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    A task for all the family – Chukkat

    Three siblings, Aaron, Miriam and Moses: all different personalities, but all important in the government of the people.

    Like all good leadership teams, they each had their own area of responsibility, and the community needed them all.

    According to a Talmudic tradition, Moses, like the shepherd that he once was, saw to the morale and spirit of the whole people. Thanks to him Israel received the manna and did not go hungry.

    Aaron, the man of peace who loved peace and pursued it, maintained the harmony and unity of the tribes and their members. Because of him the Israelites were surrounded by protective clouds of glory.

    Miriam, who had begun her career watching over her baby brother, was the one who concerned herself with the most fragile members of society. Because of her the people had water and were fed.

    Only when Miriam and Aaron died did the people encounter serious crises.

    The water dried up. The Canaanites attacked. The sages say that Moses recognised what had happened, so he reorganised his own priorities to ensure that the void left by the passing of his brother and sister could be filled.

    It is a touching depiction of the value of the whole family, and a tribute to the instinct and ability of Moses to know what the moment required.

    From it we can learn how much is achieved by a family that works as a team.

    The lesson applies to any family, not excluding that of a rabbi.

    It’s not easy to be a rabbi’s wife or a PK – a preacher’s kid. It is tempting for the family to say, “It’s not our job to be the rabbi!” – but that’s much too easy.

    The whole rabbinical family has to be involved, even though the community probably only pays a salary to one member, the rabbi himself.

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