In this week’s Torah portion, Beha’aalotcha, we learn about some of the difficulties that Moses had while leading the people. At this point in our story, the Israelites had spent quite a bit of time traveling through the desert, with their main food source being Manna, which God delivers to them each day. While commentary has discussed that the manna could take on any flavor desired, this simply was not enough for the Israelites.  

Not having access to “Impossible Meat,” or any of the other meat alternatives that exist today, one of the elders suddenly realizes Manna is not a sufficient replacement for his love for meat. Quickly, the rest of the Israelites also start thinking about meat and join in with the protest. The people collectively approach Moses as an angry mob, begging for meat yelling, “We may have been slaves back in Egypt, but at least we had our meat!”  

To make a long story short, Moses gets a bit overwhelmed being the only leader, so God tells him to appoint 70 of the elders to help him with the leadership. God also gives the people what they want, SO much meat that a plague falls on the Israelites causing them to all get sick from eating too much meat. Jews even had stomach issues back in biblical times! 

The lesson I took from this story, aside from us needing to be happy with what we have, is a lesson on leadership. Moses learns in this portion that he cannot do everything by himself. God understands and allows him to delegate to a group of elders for help. This is a lesson that we all need to remember ourselves. Whether at work, in parenting, or in life in general, it is always okay to ask for help. Taking this one step further, when times may become hard in our personal lives, it is always okay to ask for help.  

As we enter the summer months, please remember that our staff at Temple Jeremiah is always here for you. If there are ever times that you feel like you need to reach out for help or need someone to talk to, we are here for you…and if you happen to have a craving for meat, most of us are happy to help with that as well.  

Shabbat Shalom, 

Matt Rissien