Simcha's Torah Stories - Beshalach

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Simcha's Torah Stories

Parshat Beshalach

THE SAFE ROUTE

Hi Leah, where are you going?

I'm going to my piano lesson, Esti.

Where is it?

I go to my teacher's home. She lives on Kensington Avenue.

Kensington Avenue, where is that? Is it in our neighborhood?

Well, not really. It is a few blocks to the north of our area.

I didn't think that it was nearby. I usually don't walk over there.

I don't either except for this piano lesson. It's not such a great place.

I know. All kinds of kids hang out on that street.

You are right, Esti, but this piano teacher is great. I am doing very well with these lessons.

The teacher might be great, Leah, but look what you have to go through to get to her. It's just like the beginning of this week's parsha.

I don't remember reading about any kids hanging out in the desert after the Jewish people went out of Egypt.

You are right Leah, but there were dangers of a different sort then. The straight route out of Egypt would have been through the land of the Pelishtim. In addition to being direct, it was easy traveling. The land was settled; food and drink were readily available. The other path was a roundabout way through the desert. Where would they find food and drink in the desert?

Of course, it is very simple Esti. They should have gone through the land of the Pelishtim. It was a shorter and more comfortable route.

You are right Leah, but there was another factor. Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan, the great sage who is known to us as the Chofetz Chaim, describes a danger of a different sort. The land of the Pelishtim was full of idol-worshippers and immorality. The Jewish people had just escaped Egypt, which was also a spiritual wasteland. They could not afford to go the route of the Pelishtim. It would take them too far away from spirituality and G-d.

What did they do? I am really curious. What was more important? The physical or the spiritual?

G-d directed them through the desert, where there were no spiritual dangers. He provided their food and drink with the miracles of the "manna" and the well of Miriam that traveled along with them. So you see, Leah, the most important thing was to stay away from the bad influences of the Pelishtim.

I see why you told me this story, Esti. You wanted to give me a message about the piano lessons. No matter how good the teacher may be, it is a real danger if you must walk through a bad neighborhood to get there.

Exactly, Leah. You have to consider the danger of the bad influences of those kids who hang out on Kensington Avenue.

Esti, I am going to have a long talk with my Mom about this. I want to look for a teacher who lives in the neighborhood.

That would be great. Remember that wherever you are going you always want to take the same route.

Which route is that?

The safe route.


Simcha's Quiz

Shmuel was one when Yaakov was born. When Shmuel was eight, he was twice as old as his little sister Shoshie. Leah was born when Shoshie was two years old. Now Shoshie is 2/3 the age of Shmuel, and Leah is 3 times as old as Sara.

How old are the kids now?

Answer to Last Week's Question

The following is a true number sentence: -1 + 9 - 9 + 2 = 1

Use any or all of the symbols: +, -, x, / in the spaces below to form three other true number sentences.

1 _ 9 _ 9 _ 2 = 2
1 _ 9 _ 9 _ 2 = 3
1 _ 9 _ 9 _ 2 = 4

Here are some solutions.

1 x 9 - 9 + 2 = 2
1 + 9 - 9 + 2 = 3
1 + 9 / 9 + 2 = 4


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