Parshas Ve'eschanan
Deutronomy 3:23 - 7:11

Passing On What Is Good! ©

By Dr. Akiva G. Belk


This study of the weekly parsha is dedicated in the loving memory of Mr. Samuel and Mrs. Anna Schwartzman, may they rest in peace.

Most of us would fall into this category... We are at our favorite department store. We see a product that we use on sale for 50% off. Immediately we realize what a deal... We go for our cell phone and call several friends. Why? We want to share something we know to be good...

We are sitting in on a lecture... listening to a tape... watching a video... we hear a really great story, so what do we do? We pass it on!

We log onto the internet. An acquaintance has sent us an e-mail... We read it. They sent us a great joke. What do we do? We forward it to our friends...

Recently one of our dedicated staff members sent an e-mail to all his Jewish friends. He included a link from JewishPath to that week's parsha... Why? He wanted to pass it on.

Many of us as we grow older desire to pass on items of value to those we love and those organizations that we desire to support after we are gone. This is called our last will and testament. Why do we go to the trouble of making a will? Why do we spend the time, energy and money for a will? Because we have things, objects, money, stock, etc. that we want to pass along.

Dear reader, this is exactly what Judaism is about. Years ago my mother-in-law gave my wife Naomi several special and cherished items. She passed along a pair of very old Shabbos / Yom Tov candlesticks and a kiddush cup... Only G-d knows how many blessings Naomi's great grandparents, grandparents and parents said using these items... Now we, the fourth generation, join in sharing blessings using the candlesticks and kiddush cup...

When a dear loved one passes this world they leave memories behind. When my mother departed this life, may she rest in peace, her wonderful, wonderful memory remained within me. I remember Momma's kindness, Momma's love, Momma's dedication to honesty and strict sneisness {modesty}. I remember Momma's deep commitment to learning the Bible... Many times we discussed and shared Torah principles... Momma taught dedication - strong dedication to G-d! Momma is gone but Momma's memory lives on in me, her son, and in her grandchildren and in all of the many people who love her.

We are studying how Moshe passed the Torah on toYehoshua. And Yehoshua to the Elders... Holy reader, if we want to make a difference we can. We can make a difference in what we teach, what we do and what we pass along.

Story: A Mark On A Tiny Pair Of Blue Jeans
Many years ago when I used to smoke cigars and chew tobacco, a relative brought a pair of tiny blue jeans to me.. pointing to the back rear pocket. There was this round crease from a tobacco can. My youngest son was learning a bad habit from his father. He was carrying a tobacco can... The relative said to me, "See what you are teaching your son?" Dear reader, I cried out to G-d in my heart, "Please give me the strength to stop... stop chewing tobacco, stop smoking cigars... stop teaching my son poor habits." One morning shortly after this prayer I woke up with the confidence that 'Today'... that this morning was the day to quit. Thank G-d, that was my day.

Holy reader, every work... every action... every thought... every act of thoughtlessness generates an impression and an image. What do we want to be our legacy? What do we want to pass on?

Moshe passed the Torah on... What do we want to pass along?

Good Shabbos!

Dr. Akiva G. Belk


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