The Right Choice

by | Aug 1, 2013 | 0 comments

While going through the Parsha, the fourth part of Moshe Rabbeinu’s final Drasha to the Jewish People, I noticed what seemed to be a lack of connection between the 55 different mitzvos mentioned. However, I found a constant theme, a key word, which strings everything together. The word and concept of ????? is mentioned 18 times in Parshas Re’eh!

Moshe Rabbeinu tells Klal Yisrael that when they will enter the Land of Israel and will be bringing Korbanos, they will be tempted to just bring the Korban anywhere. To this Moshe instructed to only bring Korbanos and rejoice in Hashem in the place that Hashem will choose, the place of Bechirah. That will be the place of Hashra’as HaShechina and the place where we can become mukrav to Hashem. This place is constantly referred to in the Torah as the “place that I will choose”

Why did the Torah choose to refer to the Makom of the Shechina with the word “choosing”? Why indeed is not anyplace that a Korban is brought a dwelling Place of the Shechinah?

In the beginning of the parsha, Moshe presents before us a Bracha and a Klala. If we listen and do the mitzvos of Hashem, we get Bracha. If we stray from Torah we get Klala. This is further manifested with Har Grizim and Har Eival. To this day, Har Grizim is lush and green – Bracha, whereas Har Eival is barren and rocky – Klala.

The Kli Yakar explains that Brochah can be compared to the sun. Just as the rays of the sun have so many uses, depending on how they are being collected and utilized; so too Brochah depends on the receiving end. Hashem is always showering us with His Bracha, it is up to us to accept the Bracha and utilize it correctly.

The Bracha is always there. We can accept the Bracha into our lives or we can face the alternative – Klala. If we choose Torah which is the source of all Bracha, we are choosing the Shechina, and Hashem gives us a Beis HaBechira. If we do not choose the Bracha – we are in effect choosing the alternative.

The concept of mida kneged mida is especially prevalent here. Hashem chooses as we do. When Hashem chooses the Makom, He is saying I am helping you make a vessel to absorb the Shechinah. I am waiting for you to tune in to the Bracha and when you do, you will indeed get the Bracha. However, if we do not act properly then we will not be zoche to asher bachar Hashem – the Bracha will not have a vessel to hold it.

The “place of Choice’ is the place where both G-d and men choose. G-d chooses the place and we choose his Shechinah. It is our choice to accept the Shechinah and the Brochah. We choose Har Grizim or Har Eival.

Nowadays, we do not have a Beis HaBechira but we can still choose Tov. We can choose to be a vessel to accept the blessings of Hashem. By adapting an Ayin Tovah; by accepting each other with a Lev Tov; giving ourselves more time to learn Torah; by moving up a notch in our performance of Mitzvos; we can go into Elul and the New Year assured of the ultimate bracha. Let us be zoche to the return of the Shechina B’Mokom Asher Yivchar Hashem.

Gut Shabbos

By Rabbi Yaacov Haber

Rabbi Yaacov Haber has been a leading force in Jewish community and Jewish education for over forty years. He lived and taught in the United States, Australia and in Israel. He is presently the Rav of Kehillas Shivtei Yeshurun, a vibrant community in the center of Ramat Bet Shemesh, Israel, and serves as the Rabbinic guide to many of its wonderful organisations.


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