| Parshah |

Little Guys

The love Hashem has for His children is the thread running through the Torah that binds us to Him


"I have given the Leviim… from among Bnei Yisrael, to perform the service for Bnei Yisrael… to atone on

behalf of Bnei Yisrael, so that Bnei Yisrael will not be inflicted with plague when Bnei Yisrael enter the Kodesh.” (Bamidbar 8:19)



Rashi notes that the words Bnei Yisrael are mentioned five times in this pasuk, to parallel the Chamishah Chumshei Torah — a sign of affection for Bnei Yisrael (Rav Shlomo Levenstein, Sefer U’Matok Ha’ohr ).

Boys will be boys, as the old saying goes, but the problem remains that their mothers will always be girls. As such, they may not share the same sentiments when it comes to creepy crawly critters, deep pits dug in flower beds, and the joys of hanging upside down ten feet off the ground. And that’s without even discussing values like clean laundry, brushed teeth, and the health benefits of full showers.

We try to come to the negotiating table, my males and I, with attention paid to flopping goldfish in exchange for depositing socks in laundry hampers. Yet despite our efforts to see eye to eye (and not cross them for the fun of it), we respect one another for our different life attitudes. I prefer to sail off into the sunset, while my sons would rather ride through white-water rapids and thunderstorms. So be it.

The Otzar Hatefillos, citing Sefer Hamanhig, notes that in the brachah Tzur Yisrael before Shemoneh Esreh, the word “Yisrael” is also written five times. It’s clear there’s a special connection between Hashem, Klal Yisrael, and the Torah. As the Zohar says, they are one. Bnei Yisrael are beloved to Hashem through the Torah.

One such evening of stark contrasts took place on a hot sultry summer night where the kids were bored and cranky and the mother tired (and dare I say it, kvetchy?).

“Let’s make a bonfire!” suggested Binyamin.

“And roast hot dogs!” added Avi. Hot dogs, to those uninitiated, make up the second level of the male food pyramid, with pizza taking the first tier.

Why anyone would want to add to the heat on such a hot day was beyond female me, but their enthusiasm skyrocketed before I could dampen the idea. Before I knew it, I was sitting on the curb of my dead-end street, supervising the placement of rocks and twigs. The flames began rising, and within a short time, the boys were all black with soot and delirious with excitement.

It’s interesting to note that each of the Chumashim begins with this concept of Hashem’s love for Klal Yisrael. As the first Rashi tells us in Bereishis: The world was created for the sake of the Torah and for the sake of Klal Yisrael.

Sefer Shemos continues this thought when Hashem counts Bnei Yaakov. Says Rashi, “He counted them again after their death, to let us know how precious they are to Him.”

The first word of Vayikra is an expression of affection, as Rashi points out. Then Bamidbar begins once again with Hashem counting Bnei Yisrael, and Rashi specifies that because they were so dear to Him, He counted them often. And finally, in Sefer Devarim, when Moshe gave Bnei Yisrael mussar before his death, he couched his mussar within hints so as not to offend the honor of the precious Bnei Yisrael.

The love Hashem has for His children is the thread running through the Torah that binds us to Him.

Sitting back as far from the heat as possible, I watched Avi instruct Yitzi on the best way to roast a potato while Binyamin was pulling sticky threads of marshmallow from his fingers. Shloime was entranced by the leaping flames, and my grandson joined him in watching the fire with wide gleeful eyes. Welcome, next generation mini-male.

I suddenly got a lump in my throat (smoke-induced?), and with the rising flames came a feeling of love so strong that nothing could extinguish it.

Thus, when Yitzi came running and threw his sticky, blackened arms around me in a wild hug of gratitude, I hugged his warm little body back so tightly, he almost dropped his half-eaten hot dog in my lap. But I was beyond caring. Because these boys were my boys, and I will always be their mommy. I love you guys.


 (Originally featured in Family First, Issue 744)

Oops! We could not locate your form.