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A Tale of Two Chanochs

Friday, 12 October, 2012 - 12:45 pm

In the first Parsha of the Torah we read about two men named Chanoch (Enoch). One comes from good stock (Seth the third son of Adam). The other comes from a shady background – his father (Cain) murdered his brother and became a wanderer. Yet the “good” Chanoch ends up becoming an ascetic - a holy man - who contributes nothing to society and even has to be removed from earth at the tender age of 365 so that the corruption of the world does not change him. While the “bad” Chanoch has a city built in his honor and he develops into a builder – one who is very productive and valuable to society.

We can learn several things from this. Firstly that a person’s background does not solely determine how they will end up. We must never give up on the kids from the “bad” environments. Secondly, that being spiritual for oneself without trying to influence the surrounding environment should be considered a failing. Furthermore, if one is not in output mode in terms of influencing society, then they become susceptible to absorbing the negative influences of their environment.

The ideal way is a balance – a holy man and a builder - where the spirituality inspires and uplifts the pragmatism, which in turn serves to propel the spirituality toward a realized goal. As we depart from the holiday month of Tishrei, we must strive to incorporate the inspiration and spirituality of the holidays into our world building endeavors of the rest of the year.

Next Sunday night at Chabad Uptown we will be hosting a wine tasting with Ricardo Kasisnsky – a rep of the world’s largest Kosher wine company, Royal Wine. Their fifty brands include, Baron Herzog, Bartenura, Alfasi, Kedem, Jeunesse, Rashi, and Barkan just to name a few. Please join us for an evening of Kosher delight.

Mazel Tov to Rabbi Mendel and CM Ceitlin upon the birth of their son, whose Bris will be this Shabbat. Mazel tov to the proud grandparents, Rabbi Yossie and Chanie Nemes.

Mazel Tov to Anna and Ken Levin upon the birth of their daughter, Julia Rose.

Condolences to the Saltz family upon the passing of Hyman Ellis Saltz.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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