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B"H

Shalom and Bracha!

May Hashem grant peace, security and blessings to the land of Israel and bless you, your entire family and all those who are dear to you with a wonderful sweet New Year filled with health, happiness, success, prosperity, fulfillment and inspiration and may we see the redemption through Moshiach immediately!
 

This week’s portion begins with the Mitzvah of appointing judges in all of our gates. In every city in Israel a Jewish court was established with judges and officers to enforce the rulings of the judges. This Mitzvah has a very important message to each of us. A gate serves for entry and exit. Our body has many gates. The ears hear, the eyes see and the mouth both eats and speaks. Our limbs feel and act. Even a smile or a frown can be powerful communications that deeply affect others. We have to appoint judges on our gates. When I want to speak, is this speech a Mitzvah? Is it appropriate? Is it inappropriate? Is it hurtful or forbidden speech? When I want to look at something will it better me or worsen me as a person and a Jew? What does the Torah say? These are the judges of our personal gates. What are the officers? Our plan of action to assure we listen to our judges and how we avoid repeating mistakes. If we find an environment conducive to bad behavior, we must avoid it. A nurturing environment must be sought. Clear plans to bear responsibilities for our actions must be drawn. These are our private officers.
 

In the literal sense of the Mitzvah, The Sanhedrin, the supreme Torah authority, was established in Yerushalayim in the Temple complex. Because they were the final authority, there was unity in custom and practice throughout the Jewish people. Three times each day in the Amidah we pray for the return of the Sanhedrin and the Jewish courts.
 

We find an interesting distinction between the way the Mitzvah is described in the portion and in the liturgy. The prayer beseeches Hashem “return our judges as at first and our advisers as in the beginning. We pray for advisers rather than officers. This is based on the promise of the prophet Yeshaiahu (1:26) “And I will return your judges as at first and your advisers as in the beginning. What is the difference between officers and advisers, and why when Moshiach comes will we need only advisers?
 

The Rebbe explains that officers were necessary to enforce the rulings of the judges, inflicting corporal punishment until their rulings were accepted. When Moshiach comes, there will be no need for force, because there will be no evil and we will all want to follow the rulings of the Torah. However, we will need advisers, who will direct us how best to fulfill the rulings of the judges.
 

Everything which will occur when Moshiach comes is a result of our service during the Galut, the exile. In order to merit the replacement of officers with advisers when Moshiach comes, we need to change our attitude to the commandments of Hashem. We shouldn’t do a Mitzvah as a burden, but as a privilege. As such, we shouldn’t seek shortcuts and minimums in fulfilling Mitzvot, but rather the ideal way to perform a Mitzvah. As a precursor to the return of the judges and advisers, the Rebbe has recommended that each person have a Rav, upon whom he relies for Torah knowledge, and who supervises his learning and progress in fulfilling Mitzvot, and a Mashpia, who advises him in living his daily life according to the Torah. This is particularly pertinent to the days of Elul, when we reflect upon our actions in the previous year and prepare for the coming year.
 

As we stand on the eve of redemption, may our efforts in appointing personal spiritual leaders hasten the return of the High Court to the Holy Temple together with Moshiach.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Biggs

A Project of Chabad of Great Neck

400 East Shore Rd. Great Neck NY 11024

516 4874554 fax 516 4874807

If you wish to be removed from this list please contact me at rabbibiggs@gmail.com


 
   
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