Same Old Same Old by Michael Winner/6/1/2023 For those who did not know, Rav Gershon Edelstein, the acknowledged leader of Lithuanian Jewry in Israel, passed away at 100 years old on Tuesday. Naturally, the religious world was shut down and over 200,000 people descended on Bnei Brak for the funeral. My son's yeshiva let the boys out to go as long as they returned on time that night. And of course, getting there and back is not so easy, since all the trains and buses were filled to capacity (and more) and no private cars were allowed in or near Bnei Brak at the time.So, how did my son get from his yeshiva up north to Bnei Brak on time? Simple. He got a free ride in an ambulance that his friend's father was driving there to be on call. I mean … how else is a 14-year-old boy going to travel in style?Last Shabbos, I was walking home from shul with my neighbor, who shared two insights into the parsha, specifically, the end, where it gets more than a bit repetitive. What's going on? The heads of the tribes are bringing their offerings, and without previous planning, they all ended up bringing the exact same thing. So, the Torah writes out, twelve times, the exact same wording, with different names inserted. It's a bit tedious, but obviously, it was done for a reason.My neighbor said that we can learn two lessons from here:The first: Anybody who has daughters knows, that if there is some event that they have to go to with other girls, the absolute worst thing in the world to happen (worse than a nuclear holocaust, in fact), is if they end up wearing the same thing that somebody else wears. This is true for school projects (but not as bad as a nuclear holocaust) and many other things in life. Once we find out that our idea is not so original, we get upset and need to immediately change our plans so we can be different.Yet we see here, each day, a tribe brought their own offerings, knowing that the exact same one was brought the day before and the day before that. However, they brought them, because that is where their hearts led them. THIS is right for me. What others do is right for them. So, I will continue to do what is right, even though it's not so original.My wife, the great Torah sage, added her own insight on this saying, that we did not see them even discussing amongst themselves what each one was going to bring. That's how strong they felt about what they were doing. They did not need to compare to others from the beginning.The second: We learn that sometimes it's important that things are the same. Many schools have dress codes. In some schools, they all have to wear the exact same thing. In other schools, they have certain rules and the children can pick what they wear within those rules. Many Chassidim have rules regarding weddings. You can only invite up to X amount of people. You can spend up to X amount of dollars.On one hand, you can argue that it stifles the individual. Yet, on the other hand, you see how it stifles jealously, peer-pressure, and putting your focus on the wrong things in life. Sometimes having community standards where everybody is the same allows us to grow in different ways.So, we see, even from repetitive sections of the Torah, we can glean some insights and lessons in life.Have a wonderful Shabbos!