“In the third month from the Exodus of the Children of Israel from Egypt, on this day they arrived at the Wilderness of Sinai. They … encamped in the wilderness … opposite the mountain. Moshe ascended … and Hashem called out to him from the mountain, saying ‘So shall you say to the House of Yaakov and relate to Bnai Yisroel: You have seen what I did to Egypt and that I have borne you on the wings of eagles and brought you to Me. And now, if you hearken well to Me and observe My covenant, you shall be to Me the most beloved treasure of all peoples, for Mine is the entire world. You shall be to Me a kingdom of ministers and a holy nation….” (Shemos 19:1-6)
My friends, this is reality.
We are a Kingdom of Ministers and a Holy Nation.
I personally am a worrier, but the fact is that Hashem is holding our hand and guiding us toward the most exalted place, as it says, “You shall be wholehearted with Hashem,” (Dvarim 18:13) which, according to Rashi, means, “Look ahead to Him and do not delve into the future… Whatever comes upon you accept with wholeheartedness.”
In this week’s Parsha -- after our nation has gone through generations of tests, after the conflicts among the Children of Yaakov, after the slavery in Mitzraim, after the miracles surrounding the Exodus -- we have finally arrived at Har Sinai.
We are “a Kingdom of Ministers and a Holy Nation.”
And now, thousands of years later, in the year 5783, we owe it to ourselves to contemplate that basic fact. After all that our people have endured over the centuries the “bottom line” is still the same: we are Hashem’s People. That is our essence.
A new book has been published about my wife and me, called “From Sinai to Yerushal-ayim.” That title is appropriate, because that is where we are all going, “to Yerushalayim.” The Children of Israel are taking the Torah which was given to us at Har Sinai and we are taking it to Yerushalayim.
This is not just the title of a book; it is the story of Am Yisroel.
“Therefore, say to the children of Israel …. I shall bring you to the land about which I raised My hand to give it to Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov and I shall give it to you as a heritage …. I am Hashem.’” (Shemos 6:6-8)
We are a restless and rebellious nation, but we will always be Hashem’s People, and our destiny is to return to the Land and bring the Torah there which we were given at Sinai.
This has been a very dry winter, a terrible sign. Crops are in danger. Religious farmers and rabbanim are calling for additional tefillos. Rain is our bracha and we have to ask what blemish in us is causing this terrible drought?
But this week a miracle happened. Suddenly there is rain!
This week “the wind is blowing and the rain is falling” in buckets! Hashem is telling us not to despair. Despite all our troubles, Hashem is telling us that He is with us and reminding us that we are still and will always be “a Kingdom of Ministers and a Holy Nation."
Parshas Beshallach, which we read last week, contains the hint of Techias Hamaisim, the Resurrection of the Dead. The Song which Am Yisroel sang at the Sea begins with “oz yashir Moshe,” which hints that such a song will be sung once again at the end of history when Hashem rescues us forever from the nations and brings about the resurrection of the dead. Techias Hamiasim is the second bracha in Shemoneh Esreh, which gives some hint of its importance.
And what is the first example of “techias hamaisim?”
Rain is a sign of the resurrection of the dead. Rain revives the dead earth!
The very basis of our lives is the knowledge that Hashem will bring us back even from death! If we stick to Hashem and His Torah He will give us endless existence in His Presence! For a Jew who is attached to Hashem, there is nothing to fear! Nothing can defeat us, even death. Nothing can stop our destiny.
At this time in history, when we are beset with troubles and anxiety, we should know in our deepest heart that Hashem is going to take us out of Golus and bring us to the Holy City.
Nothing can stop it.
We will see the Bais Hamikdosh.
We will see Moshiach ben Dovid.
Our destiny is indestructible.
May we all soon see the rebuilt Yerushalayim!
Dvarim: Book of Deuteronomy
Har Sinai: Mount Sinai
Kinneret: The Sea of Galilee
Mitzraim: Ancient Egypt
Shemos: Book of Exodus