Sunday, February 26, 2017

Mussar Drosha: Mishpatim

Mussar Drosha: Mishpatim:

Baruch Hashem, we are now heading into Parshas Mishpatim - a parsha with a lot of Commandments - 53, according to the Sefer HaChinuch!

But, unfortunately, there is a very common phenomenon regarding rules:  Often times, people (at least myself) don’t seem to be as excited or inspired to learn about them.  We aren’t as fiery and passionate about them - especially the ones regarding things which almost seem boring (Chas V’Shalom!).  So why is this?  How could we possibly find a Commandment boring?  

Whether we know it or not, a lot of times it may be because we don’t feel Hashem in them.   Laws of primary damagers and subcategory damagers are not nearly as uplifting, inspiring and connecting as when Hashem revealed Himself at Sinai, right?  So oftentimes, we won’t be as zealous or excited to learn them.  But this is sort of a problem……

So, let’s first ask; what is a Mitzvah really?  Is it just a rule?  Absolutely not.  It is the Word of Hashem - His Command.  It is a vehicle to come closer to Him; to get blessings in This World and the Next; the key to having a good and meaningful life, and so much more!  It is not a restriction; it is a gift…...

The Word of Hashem; this is such an important thing to realize - and perhaps realizing it is the solution to our problem:  

Think about it deeply; all the rules we keep and perform in our everyday lives are Hashem’s Word.  The things that the G-d of the entire World spoke!  They are so holy!

The Torah says when “introducing” the Ten Commandments: ‘And G-d spoke all these words, saying.’ So, as I have quoted before, the Maggid of Mezeritch zt”l asks (quoted in Likutei Sichos); why does the Torah here say ‘saying’?  We are told that when the Torah says ‘saying’, it means that we should say over to others this thing.  But wait; he says; the Midrash tells us that every single Jewish Soul that would come into the world was at Har Sinai!  So there is nobody else to say this over to - since we were all there!

And I believe we can explain it in the following manner (very similar to what he answered):  When it says ‘saying’, it is trying to teach us how to view the entire Torah:  As Hashem speaking - ‘saying’ to us.  

It is not just words on parchment (or paper) - they are literally Hashem’s Words; and He is speaking them to us.  He didn’t just speak them to us at Sinai; He says them to us every day!  The Torah is Hashem speaking to us personally!

And a proof for this:  What is the first word of this parsha?  ‘Vi’Eileh/And these’.  Rashi HaKadosh comments from Midrash Tanchuma, and says: “All places where it says ‘Eileh/these’ it disqualifies [i.e. is not connected so much to] what came before.  ‘Vi’Eileh/And these’ - it adds onto what came before.”

Meaning that this parsha is connected to last one!  And what was in last one?  Hashem revealing Himself at Sinai, speaking to us and giving us the Ten Commandments!  

And Rashi HaKadosh says further from Mechilta: “Just as as what came before [i.e. The Ten Commandments] were from Sinai; so too these are from Sinai.”

Meaning that this parsha - which is full of rules, some of which might not feel the same - is also Hashem speaking to us!  And when we realize that all Commandments are Hashem speaking to us - how can we not be inspired or excited?  How can we not be excited to read them as we know that Hashem is speaking to us personally with personal messages in all of the Laws for our lives specifically?!  Hashem, in His Infinitely Great Wisdom gave us such deep and uplifting Commandments, which guide us - each in their own way - through life.  

So now we see the solution:  Some Laws might seem “less inspiring”, and not as easy to feel Hashem in.  But when we realize that they are all Him speaking directly to us, then both of those things just slip away…… Not one Mitzvah is less important:  Any and every one we do are extremely important to Hashem.  

And when you perform a Mitzvah, it is not just obeying what Hashem said so long ago; no.  It is obeying what He said on that very day in His Torah.  The Torah is Eternal.  

In truth, we should be excited and inspired to learn every bit of the Torah - but we must feel the warmth and Hashem in it.  

When we learn Hashem’s Torah, He, in His Great Kindness, is right there, speaking to us personally; but can you hear Him?  In every single word (and, of course, Commandment), He is there, but the question is; do you feel Him?

I wish everyone a wonderful, Kedushadikke week.

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