Roy Neuberger - Feb. 01, 2019

And now we enter a new world.


Up to this point in the Torah we have enjoyed the exalted company of our Patriarchs and Matriarchs, Abraham Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rochel and Leah. We have been privileged to accompany these shining tzaddikim as they brought sanctity into the world through the greatest spiritual accomplishments in history. Now, through their greatness, we have arrived at Mount Sinai. We begin the intense study of Torah, with Moses, our Teacher, as our guide. 


As we begin the Portion of Mishpatim, I want to point out one incredible lesson that we can learn right here at the transition point. This Portion begins by teaching many laws, but precisely at “shishi,” the sixth aliyah, the subject matter changes. Here the Torah proceeds to discuss the future entry into the Land of Israel with the words “Behold! I send an angel before you, to protect you on the way, and to bring you to the place that I have made ready.” (Exodus 23:20)


We learn here that the entire success in the Land to which Hashem is leading us is based on our performance of the mishpatim, the ordinances that He has given us, to which we said, “Kol asher diber Hashem … everything that Hashem has spoken, we will do and we will obey.” (ibid 24:7) We also learn the indelible connection between the Law and the Land. The People of Israel, the Land of Israel and Torah are One.


Where along the way did we forget this? How is it that we think we can succeed in the Land unless we perform the mishpatim? Up to this very day, people are saying, “What strategy can we employ for peace? Why does the world hate us?”


My friends, the entire lesson is right here, in this week’s Torah Portion! As we say every day in the Shema, “Place these words of Mine upon your heart and upon your soul … in order to prolong your days and the days of your children upon the ground that Hashem has sworn to your ancestors to give them….”


What is wrong with us, that we cause our own misfortune and trouble! In this week’s Haftara we hear these fearsome words: “Therefore …says Hashem, [since] you did not hearken to Me to proclaim freedom … I proclaim you to be free … for the sword, the for the plague and for the famine, and I shall make you an object of trepidation for all the kingdoms of the earth!”


Have we not witnessed this? It is crystal clear that our only salvation is through allegiance to Hashem and His mishpatim. And now that we, the descendants of the Generation of the Desert, thousands of years later, are groping in the terrible darkness of Exile, nothing has changed. The lessons are as urgent as they were when these words were written.


“So says Hashem, ‘Were it not for My covenant … then I might abominate the offspring of Jacob and Dovid ….” We can still heed the ancient words! We can reestablish sanctity and peace! Hashem remembers His children’s children forever, and, in the end, we will remember! “For I shall bring back their captivity and show them mercy.” (ibid) May we merit to see it soon in our days!


Recent Posts


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