Thursday, January 15, 2015

Dvar Torah - Parshat Voeiro


This week we are privileged to read the portion of Voeiro. The Torah describes the difficulties the Jewish nation was going through in Egypt, and the beginning of the redemption process. Hashem sent Moshe to warn Pharaoh, if he won't let the Jews out of Egypt, he will be hit with plagues. The details of the first seven plagues and Pharaoh's re-action, and his refusal to bend are discussed in this week's portion. Much can be learned from every detail which took place during these events.

Hashem promises Moshe (Shmos6/6), and I will take you out from under the "burdens" of Egypt. The Hebrew word used, to describe the difficult burden is "Sivlos". This can also be translated as tolerance. I will take you out of being tolerant of an Egyptian lifestyle. We need to be understanding that our way of life must be different. The greatest golus (exile) is when we become so comfortable with our non jewish neighbors' lifestyle, and try to imitate their dress code, language and way of life. Although we must treat all religions with respect we need to remember our unique privilege as the chosen nation. Yes! We are different.
Occasionally, we are unfortunately reminded by the evil elements of the world that we are different. Let's maintain our difference by sticking to "our" holy way of life...
There's a story told about Reb Nochum of Chernobyl. He was a guest at an Inn, and in middle of the night the innkeeper heard terrible sobbing and crying from the Rebbe's room. The innkeeper ran up to the Rebbe's room and asked whether something happened, and why he was crying. To his amazement, the Rebbe responded, that he was crying because the center of Jewish life was destroyed (Bais Hamikdosh). When did that happen, asked the innkeeper. Almost Two thousand years ago replied the Rebbe. The ignoramus innkeeper couldn't understand, the Rebbe is crying over something that occurred so long ago ? The Rebbe explained to him that we are hopeful and we pray that Hashem soon rebuild the Temple, and we will all go to Eretz Yisroel. The innkeeper became rather disappointed. He said that he needed to discuss this with his wife. Several minutes later he returned and said we don't want to go to Eretz Yisroel. We have so much invested here, goats, chickens and an inn, we can't leave all of this, and just go to Jerusalem. The Rebbe asked him if his inn was ever attacked or robbed, yes he replied. The rebbe told him that when we will be brought back to Eretz Yisroel, this will not happen. Why, asked the innkeeper, doesn't Moshiach just take the goyim (other nations) to Eretz Yisroel and leave us here?
This too, is part of becoming "too comfortable" amongst the nations. That is what Hashem told Moshe regarding the Jewish nation: I will take you out of tolerating Egypt.

The Maharal says that the redemption of Egypt is a blueprint for the ultimate redemption. May we merit to see the ultimate redemption speedily.

Gut Shabbos!

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