Parshot Festivals

Make time for reflection in fast-paced modern life

  • ParshaRabbiSackstein
One of the main challenges of living in the technologically advanced society of the 21st century is the pace at which we live our lives. Not only do we have busy daily schedules, but the demands of modern society follow us everywhere. Unless we check ourselves, and consciously set time aside for reflection, we lose the ability to think. We need to reflect on events big and small, and pick up on G-d’s signals.
by Rabbi Danny Sackstein | Jun 28, 2018

The Chofetz Chaim (Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan HaCohen 1839-1933) answers this question with a majestic thought. The Torah is not a continuous flow of text, there are breaks between the paragraphs. The sages teach us that these breaks indicate that Moshe stopped after various events in his life to reflect. Moshe understood the importance of achieving a stillness in one’s being, the value of integrating our experiences.

Parshas Balak is the only sedra in the Torah where there are no breaks in the text. The narrative is one continuous flow. The Chofetz Chaim explains that G-d commanded Moses to write the Parsha of Balak with no breaks to hint about the cause of the downfall of Bilaam. Bilaam never stopped running. In spite of being exposed to the most awesome spiritual experience on offer to a human being – direct communication from G-d – Bilaam did not slow down to integrate and reflect. Consequently, these experiences had no impact on his character.

This is a frightening thought. We can go through earth shattering experiences, and miss the point entirely. We all need to work on the skill of being quiet, blocking out the noise, and thinking.

Shabbat is a gift from G-d that facilities this change of gear. It should give us the opportunity once a week to stop and think. It is so important for all of us to build the muscle of reflection into our lives. Without it, we will get lost in the maze of modern living.


  1. RadEditor - HTML WYSIWYG Editor. MS Word-like content editing experience thanks to a rich set of formatting tools, dropdowns, dialogs, system modules and built-in spell-check.
    RadEditor's components - toolbar, content area, modes and modules
    Toolbar's wrapper 
    Content area wrapper
    RadEditor's bottom area: Design, Html and Preview modes, Statistics module and resize handle.
    It contains RadEditor's Modes/views (HTML, Design and Preview), Statistics and Resizer
    Editor Mode buttonsStatistics moduleEditor resizer
    RadEditor's Modules - special tools used to provide extra information such as Tag Inspector, Real Time HTML Viewer, Tag Properties and other.


Follow us on