Unless otherwise noted, "This week's Parsha" comprises articles taken from contributors to the Chabad.org website. We show the original author's name here, so that proper attribution is given. For the sake of brevity, footnotes cited in the original author's writings are omitted from this website. If you need to see the citations, please refer to the original articles on the Chabad.org website.
Help the Poor Body!
“If you see your enemy’s donkey (chamor) lying under its load, you might want to refrain from helping him; [however], you must surely help with him.” (Exodus 23:5)
Before Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, known as the Alter Rebbe, became the first leader of Chabad, he once traveled to raise money for an important charitable cause. He came to the home of a wealthy man who, sensing that he was not one of the ordinary charity collectors, offered to have him stay and teach his children in return for the entire sum he hoped to raise.
After a short stay, he informed his host that he was leaving because he could not tolerate the conduct of the people of the city. His host asked him what he meant, and Rabbi Schneur Zalman replied, “You torture the poor.”
The Third Month Family
“My children are constantly fighting with each other,” laments Susan, a mother of three young children. “They bicker about the size of their dinner portions. They argue over whose turn it is to do a chore. They quarrel over who plays with which toy, and they fight over who is smarter or friendlier.
“I’m tired of being a referee. It’s almost impossible to find the right compromise! And instead of improving with time, it just gets worse as they get older.
The Manna, Shabbat and Jacob’s Ladder
For the forty years the Jews spent in the desert, they subsisted on manna, the miraculous food that fell from heaven.
The manna has a special connection with Shabbat. On weekdays, every morning the manna would be found lying on the ground outside the camp. The people would gather it and eat it during the day; if they tried to keep it overnight, it would go moldy.
The miracle of the manna began on a Sunday morning. On the Friday of that week, when the people brought the manna back to their tents, each family found they had a double portion. Moses told them that this extra portion was for Shabbat. It would keep fresh over Friday night, and on Shabbat no one should go out to look for the manna. This was the first real opportunity for the Jewish people to keep Shabbat.