Published Date: January 27, 2020
This week’s music: יהודה כ״ץ ״אתה אחד״ Yehudah Katz “You are the Only One”
The process of “Geulah,” The Redemption, has begun. “V’gam Ani shamati et naakat B’nai Yisrael,” and also I heard the crying of B’nai Yisrael, when the Mitzrim were enslaving them and so I remembered my “brit,” covenant that I made in the past. Therefore, “Hashem tells Moshe, “say to the “B’nai Yisrael,” I am God and I will take you out… I will save you… I will redeem you and I will take you to me as the nation and I will be your God…” (Shmot 6.5-10). Those four words of Hashem announcing His relationship to us past, present and future, are the four stages and ways of expressing “The Geulah.”
The Torah, as it is, teaches The Slonimer Rebbe, is alive and actualized from the time of Creation until the Final Redemption. In the opening verse of “Tehilim,” Psalms, Chapter 106 “David Hamelech,” King David, is heralding the arrival of the Holy Ark with The “Luchot Habrit,” Tablets of The Torah inside and he calls out, “Hodu La’Hashem, ki Tov, ki l’olam chasdo,” (Give) Thanks to Hashem, He is Good, His kindness is everlasting. This opening verse says it all. As I was blessed to hear so often from my Teacher, Harav David Fuchs, of blessed memory, we thank Hashem for all he has done in the past, we acknowledge and thank for He is doing for us right now and we declare with a firm belief that He will continue forever. He Created the world we live in, He gave us The Torah which we live by and he is bringing The “Geulah” which we desire to experience.
This theme is present in so many of our prayers and yet, sometimes we forget. In that same Chapter of Psalms, after praising Hashem and calling out to Him to care for us in a favorable way, “David Hamelech” continues and says, “Our fathers in Mitzraim did not understand Your wonders, they didn’t remember your abundance of kindness they were rebellious even at The Red Sea” (Psalms 106.7). How is it possible that the B’nai Yisrael saw the Ten Plagues with their own eyes and still allowed themselves to languish, as The Zohar teaches, on the 49th level of “tum’ah,” spiritual defilement?
Indeed, as we said above, they were crying, but who were they crying to? What was it that they were crying about that caused Hashem to hear their cries and act mercifully with a kindness only out of His own care and accord? Basically they a were crying from their suffering as any human being would do. Help, it hurts so bad! So Hashem responded from a place of commitment from the past, a love in the present and a promise for the future.
This same theme, which the Torah teaches us, is still very much alive today. Many offers of miracles and comfort, where the promise still remains for an amazing Freedom and Redemption. How do I connect to every day events in my life? Am I consciously aware of the source of everything that happens in my life, the life, as the Talmud teaches, that was created just for me? What do I see when a Tornado sets down and miraculously so may people’s lives are saved? How do I listen to the stories of our Holy soldiers share of their amazing experiences as they put their lives on the line for us? How can I relate to tragedy? Lots of suffering in the world. Lots of pain and distress. Have I cried enough real tears of care for all to sincerely ask Hashem to please put an end to the suffering? Can I realize that all we live, see and hear are pieces of this giant puzzle, past present and future?
What were they thinking in Mitzraim when they saw the first 9 plagues? For that matter, am I relating to things any differently than they did then? Can we look and listen with the will to see the big picture? What are we thinking when almost 50 world leaders, kings if you will, convene in “Eretz Yisrael,” in the Holy City of “Yerushalayim” no less, asserting that we can never forget the atrocities that happened to The Jewish People in The Nazi Holocaust. Can we look beyond the facts on the ground and see the writing on the wall? How did this amazing miracle happen that we went from massive destruction to the immediate birth of our independent Jewish state. We are back in our home and less than 75 years later, so many nations feel the need to join us in our personal plight and quest for a peaceful future. A natural response? What comes around goes around. Just happened that way? I think not.
May we all be blessed to heighten our awareness of Hashem’s awesome presence and action, to connect on the level to all that which is placed in front of our eyes and hearts and thus to develop a great desire for the future Peace of the entire world.