Friday, July 20, 2012

Recognizing When Enough is Enough

Stop keeping up with the neighbors and be happy with your lot in life.

Evidently Apple doesn't see it that way and they have legions of fans to fill this empty need of theirs with some new shiny device.

It is not always so, many people are very happy with what they have and why not?

People are funny, what works for one person rarely works for another or vice versa.

When the tribes of Reuben and Gad approach Moshe and ask that they keep the land on the other (East) side of the Jordan for their livestock is because in 32:4-5 they say:

4.The land that the Lord struck down before the congregation of Israel is a land for livestock, and your servants have livestock."
5. They said, "If it pleases you, let this land be given to your servants as a heritage; do not take us across the Jordan."
Now you could also read this as they had the wealth (livestock) and  were lazy and wanted to stay put and figured their wealth and influence would help in their favor.

Moshe wasn't swayed and while he did agree to their request, he required them to take arms and help their brethren to conquer the land of Israel first and then return home. They were allowed to build their forts and protect their families but then go forward and lead.

It is only after this discussion that suddenly Moshe says you can do it but he includes half of the tribe of Menashe. Whoa! Where did this come from? As it turns out the other half of Menashe would have their inherited lands on the West side of the Jordan. In this way the tribe would be considered whole.

So what does this mean for Reuben and Gad? Moshe realized they may be swayed by being outside of the holy land and would need some grounding thus half of the tribe of Menashe was put there. Menashe was one of the sons of Yosef (Joseph) and it was this spirit which Moshe hoped would prevail. In addition to ensuring Reuben and Gad kept their promise to go to battle.

So in the end was enough enough or was it just more greed by the capitalists? We do not know, but we do know that in time it would not matter for all two and a half would be lost during the great exile.

What is modern business to learn from this discussion? Depends on if you believe Reuben and Gad were happy with their place in life or looking for the better deal. Either way you look at it, you need to keep focused on the purpose or plan, just as Moshe reminded them to complete the battles before returning and deciding if they chose wisely.
Parsha Mattot-Massei in the book of Bamidbar, Numbers 30:2-32:42 and 32:1-36:13
It is said that the Torah or Bible could be interpreted in over 70 ways. More likely these days 100's of ways. In light of this idea, I am writing some posts that bring a business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom

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