Through Thick and Thin by Alex Katzenstein

(2006/5766)In Parshat Naso (5:6), the Torah writes, “The sacred
of/ferings of every individual will be his.  Each man who will
give to the Kohen – it shall be his.”  The literal and simple
explanation of this Pasuk is that although one is obligated to
give of his possessions to the Kohen, he still can choose
which Kohen to give it to.  No single Kohen has the right to all
the gifts.
Rabbi Chaim Dovid Green told an interesting
parable in the name of the Chofetz Chaim which gives the
Pasuk a deeper meaning.  There was once a man, whom we
will call David, who was a servant to the king.  The king, who
had quite high standards, assigned David to complete a
certain task, which David failed to do.  David was in great
fear and did not know what to do.  He could think of only
three people to call upon in his time of need: Shimon, Levi,
and Yehuda.  Shimon had been David’s close friend for his
entire life, and David was sure he could count on him.  Levi
was another friend of his whom he could depend on. 
Yehudah was more of an acquaintance of David’s whom he
had never felt very close to.
David first asked Shimon to accompany him on his
journey to the king’s palace in order to stand i
n his defense.  Shimon replied that he was sorry but
just could not help him.  Devastated, David went to Levi
thinking he might help him.  Levi offered to walk him to the
gates of the palace but no farther.  Having no other option,
David turned to Yehuda.  To David’s amazement, Yehuda
offered to go with him every step of the way and defend him
to the best of his ability before the king.
This story teaches us a very important lesson.  Every
Jew is David and going to face the King of Kings after death. 
Shimon represents material objects and wealth.  For our entire
lives, we rely on Shimon and depend on him for everything, but
he is unable to accompany us after death.  Levi represents our
families and close friends who are always there for us.  They
cry for us and try their best, going even as far as our graves,
but they cannot go beyond that point.  Yehuda represents
Torah study and Mitzvot.  We never really thought he would be
our best friend, but had we taken the time to give him an
important role in our lives, he would have been there through
thick and thin.  Yehuda is the only one we take with us and it is
our best defense and testimony in front of Hashem.
Relating back to the original Pasuk, “The one who
gives…it shall be his.”  Truly, what he gives shall be his. Mitzvot, if one creates a proper relationship with them, are something
that safeguarded one’s life, both in Olam HaZeh and Olam HaBa.


A Kedushah of Caring by Chaim Strassman

Patience and Timing by Dani Gross