28 January 2011

"Na'aseh v'Nishmah"

23 Shevat 5771


Jerusalem, Israel
HaRav Yehuda Kreuser SHLIT"A, Rosh Yeshiva

PARSHAT MISHPATIM/SHEKALIM24 Shvat 5771/28-29 January 2011

"For my angel shall go before you and bring you to the Amorite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Canaanite, the Hivvite and the Jebusite, and I will annihilate them."

The Torah teaches us that from the Jewish people following the Torah, G-d will send an angel before the children of Israel who will wipe out the seven nations that lived in the Land of Israel. But wait. . . . Is that nice? How could this be? What did they do to deserve such a fate? OK, so maybe they are not the best of nations in the world, but still, to wipe them off the face of the planet? Certainly, the Jewish people could live side-by-side with them, each nation doing its own thing, you know, live and let live. As long as each nation does not bother one another, then, heck, why not just let them be? This certainly could not be Judaism - or could it?

The truth is that these seven nations are the prime example of evil in this world; there is absolutely nothing good about them. They have gone way past the point of no return, and no good will ever come out of them. For this reason, the Torah tell us that the angel of G-d will come and "take them out". For it is not enough for one to just stay away from evil, but one must chase after it and annihilate it totally whereever it is found, especially if it is in one's own home.

Amalek is a prime example of our obligation to erase evil in this world. The Jew must chase them to the four corners of the world in order to wipe them out, for they represent all that is wrong, and as long as they prevail, goodness cannot rule. The point is that in order for goodness to overcome evil, one cannot be passive about it, but must chase the evil and remove it from this world. If the world would have moved to stop the evil Nazis sooner, how many countless more people would be alive today? As long as evil rules this world, G-d does not sit on His throne, so to speak. When will He sit on it? "Saviors shall come up on Mount Zion to punish Esau, and the Kingdom shall be the L-rd's."

G-d divided the light from the darkness; G-d assigned them separate spheres so they would not serve together. He also established the concept of good and evil, and He separated between them. There cannot be, and must not be, a mixing of good and evil. Each must be separate so one can know which to annihilate and which to cling to. Therefore, the Torah says: "Destroy evil from your midst", and King David said: "You that love G-d, hate evil".

For this reason, the Torah tell us in our parsha that the angel will come and annihilate the seven nations. For the Jewish people to build a just and compassionate society, they must first and foremost remove the evil that is in their midst ,for without removing the evil from among them, their society will be doomed! Separation from evil and the nations is the only way for Israel to be the light that the world is waiting for.



Levi, Parshat Mishpatim on YouTube

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