Newsletter

“A STATE OF BLINDNESS”

Roy Neuberger - Aug. 30, 2019


Our parsha opens with the word, “re’eh… See.” Why is this word needed?

  
Hashem is telling us to open our eyes. 

“All human beings are presumed to be in a state of blindness until the Holy One, Blessed be He, enlightens their eyes.” (Midrash Rabbah Beraishis 53:14) Midrash brings this when commenting on Hagar’s failure to perceive the well which was right in front of her eyes. (Beraishis 21:19) These words constitute the formula we recite if we have lost something. 

Often we do not see what is directly in front of us. This is true not only with physical objects but – even more significantly – in matters of ruchnius[1].

“These are the ordinances that you shall observe to perform in the Land that Hashem, the G-d of your forefathers, has given you, to possess it, all the days that you live on the Land. You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations that you are driving away worshiped their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills, and under every leafy tree. You shall break apart their alters; you shall smash their pillars and their sacred trees shall you burn in the fire; their carved images shall you cut down and you shall obliterate their names from that place. [But] You shall not do this to Hashem, your G-d….” (Devarim 12:1ff)

We are required to perceive the difference. We are not like the other cultures. We are called “Am levadad yishkon … a nation that will dwell in solitude.” (Bamidbar 23:9) 

After the recent shootings in the United States, I saw an article advocating a national day of introspection so that the United States can try to achieve a sense of unity and perspective, the way Am Yisroel, lehavdil, attains unity and perspective on Tisha B’Av.


My friends, we are not permitted to confuse ourselves with other cultures.
 
This was the confusion which enveloped the Children of Israel in Biblical Egypt, when at least eighty percent identified with Egyptian culture and refused to follow Moses out of Egypt. And this was the confusion which enveloped the Children of Israel in Europe, when the reformers wanted to assimilate into non-Jewish society and take the remembrance of Yerushalayim out of Jewish hearts. “When Hashem your G-d, will cut down the nations, to which you come to take possession from them … and you will … settle in their land, beware for yourself lest you be attracted after them ... and … seek out their gods…” (Devarim 12:29)

It is time to open our eyes and perceive the emptiness of the culture in which we are submerged.

“Since Elul is the last month of the year and immediately precedes Rosh Hashanah, it was established as a time for repentance…. From ancient times, these have been days of reconciliation between G-d and Israel. (Book of Our Heritage)

Hashem assures us!

Afflicted, storm-tossed, unconsoled one, behold, I shall lay your floor stones upon pearls and make your foundation of sapphires ….” (Haftaras Re’eh) All will be well for us if we separate from falsehood and come back in teshuva to our Father and King.
 


[1] Spirituality


 

Recent Posts


Tags

Chofetz Chaim Earth prophets self-worship Talmud Pharaoh Matisyahu biblical Shavuos mikveh, Sabbath United Nations Golan Shechina Holy land Terror Attack in Jerusalem Divine presence Chafetz Chaim creation evil Psalm miracles Yom Kippur Zohar terrorist Adam High Holy Days Achashveirosh Red Sea Ammon Children of Israel Rebbe rosh chodesh Rashi tremors Sukkos King of the Universe Judaism light Zion Abrahem seder God fear angel survival Angel of Death stones India barley Rabbi Akiva cries Pinchas slaves Jerusalem Aharon kesuba Parsha rain Jews priests sanctity Edom Blame night Elul Jewish holidays Tu b'Av King David Eve Greeks earthquake eternal patriarchs'matriarchs resurrection Maccabeans logic rabbi Protective edge Abraham idolatry Hebrew Canaan exile Jewish festival Chanukah Ruth Ishmeal yeshiva Boaz incense messiah Final redemption secret missiles Sea of Galilee media David Sukkah Jewish shofar Holy Temple King Solomon Miraglim Hagar Rosh Hashana spies Land of Israel Moshe meraglim Jeremiah holiday water sun Rabbis Moab sin Exodus Eglon redemption Western World dreams peace Ezekiel spirituality fault Passover Jew tabernacle Shushan synagogue bird Purim Hasmoneans Faith Bilaam terrorism hubris eternity Psalms Holocaust Midrash locusts yarmulke chaos Lunar eclipse soul kinneret pain slavery heaven Ishamael sacrifices ancestors miracle heavenly throne Dead Sea danger Jewish People Solomon New Moon trees Haman Torah portion Gog Mount Zion Creator Prophecy Amram siddur Moshiach Beit Hamikdash redeemer mitzvos esrog Babylon Jacob moon shield of Abraham brotherhood holy Ashkenazi Moshaich Zechariah forefathers song Sephardi terror Isaac tears judgement Sages Sodom salvation Mount Hermon keys Golus Banias death Esau Teshuva stars kosher Holy Ark Father in Heaven Torah Sefiras haOmer Magog 2020 Vision minyan idol chessed Yaakov bible Europe Yerushalayim End of Days Western Wall Macabees Isaiah Joseph Miriam G-d repentance Day of Judgement king Leah ethics terrorists Solar eclipse Song of Songs Mordechai evil inclination Rebecca menorah lights prophet Samuel Tefillin Mount Sinai murder Holiness Malbim heavenly gates prayer angels repent deluge evolution compassion kiddush Esther Second Temple commandment matzos darkness patriarchs Tzuk etan Genesis Laban Temple Mount Judah Ishmael Benjamin enemies Rachel prophet Tu b'Shvat materialism mikveh Master of the Universe shmittah Raiders of the Lost Ark plague Amalek Garden of Eden Moses alone Maimonides Samuel the Prophet High Priest violence spiritual Balak Hashem bris milah Zion, Angel flood culture mitzva Babylonia prayer book fragrance purity America Repentence persecution Tisha b'Av blessing automobiles Judgement Day Israel Geula Bais Hamikdosh Rome Sarah Tallis liberation leprosy Chol haMoed war Chanukkah Passover Seder Baku Samuel Rosh Hashanah Temple gossip Sabbath Torah scholars Egypt Heavenly Mercy Ten Commandments fires Golden Calf Shabbos world to come Avraham three weeks paradise Nation of Israel Red Heifer Galil prayers Lot tablets Day of Atonement Noah cholent Matriarchs pray

Archive