When the branch becomes a rod - Matot-Masei

Thursday, 8 July, 2021 - 5:34 am

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Most parents, when they send for the first time their child to the kindergarten, feel some anxiety. Will the child manage without them? Nevertheless, they prefer sending him to the kindergarten over keeping him at home, since this is how s/he will mature, develop, and socialize.   

This week, we read 2 Torah portions: Matot and Masei. Matot means rods, sticks and it refers to the 12 Tribes of Israel, the 12 rods of Israel. The more usual name for the tribes is Shevet, which means branch. Why are there two names and what do they symbolize?

The branch and the rods are basically the same thing at a different stage: when it is united with the tree, it is a branch, when it is disconnected from the tree and hardens it becomes a rod.

These two stages correspond to how revealed the relationship between the Jewish people and G-d is. When the relationship is revealed, we are called branches, which are united with the tree. When the relationship is hidden, we are called rods.

Generally, before the birth, someone is like a branch. His relationship with G-d is revealed. But when he comes to the material world, with all its problems, the relationship with G-d becomes more concealed. It is not self-understood, we do not feel it at every moment. Even though it exists, it is not revealed.

Then, why should we come to this world? Why descend to such a low level?

Because when the brand leaves the tree, it toughens and becomes a strong rod. Through the challenges that we go through, we discover the great strength we have inside us. Thus, our relationship with G-d becomes even stronger.

Like the child in the kindergarten, who matures and develops there.

Let us not despair when facing the difficulties of life. Let is uncover the hidden powers we have and become stronger!

Shabbat Shalom,


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