Yaakov Jackson
shaliach in Montreal

In this week’s parsha, I’ve searched and found with the help of Rashi, 10 places where people act in a certain way (behavior), and the outcome of their actions (result).
1. The Cohen that burns the para aduma adds cedar wood (עץ ארז), hyssop (אזוב) and crimson thread (שני תולעת) to the fire. Rashi explains that “Cedar is the tallest of all trees, and hyssop is the lowest of them all, a sign that (behavior) the haughty one who acted pridefully (result) and sinned should lower himself like a hyssop and a worm and it will atone for him”.
2. The water in Miriam’s well stopped because of her death. The people complain bitterly (behavior), and therefore, Moshe gets angry at them (the result).
3. (Behavior) Moshe gets angry at the people for complaining. (Result) As a consequence of Moshe’s anger, he hits the rock instead of talking to it as Hashem had commanded. This caused him to lose the privilege to enter Eretz Israel.
4. Moshe asks the sons of Edom to go through their land. (Behavior) They decline aggressively and threaten to engage in war. (Result) They deserved to be killed. Specifically, the Edomites were spared because them came from Eisav, the brother of Yaakov, and we do not kill our brothers.
5. (Behavior) Aaron would “pursue peace and instill love between parties to the quarrel and between a man and his wife.” (Result) All the Jewish people, both men and women, cried after his death, in contrast to Moshes’ death, following which only the men bemoan his loss.
6. (Behavior) Amalek (dressed up as Canaanites) attacked Israel. (Result) Israel eliminated them.
7. Since the Edomites did not allow the Jewish people to cross into Israel, they needed to go 7 stops backward, which was mentally and physically hard. (Behavior) The people bemoaned the harsh journey. (Result) Hashem sent snakes to harm them.  (After they admit to their sin, Moshe builds a copper serpent, and “At the time that Israel would look upwards and subject their hearts to their father in heaven they were cured”).
8. (Behavior) The Emorites hid in caves in order to ambush Bnei Israel. (Result) Hashem caused the adjacent mountains to crush the Emorites.
9. (Behavior) Sichon did not let the Jewish people pass through his land in to the land of Israel. Therefore, since he did not have the merit that the Edomites had (Result) “Israel smote them with the edge of the sword” – Sichon and his people were killed.
10. (Behavior) Og, the king of Bashan went to war with Bnei Israel. (Result) “They smote him, his sons, and all his people, until there were no survivors left of him, and they took possession of his land.”
My conclusion from everything I have written above is that it is better to do good deeds.
Specifically:
1. We should be humble.
2. We should voice complaints in the right manner.
3. We should not be angry.
4. We should not be petty, but we should rather be giving and loving.
5. We should pursue peace and instill love.
6. To the nations around us: Don’t attack the Jewish people.
7. Again, complain in the right manner.
8. Again, Don’t attack the Jewish people.
9. Again, Don’t be petty.
10. Again: Don’t attack the Jewish people!

On a more personal note, thank you to Torah Mitzion for sending me an amazing, fulfilling teaching and learning experience, a Shlichut full of fun in Montreal over the past year.

Shabbat Shalom.

For comments:  kobi930@gmail.com