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Mishpatim- Missing something?

Friday, 9 February, 2018 - 10:21 am

If your spouse were to be away for the weekend and you were left home with the kids you would probably feel merely ‘half’ as capable. Incidentally, that is precisely my predicament this Shabbat, as Devorah is in New York City joining thousands of Chabad emissaries and Rebbetzins for the annual Shluchot conference.

A greater achievement, though, is to recognize this truth when we are together with our spouse or family member or community member or co-worker. To realize that our abilities, wisdom, and very quality of life is made complete only with another. Alone we are merely half.

This is the message Moses conveyed in Shekalim, the bonus Torah portion we read each year this pre-Purim season. By commanding the Jews to donate precisely a half-Shekel coin, then take a census by counting the coins. In this process, we recognize that on our own, we each amount to half. I am only complete when I join with another.

This is so important to our lives that when the Alter Rebbe, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi organized the prayer book, he inserted this as an opening to the daily prayer: It is proper to say before prayer, I hereby take upon myself to fulfill the mitzva - "Love your fellow as yourself."

Try it. Begin your day with this humble, yet empowering declaration and realization. Why settle for less, if we can embrace another and become complete?!

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