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19.02.2014 13:51    Comments: 0    Categories: Weekly Parashah      Tags: torah  shabbat  parashah  vayakhel  

Parashat Vayakhel 5774 by Rabbi Dov Begon

Message for Today

“Restore our judges as at first.”

Moses assembled the entire congregation of Israel by verbally summoning them (see

Rashi on Leviticus 35:1). The ability to do so bespeaks the moral/spiritual authority he

commanded, rather than any mundane or organizational authority that he could muster. Not

only in that generation did Moses assemble all of Israel by employing speech, but throughout

history the influence of Moses on the Jewish People has been recognizable. As our sages

said: “In our world, if a mortal prince enacts a decree, whether it will be fulfilled remains to

be seen. Yet Moses decreed many decrees and passed many enactments and they continue to

endure forever and ever.” (Shabbat 30a).

Moses’s speech and influence, which guide us to follow in G-d’s pathways in

accordance with the holy Torah, are the strongest influence on the Jewish People’s conduct

down through the generations.

Today, we must distinguish between leaders concerned only with the here and now,

who are transient and temporary, and the eternal leadership of the Jewish People, which lives

and endures forever.

A leadership that ascends to power by mundane means, i.e., by way of political

organization of one form or another, has no power to influence and unite the nation in the

long-term. Only a spiritual leadership that derives from the strength of our holy Torah, and

that showers some of its spirit on the political, practical leadership of the nation will have the

strength and ability to unite the Jewish People down through the generations.

The day is not far off when we will be privileged to see how the spiritual leadership

and the political leadership will walk hand in hand, as was in the past, during the times of

Kings David and Solomon. At that time, the daily request of our prayers will be fulfilled:

“Restore our judges as at the first, and our counselor s as at the beginning, and remove

from us sorrow and sighing” (Shemoneh Esreh). This in turn will lead to, “Return in mercy

to your city, Jerusalem, and dwell in it as You promised… and speedily establish in it the

throne of David.” (ibid.)

Looking forward to complete salvation,

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