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The Cry Babies

By Tzvi Fishman
6/15/2008, 12:00 AM
Unfortunately, cry babies are not unique to this blog. They have been with us ever since our departure from Egypt, as the Shabbat Torah reading records:

“And when the people complained, it displeased the L-rd; and the L-rd heard it, and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the L-rd burned among them, and consumed those who were in the uttermost part of the camp (Bamidbar, 11:1).

They complained about the journey through the wilderness; they complained about their weariness; they kvetched about this, and bitched about that.

One of Israel’s foremost educators and popular writers on Jewish Studies, Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, rabbi of the settlement Har Bracha, teaches that complaining is a poisonous weakness. When a baby hears another baby crying, he begins to cry too. The complaining in the wilderness led to more and more complaining. Next they complained about the Manna which fell from Heaven, lusting for meat instead. Rashi explains they complained at the same time about the laws they had received at Mt. Sinai forbidding sexual transgression. So pernicious was their complaining, it even affected Miriam and Aharon, who complained about Moshe. Finally, it led to the greatest crisis and sin in our history, when the complaining of the Spies about the Land of Israel caused all of the people to whine in their tents and complain about G-d’s command that they make aliyah.

Likewise, there are those who cry and complain today. Finding things to complain about Israel, they too refuse to come on aliyah.

May G-d save us from their poisonous murmurings.