Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Mussar Drosha: Yisro

Mussar Drosha: Yisro:


With Hashem’s Help, let us continue in the journey Heavenward through the Parshiyos this cycle:  


So, one of the biggest events in history takes place in this parsha:  When we received the Ten Commandments at Har Sinai. (I highly recommend just reading this portion - even without commentary - as it very much connects you to Hashem).


Just imagine it (if we can); the moment when Hashem revealed Himself to us in all His Glory; He gives us His Ten Commandments and we become His People.  It is such an emotional thing, honestly.


They witnessed Hashem’s Awesome Presence and all the Glory with It with their own eyes.  But actually; let us not say ‘they’ and ‘their’ - but rather; ‘we’ and ‘our’.  For as we are told, every single Jewish Soul that would come into the world was there when Hashem revealed Himself.  


And after this awesome Revelation; who could sin?  With what they had just beheld?  Who could not believe in Hashem and trust in Him fully?


But let’s talk applicable things in our lives:  It has been so long since the Standing at Har Sinai - and the awe of the Glory of Hashem we all had has worn off from our hearts a lot.  Otherwise we wouldn’t sin like we do…..


And this is more of a problem than we might even think:  For we are commanded to fear (which is explained as being in awe) Hashem.  


How do we fix the wearing off of the awe?  So, let’s look at a verse in Parshas Va’eira:  When Hashem was transmitting the warning of the Fourth Plague to Moshe Rabbeinu in order to tell over to Paroah, He says ‘And I will separate on that day the land of Goshen….. in order that you will know that I am Hashem in the midst of the land.’ (This phrase of ‘I am Hashem in the midst of the land’ is used in many places).


What does the addition of ‘in the midst of the land’ teach us?  I believe that it is possible to explain it this way:  As we are told, there is a spark of Hashem in all of nature (in everything, really) and He controls all of nature (again, everything really, though humans have free will).  If something happens, it is not by chance; everything has a message and lesson, etc. in it.


Hashem is telling us with the addition of ‘in the midst of the land’, we may say, that we must learn to see Him within everything that happens.  Everything that happens to a person, whether it be “bad” (may the Merciful One save us), or good (may He will so), it is all for real from Him, and, in a way, a Revelation of His Presence!  


Every morning, when the sun rises, when we breath, take another step, etc. - that is a Revelation of Hashem that He is here with us.  Or the Torah (this is a one of the best examples); being able to read Hashem’s Word?!  What a Revealing!  


The Rambam zt”l in Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah (2:2) writes: “By thinking into His actions and creations… and seeing His unlimited wisdom, one will love and praise Him and fear Him….”


By just looking around at Hashem’s wonderful creations, you will come to realize more of how great He is - and that is a Revelation in and of itself!  So the truth is that in our everyday lives Hashem reveals Himself to us!  But, if this is true; why don’t we have the awe of His Presence on us at all times - and how do we come to sin?  


The verse in this parsha describes how we saw the (Divine) Voice with the Episode at Sinai - and then it tells us at the end of the verse that we trembled with fear.  Seeing is a very special sense - when we saw the Revelation, then we trembled with fear for Hashem.  


So this is how we can rectify the wearing off of the awe and fiery passion:  We need to see the Revelations in our own lives.  They are constantly there; we just need to see them!  And that will lead to fiery passion in serving Hashem, and a constant awe of the feeling of knowledge that Hashem is always with us, “standing” over us like He did at Har Sinai.  The Torah is always presented before us - and now our job is to accept it in our own lives with enthusiasm like we did so long ago……


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