.  There was talk of security leaks, his trip to Yad Vashem, his stance on settlements, some of his aides' stance on even the Kosel, etc.  What was true or what wasn’t is, of course, up for debate, given the amount of mudslinging against him from the media and those within the government.  What will be?  I have no idea.  The left in the US thinks the right is mad for wanting Trump, the right thinks the left is made for wanting Clinton, and I think everybody in that country is mad, simply by the fact that the top three choices were Trump, Clinton, and Sanders.  That tells me a lot.  I personally didn’t vote.  However, if I did, I would have voted for Trump.  Not because I’m pro-Trump (I’m not), nor because I’m anti-Clinton (I am), but because I truly believe the US is flushing itself down the toilet, and at least Trump will make it entertaining (and maybe nuke a country as well).


What really bothered me during the elections, was hearing that some, and I mean some, (Republican) Jews were treating him as if he were Moshiach himself.  Do I believe he’ll be better than Clinton for Israel?  Yes.  Do I believe he will be good for Israel?  I don’t know.  I don’t trust him, nor do I trust anybody in that position, regarding Israel.  Nor should any Jew.  Yes, we should vote according to our beliefs, but don’t think for one minute that ANYBODY will be good for Israel, if He doesn’t want it.  And here, we have an excellent example.  He said all the right things during the elections, and now that he’s President, people are simply not too sure.


Never put your trust in the President of the United States, nor the Prime Minister of Israel.  We already have Somebody taking care of us.


“These are the descendants of Aharon and Moshe” (Bamidbar 3:1).


The pasuk opens with “these are the descendants of Aharon and Moshe,” yet continues to list the names of Aharon’s children only.  With this we learn that the person who teaches Torah, and certainly one who is a rebbe, to another person, takes on the title of “father.”  While Moshe was not the biological father of Aharon’s children, he was certainly their spiritual father.


There are two big lessons that came to mind when thinking about this.


People in Jewish outreach need to remind themselves that those whom they have brought closer to Judaism, are their spiritual children.  While they would certainly never abandon their children in adulthood, they should certainly never abandon their spiritual children later in their lives as well.  People who left their previous lives to become a Torah Jews, will continue to need to have somebody in the role of a spiritual father later on in life.  And there are few things that will make people feel as lonely as when a parent, physical or spiritual, abandons them.


Another lesson is to parents themselves.  Not only are they the physical parents of their children, they should do their best not to relegate the job of “spiritual father” to somebody else.  A person is allowed to have many spiritual parents, but it is up to the parents to make sure that THEY are the primary spiritual parents.  We should never say, “Okay, our kids with learn this and that from their rebbe/teacher . . .”  Rather, the primary learning, especially in Jewish thought, belief, and behavior should be in the home, not in the school, or even the shul.  Reminding ourselves that we have two roles to play, will help us raise our children on the proper path.


Have a wonderful Shabbos!


Michael Winner