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  • Writer's pictureRabbi David Paskin

Broken Tablets

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From Rabbi David

This is the fateful week in the Torah when the Israelites dance around the Golden Calf and Moses smashes the tablets. Don't worry, God gives us another set but what became of the tablets smashed by Moses?

The Talmud answers: The broken tablets were placed in the holy Ark along with the second, intact set ; ‘luchot ve’shivrey luchot munachim be’aron” (Talmud Bava Batra 14b).

The broken tablets were not buried, which is what we generally do with holy items no longer in use. They were placed in the most sacred place, in the Aaron Hakodesh, the holy Ark. Eventually they sat next to the second tablets, the whole set of the Ten Commandments. Together they remained securely protected as the nation journeyed through the wilderness.

Like the Israelites and the broken tablets, we all have brokenness in our past. We can bury it or we can carry it in a sacred space within us, allowing it to teach and guide us as we journey through life. Teaching children how to accept their brokenness (the things they can't yet do; the challenges they aren't yet ready to face) is vital to helping them become strong and proud young people. We shouldn't be ashamed of those things in our lives that are broken - but rather, secure in our ability to keep growing, keep learning and keep trying to fix that brokenness.

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