Torah Tidbits

28 July 2014 / 1 Av 5774
Issue 1033
Shabbat Parshat Mishpatim
February 07, 2013

Chizuk and Idud

CHIZUK and IDUD for Olim not yet Olim respectively

ANGELS fill a noticeable role in every day Jewish life. Every Friday night as we return home from shul we sing “Shalom Aleichem” inviting the angels into our abode. Similarly, we teach our little children to sing the words of Yaakov’s blessing to his sons, nightly repeating the beautiful: “Hamalach HaGoel Oti”, “The angel who redeems me from all evil, will bless the lads”... (B’reishit 48:16).
This week’s Parsha makes mention of another guardian angel: “Behold I send an angel before you to watch over you in your way, and to bring you to the place which I have prepared” (Sh’mot 23:20). Rashi explains that this verse refers to the angel we will read about after the Jewish people sin with the Golden Calf. In response to their sin the almighty declares: “I will send an angel before you… I will not ascend in your midst” (33:2-3).
In this context the promise of a guardian angel is not a blessing at all, since an angel is a lower form of divine providence.
In diplomatic parlance, a high-level delegation is indicative of a very close relationship, and the lower the dele- gate’s rank, the looser the connection.
Sensing this, Moshe immediately pleads with the Almighty asking: “If I had found favor in your eyes, O Lord, let the Lord go in our midst” (34:9). Moshe desires that the Almighty act alone without angelic intermediaries and in the end G-d relents and does not go ahead with the plan.
Throughout Jewish history our people have known ups and downs. There have been times when we have not merited such an idyllic level of direct divine guidance. We well remember harrowing periods, such as the Holocaust, in which we were governed by the wrath of G-d’s other emissaries the Malachei Chabala, angels of destruction (see Rashi B’reishit 3:24). With the establishment of the State of Israel, we were blessed and the level of divine providence has fortunately risen once again.
Coming off the recent elections, there is much discussion revolving around the level of today’s leadership. We believe that Lev Melachim B’yad Hashem, G-d directly influences the decisions of our leaders. The lesson we can learn from the Parsha, is that the way to upgrade poor leadership is to upgrade ourselves. The level of G-d’s involvement, the rank of the leaders He will send, will depend on our merit (“Parnas l’fi Doro” - Arachin 17:1). The greater we become, the greater the leaders we will merit.
If we are willing to make Aliya, to raise ourselves up to him, we can hope to merit that the almighty will in turn descend to us - and not send angels in His stead.

Rabbi Yerachmiel Roness, Ramat Shiloh, Beit Shemesh

TORAH THOUGHTS as contributed by Aloh Naaleh members for publication in the Orthodox Union’s ‘Torah Insights’, a weekly Torah publication on Parshat HaShavu’a

In This Issue of Torah Tidbits

Candle Lighting and Havdala

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