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16.01.2014 17:02    Comments: 0    Categories: Weekly Parashah      Tags: torah shabbat parashah yitro rabbi dov begon  

Parashat Yitro 5774 by Rabbi Dov Begon (@ Machon Meir)

Message for Today

Rashi comments on the words, “Israel camped opposite the mountain” (Exodus 19:2):

“As one man, with one heart.”

What is meant by the words, “as one man”? A man constitutes a single entity, even

though his body is composed of numerous limbs and organs, each differing from the rest,and possessing a strength that complements the others. In just the same way, the Jewish People are a single nation, despite the difference between individual Jews and individual streams within the nation. “They do not resemble one another in their opinions nor in facial appearance” (Berachot 58).

As for the words “with one heart,” these serve as an allusion that physical unity, the

cohesion of physical forces, is not enough. Rather, there has to be unity of the heart as well, one spirit and soul for all the multitude of limbs and organs and physical forces.

Today, the Jewish People are in the midst of the ingathering of the exiles. Moreover,

their renewed political entity is taking shape after two thousand years of exile, during which we were “one nation, scattered and divided” (Esther 3:8). At this time, we need not just external, physical unity, but even more so, and especially, internal unity, the unity of having one heart which can cause spiritual blood to flow to all parts of the nation. We need an exclusively Jewish culture, a culture based on and deriving nourishment from our holy Torah and eternal Jewish values. At the same time, that culture must be connected to the rebirth of our people in its land, as well as to the world that is progressively developing from a scientific and technological standpoint.

Just as the roots and trunk are what unite the branches of a tree, so too are our traditions and Jewish roots what will unite our people in its land. The great political change that has taken place calls for a change as well in attitude, such that school children of the whole nation will be educated, with love and faith, towards real Judaism. Through this, we will march upward together on the path to complete redemption.

Looking forward for complete salvation,

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