G!Ds Spirit Rests On You
This week’s Dvar Torah is dedicated to Rosi Behar, Raizel Bat Yitzchak, z”l, the wife of CAJE’s past president Saby Behar. Everyone who met Rosi immediately felt her ruach (spirit/passion), her elegant dignity, and her deep spirituality.
She was as her family described her “a woman who never missed a single opportunity to express gratitude, who cared as a matter of personal duty, nourishing the recipients of her love like roses in her own private garden.”
Rosi inspired others with her faith and radical optimism. May her memory be forever a blessing. She will be deeply missed.
This week's parsha, Beha'alotcha, recounts a curious incident that happens while our people were camped in the wilderness during our 40-year journey to Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel).
The Holy One tells Moshe to gather 70 elders, Joshua and himself and enter the Tent of Meeting so that G!D can deliver a message.
Then "[t]he Lord came down in a cloud and spoke to Moshe and took of the spirit that was on him and put it on the 70 elders. And when the spirit of G!D rested upon them, they began to prophesy." (Bamidbar/Numbers 11:24-25)
So what does it mean they began to prophesy?
No one can be completely sure. Was it a kind of speaking in tongues? Was it a kind of group spiritual experience that lead to speaking or singing or dancing? Unknown.
But based on what comes next, whatever transpired was obvious to other people because the Torah continues to relate the following: "Meanwhile, back in the Israelite camp, the spirit of G!D rested upon two men named Eldad and Meidad (though they weren't in the Tent) and they prophesied in the camp. And a young man ran and told Moshe..." (vs. 26-27)
Whoa, Ruach HaKodesh (Spirit of G!D) overflow!
Or could it be something more threatening? Could it be that these two men were seeking to elevate themselves in the eyes of the people as if they were part of the council of elders and leaders?
The Torah continues: "Then Joshua ben Nun [Moshe's second in command] responded to the news saying 'My lord Moshe, shut them in'" (v. 28), which basically means 'shut them up' or contain them!
And here's the kicker... Moshe responds with surprising magnanimity given his difficult relationship with these people through the journey: "Are you [Joshua] jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord's people were prophets so that the Lord would put Ruach HaKodesh upon them!"
In other words, wouldn't it be wonderful if we were all leaders filled with the Spirit of the Holy One that animates and energizes the universe?
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we were all leaders in our own way?
And that leads me (pun intended) to reinforce Moshe's point in a very personal/ professional way.
As the Executive Director of CAJE, I realize that of course the buck stops with me; I need to be its professional leader.
However, I don't lead alone; there's a team of leaders here and they aren't just the executive level or the professional level but literally all levels of this organization.
We are all leaders tapping into the spirit of leadership and doing holy work, no matter what our 'job description' is -- professional or volunteer.
As I see it, my job is inspiring, motivating and nurturing leaders on all levels so that Ruach HaKodesh/ G!D’s Spirit rests on all that we do.
If you are reading this, then you too are part of that vision.
CAJE is doing remarkable work in so many areas — Adult Learning, Teen education, Israel & Holocaust education, school markets (Day School, Early Childhood, and Congregational education) as well as our award-winning Miami Jewish Film Festival.
And we have just kicked off a Major Giving Campaign for CAJE Sustainability.
I'd love to talk about it with you and share...the Ruach!