“Let's table the discussion" is an  Adath Israel Shul initiative where a story or thought is presented in order to stimulate exciting and constructive discussion around our Shabbos table or among friends and children. (Dedicated to the Refuah Sheleima of Shalva Adina Bas Sarah Chana & Eliyahu Aharon Ben Yocheved Yetta Ettel).

One Sunday afternoon, a cranky grandfather was visiting his family. As he lay down to take a nap, his grandson decided to have a little fun by putting Limburger cheese on Grandfather's mustache. Soon, grandpa awoke with a snort and charged out of the bedroom saying, "This room stinks." Through the house he went, finding every room smelling the same. Desperately he made his way outside only to find that "the whole world stinks!"

Rav Simcha Zissel Broide ztl, late Chevron Rosh Yeshiva points out that Dasan and Aviram are identified both as Kriyei HaEidah – leaders of the people and at the same time, are referred to as being Reshaim from beginning to end. How can those who were so evil be those dedicated to the people? At the same time, how can those who were called to represent the Eida be so wrong?

Rav Simcha Zissel explains that Dasan V’Aviram internally were dedicated people who wanted great things for the Jewish people. However, instead of working to bring them about, they stood on the sidelines criticizing everything that Moshe Rabbeinu did without an eye toward improving them. From their earliest experiences with Moshe when they were upset with him for saving THEIR lives to the point where they cursed him for his initial failure with Pharaoh, if Moshe needed a reminder that he was not perfect from the start, Dasan and Aviram were there to remind him. The commentator roles that Dasan and Aviram took remained with them after the Jews left Egypt too – each time there was a moment of challenge for the nation, Dasan and Aviram were present to always point out the problem but never to suggest collaboration toward finding a solution. And in this point, they were Reshaim from beginning to end. For when a person is prepared only to note that “everything stinks” it might be up to him to take a shower.

What do you do when you see a wrong in the world around you?

How can you improve your approach to difficulties in the world to make sure that problems don’t merely get highlighted but rather improved?

Let’s  “table” the discussion – by discussing it with our children, spouses, families and guests and open an exciting  discussion into our homes and communities.