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  • Farrah Mashihi

Dvar Torah: Parashat Bamidbar

This week I’m sharing an extremely important lesson from Parashat Bamidbar that we can use to prepare for Shavuot. On Shavuot we appreciate the Divine gift of the Torah. In this week’s Parashat Bamidbar, the Mefarshim ask why the Torah was given in the desert. The Torah was given to us DIRECTLY from the Hands of Hashem. We know that the Torah is the most valuable thing in the entire universe. So wouldn’t the most precious gem be gifted in the shiniest, most luxurious box?

The Mefarshim explain that a Midbar, a desert, is a place that’s Hefker, that is ownerless. Essentially, a desert is bare and dormant; it's not congested or filled with matter. So too, we must disown our personal congested matter for us to merit the Torah. To do this, we must remove our Middot Raot, bad character traits, from our personalities. We need to become a Midbar by disowning our negative traits.

Our Middot define how we perform our actions toward ourselves, toward others, and toward Hashem. A person’s bad middot are demonstrated in everything that they do. Some of these Middot Raot include embarrassment, hatred, laziness, dishonesty, greediness, forgetfulness, arrogance, and anger. Everybody has weaknesses and tendencies; we all have a Yetzer Hara that constantly tries to dominate us. The Yetzer Hara can become so empowered that it has the ability to enslave someone to these Middot Raot. If one lets this happen, they will lose control over their life. Hashem created us to be imperfect, but He expects us to strive for perfection.

Shavuot is NEXT WEEK! Use this Shabbat and the rest of the week as an opportunity by taking advantage of each day to refine yourself. You can focus on one Midah Ra’ah until Shavuot or even one per day. Prove to Hashem that you want to disown your Middot Raot, that you want to grow, that you want to mature, and that you want to be worthy of the Torah.

Bz”H may we all successfully perfect our Middot so that we will be prepared to merit the Torah from Hashem this Shavuot!

Shabbat Shalom U’Mevorach!

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