Message from Rabbi Avrohom Drandoff, Head of School

For most of the summer months, each Shabbos we will be reading a Torah portion from sefer Bamidbar (The book of Numbers).  Towards the beginning of sefer Bamidbar the Torah describes the method of how the children of Israel traveled in the wilderness.  The Torah explains how the 12 tribes were broken into four camps and each tribe had its own unique flag.  

A Medrash in Bamidbar Rabbah states “When G-d revealed Himself on Mt.Sinai, there were 22 myriads of angels with him and all the angels had flags.  When the Jews saw that the angels had flags, they too had a strong desire to have flags.  They said If only we too could have flags like the angels.  G-d then swore to them that the time would come when they too would have flags.  That time came in the wilderness when the tribes were each assigned a flag.”  

Rabbi Yissocher Frand asks if flags are a physical item and angels are spiritual.  What is the purpose in angels having flags?  Additionally, what was it about the flags that the Jewish people had such a strong desire to obtain them?  He quotes the Nesios Shalom who explains that a flag demonstrates the unique mission and purpose of each group.  Flags generally capture the identity of the group it represents.  When the Jewish people saw the angels carrying a flag they yearned to be like the angels and have a clear purpose.  They wanted to have their flag which conveyed their spiritual mission.  The idea that each tribe had its own unique flag with its own mission is a critical lesson for us all.  Just like each tribe had its own flag, so too each one of us has our own unique path within the framework of the Torah to serve Hashem.

The flag of CTA is represented by our logo.  The center of the CTA logo is the Jewish star which is surrounded by different members of the Jewish people working in collaboration with a shared mission.  The mission to serve Hashem as well educated, sophisticated Jews who are prepared and inspired to thrive wherever their passion takes them.

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