A Matter of Perspective
At the conclusion of פרשת שמות , Moshe had infused בני ישראל with hope after uttering the two words
that promised freedom: פקד פקדתי . The Jews were certain that their situation would soon be
transformed. However, that was not the immediate case. Instead, פרעה accused the Jews of laziness, and
increased their workload further.
January 12, 2018
כ‘‘ה טבת תשע‘‘ח
· January 15—Faculty
professional development day–
no classes both buildings.
· January 24—Hamilton STEM
Fair– details in the bulletin
· January 30– Williston STEM
Fair– details in the bulletin
· February 3– Torah Academy
Ladies Night Out– watch for
· March 4 –Torah Academy 36th
· Snow does not deter our dedicated staff and talmidim from learning
Torah. Thank you to all the Rebbeim who learned by phone, in
homes and elsewhere during the snow days.
· Mazal Tov to the 72 Chasanim for Sefer Bereishis. The boys from
grades 2-8 had a beautiful seudas mitzvah in honor of the
occasion. Aharon Sack (6B) and Yisroel Leib Greene (4B) won the
raffle. Thank you Rabbi Moskovitz for your d’var Torah which
encouraged the boys to earn the ultimate title of עבד ה‘ .Thank you
Rabbi Sebbag for preparing the food. Thank you Rabbi Benmurgui
for presenting the Powerpoint for Sefer Bereishis created by Mrs.
Fontek and Mrs. Sternfield. Thank you to the 8Bboys for setting up.
· The 8th grade boys completed their unit on probability and hosted
a "probability fair" for grades 5,6, and 7. They created games that
operated using principles they had mastered.
· Grade 7-8 girls are utilizing every moment to work on their science
fair projects. They have been researching, writing, hypothesizing
and artistically preparing their exhibitions. Thank you Mrs. Ochs for
all your dedicated extra hours of input.
Therefore, in פרשת וארא , when Moshe returned to
בני ישראל and attempted to once again be מחזק them,
his words fell on deaf ears – ולא שמעו אל משה מקצר
רוח ומעבודה קשה . They did not listen to Moshe due
to shortness of breath and hard labor. Their
workload was all-consuming; their every breath so
focused on simple survival, that they were unable
to comprehend or process anything Moshe wanted
The חכמה ונחלה points out a seeming inversion of
the order of events. According to רש״י ’s
explanation, it was the עבודה קשה , the harsh labor,
which triggered the קוצר רוח , the shortness of
breath. Why then, is קוצר רוח listed in the possuk
before עבודה קשה ?
The חכמה ונחלה answers by conveying a
fundamental lesson. While the work בני ישראל had
to perform was most certainly intensified by פרעה ‘s
command, it was made that much more difficult
due to their own קוצר רוח . They had been
anticipating an emancipation, or at the very least, a
loosening of the chains of bondage. When the
opposite occurred, and their hopes for a גאולה
seemed dashed; the work became all that harder. If
their expectations would have been different. If
they would have expected that things may worsen
before easing, then perhaps the work would not
have been so difficult. The Jews, instead, would
have viewed the harsher labor as a medium to
hasten the redemption.
Often in life, situations are difficult, not because of
the actual task, but rather because of our attitude
and perspective in approaching the task. It is the
קוצר רוח , the narrowed view, influencing and
exacerbating the עבודה קשה . We will respond in a
certain way because we have specific expectations
about how something should or should not be.
Expectations can sometimes be a disservice,
especially when they don’t play out as we
anticipate. When this occurs, our frustration and
resentment is compounded. If we would broaden
our perspectives, adjust our expectations, and not
allow them to cloud and influence our response, we
would be better able to handle the situation..