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Last time I wrote about my mother's job at the Chevra Kadisha, this week I will share a bit about what I do. I am a debating coach at Yavneh (okay this is the point where you make the joke "Eitan did you ever even leave that school?" and I roll my eyes because I've heard it ten thousand times before). The year 11 and 12 debates were on Wednesday this week, and on Wednesday morning there was no debating team for either of those year levels. Now, you may not know this, but over at Yavneh they take their debating seriously, like VERY seriously, so this meant that from the moment I got home from uni at 3.00pm until the end of the final debate at 9.30pm I was on my feet, stringing teams together and working hard to prepare with them; cases, models, team lines, rebuttals, the works.

And we lost. Both debates. 6 hours for nothing

In this week's double parasha we find the Jews desperately trying to erect the Mishkan. The boards of the Mishkan were too heavy to hold up, they were continuously toppling over before anyone could assemble them. Frustrated Am Yisrael bought everything to Moshe who put it all together by himself with superhuman strength (hulk style). But something is weird about the way the Torah describes this Avengers episode (is hulk one of the Avengers, or is he a Marvel character, or is that the same thing? I don't know, I get confused), it says that the Jewish people "brought the Mishkan to Moshe", as if they gave him a completed product, rather than a balagan of boards and poles.

The connotation of this passuk reveals an important part of Jewish ideology in regards to deeds and intent. The passuk implies that the hard work the Jewish people put into ATTEMPTING to build the Mishkan was equal to actually completing the finished product, and therefore it was as if they "brought the (complete) Mishkan to Moshe". Judaism demands deeds but not necessarily results. As long as one puts in honest and sincere effort, he is rewarded even if he is not successful.

So maybe I am a good debating coach, even though we lost. Or maybe I'm a health science student attempting to help some high schoolers out with a humanities competition, all while being secretly devoted to the arts. Both could be true 🤷‍♂️


(courtesy of Rabbi Frand)

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