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rabbi's Parsha class - shmot

12/30/2015 02:34:05 PM

Dec30

Parsha Insights – Shmot

The Burning Bush

G-d appears to Moshe Rabbainu in a burning bush. It is described as “burning in fire, and the bush is not consumed.”  At this event, Moshe was chosen as the “Go’el Yisrael,” the redeemer of Israel; he who would lead the Jewish people out of the Egyptian exile.

G-d revealed Himself to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai.  There, too, Sinai is described as “burning in fire.”  At this event, the Jewish people were chosen to be “a light unto the nations,” and to fulfill the ultimate purpose of creation “to make the low world into a dwelling place for G-d.”

Question:     

The Talmud asks why G-d chose a bush from all other vegetation and not a majestic cedar. And why did G-d choose the lowly Mount Sinai and not a more majestic mountain? 

Answer:

The answer given is that both the bush and Sinai represented humility, which is the most important character trait.  To be the leader of the Jews, Moshe had to be humble.  To fulfill the Divine mission of the chosen people, the Jews had to be humble.

Humility is not considering yourself less than you really are. That is not humility; it is foolishness.  Humility is knowing exactly who you are, and what you have accomplished, and yet you do not feel pride or conceit. This is because you attribute and give credit to G-d for everything you have and are.

Moshe knew how great he was, but he truly perceived that is was because G-d had blessed him with great gifts and abilities.  The Jewish people must always know that they are chosen to bring G-dliness to the world.  But they must realize that their ability to accomplish this is only because G-d empowers them and loves them.  This feeling of humility enables us to be enflamed with fervor and excitement, and never assimilate into the majority culture. 

Halacha:

There is a Torah Mitzvah to recite the Shema twice daily; once in the morning and again in the evening.  There is a specific time when it should be recited, and one should concentrate on the meaning of the words, especially in the first verse of Shema.

Mashiach Matters:

Mashiach will effect the ingathering of all of the exiles of Israel.  This Divine promise is unconditional.  It will occur even if the people should not want to return.

Sat, December 15 2018 7 Tevet 5779