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Summer vacation's greatest challenge: Making a goodly tent

מה טובו אוהליך יעקב

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Diplomas, tears, graduation ceremonies, inspiring speeches. And then immediately with the start of summer vacation, we read the following in this week's Torah portion: "How goodly are your tents, Yaakov, your dwelling places, Yisrael."

These words appear in parashat Balak and they are articulated by Bilam regarding the nation of Israel. Our good tent, our home is what has characterized us, more than anything else, for several thousand years. The home is where a human being is nurtured. Not in the street, not on the stage, and not on social media, but rather in the family circle at home.

The months of July and August are the greatest challenge to domestic tranquility, to patience, to parenting, to marriage. So this week's parasha appears at the appropriate time, reminding us that the most important, precious, and holy place is the home. Here's hoping that we can say at the end of the summer in reference to all of our homes: "How goodly are your tents, Yaakov, your dwelling places Yisrael."


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