web analytics
February 28, 2015 / 9 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


A True Commitment

Staum-040612

Pesach is a holiday of true commitment. One cannot celebrate the holiday of Shavuos and accept the Torah without first having demonstrated his appreciation of the message of Pesach, i.e. the concept of commitment to whatever the Torah may command and unwavering loyalty to whatever a Torah life may entail.

Just prior to the giving of the torah, Hashem told Klal Yisroel, (Shemos 19:5) “V’atah im shamo’ah tishmi’u b’koli v’hiyeesem li segulah mikol ha’amim ki li kol ha’aretz- 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.” Rashi, on the idea of hearkening to G-d, comments, “If you will accept the Torah upon yourselves now, it will be pleasant for you because all beginnings are difficult.”

What message is Rashi trying to convey? What does accepting the Torah now have to do with beginnings being difficult?

The answer lies in understanding why beginnings are so difficult. Something new is foreign and eccentric because one is not familiar with it and, therefore, not completely dedicated to it. This lack of familiarity keeps a person from placing his complete heart and soul into whatever new item/concept he is now becoming involved in. However, as one becomes more acquainted, and the novelty loses its eccentricity, one feels more comfortable and applies himself to it more fully.

G-d was telling Klal Yisroel that with Torah there is no place for sluggishness – even at the beginning. One must accept the yoke of the Torah with gusto and complete devotion. How is it possible to jump “right in” to something new? “If you will accept it upon yourselves,’ i.e. one who understands that the word of G-d is complete truth and no matter what he is commanded he will adhere to, then observing the Torah becomes a pleasant experience because he is driven to observe what he knows to be the ultimate truth[2].

This dedication was ingrained into the hearts and minds of Klal Yisroel at the time of their exodus from Egypt and that is why Pesach must precede Shavuos.

The holiday of Pesach differentiates those who are completely dedicated from those who have a namby-pamby belief. The eighty percent of Klal Yisroel, some twelve million Jews, who were not completely dedicated never made it out of Egypt but perished during the plague of darkness.

When a gentile decides that he wants to convert to Judaism, we do not welcome him with open arms. Rather we develop an attitude of skepticism and we even seek to ‘push him off’. This is not because we are arrogant and do not wish to have any more members join the Chosen Nation, but we are afraid that the conversion may be based on ulterior motives. Until we are completely sure that the would-be-convert has genuinely pure motives, we do not allow the conversion to take place. Only those Jews, who are ready to sign our “Declaration of Independence,” i.e. to absorb and accept our ideas and appreciation of independence and freedom, can join our elite nation.

Going out of Egypt without accepting the Torah soon afterwards would have been a worthless endeavor! Pesach is indeed the ‘Time of our freedom’ but only if it immediately begins our ascension toward receiving the Torah on Shavuos.



[1] Heard from Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer

[2] Heard from Rabbi Pinchos Idstein

About the Author: Rabbi Dani Staum, LMSW is the Rabbi of Kehillat New Hempstead, as well as Guidance Counselor and fifth grade Rebbe in ASHAR, and Principal at Mesivta Ohr Naftoli of New Windsor. He can be reached at stamtorah@gmail.com. Visit him on the web at www.stamtorah.info.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “A True Commitment”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
18,000 Iranian Centrifuges
Reducing Iran’s Number of Centrifuges Makes a Bomb More Likely
Latest Judaism Stories
Niehaus-022715

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

Mendlowitz-022715-Basket

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

Winiarz-022715-Kids

Does Hashem ever go away and not pay attention to us?

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

In other words, the Torah is an expression of the Way that we must follow in order to live a divine-like life and to bond in the highest way possible with God or Being Itself.

The Chasam Sofer answers that one of only prohibited from wearing a garment that contains shatnez if he does so while wearing the garment for pleasure purposes.

The avodah (service) of the kohen gadol is vital and highly sensitive; the world’s very existence depends on it.

Moreover, even if the perpetrator of the capital offense is never actually executed, such as when the fatal act was unintentional, Kam Lei applies and the judge cannot award damages.

Forever After?
‘Obligated for Challahh and Not Terumah’
(Kesubos 25a)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

“We really appreciate your efforts in straightening the shul,” said Mr. Reiss. “How is it going?”

This was a spontaneous act of rest after the miracle of vanquishing their respective foes. The following year they celebrated on the same days as a minhag.

The way we must to relate to our young adult children is to communicate with genuine loving-kindness

Jewish prayer is a convergence of 2 modes of biblical spirituality, exemplified by Moses and Aaron

In holy places it’s important to maintain a level of silence permitting people to dialogue with God

Eventually, after some trial and error, including an experience with a prima donna and one with a thief, I baruch Hashem ultimately found a fine, honest and reliable household helper.

More Articles from Rabbi Dani Staum
Staum-013015

People often think that all they are missing is “just a little more” and then they can be truly happy.

Parsha-Perspective-Logo-NEW

To many of our brethren Chanukah has lost its meaning.

A person who truly feels that everything is a blessing from G-d will count his blessings and realize just how much he has.

Avraham became a great man during the 175 years of his life, while his predecessors became increasingly wicked, despite staggering knowledge, during their lifetimes of hundreds of years.

Often in life we become stuck – stuck in the morass of our habits and the rote of our comfort level.

The innkeeper smiled and replied, “Why do you think we are dancing? We are dancing because G-d destroyed the Bais HaMikdash!”

After listening to the driver’s incredible story, Rabbi Levenstein asked him, “What about you? After seeing such a miracle why didn’t you became Torah observant?”

Twelve of the greatest leaders of the nation, one from each shevet, were dispatched to survey the land. The results of that mission were catastrophic.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/judaism-101/a-true-commitment/2012/04/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: