web analytics
August 22, 2014 / 26 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



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 in Monsey NY. He is also Guidance Counselor/Rebbe in ASHAR and Yeshiva Bais Hachinuch. His website is www.stamtorah.info. He can be reached at stamtorah@gmail.com.


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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Photo: Rotter.net / Tikonist
Live Updates: Ashdod Shul Hit by Rocket (Latest Update: 5:28 pm)
Latest Judaism Stories
Parsha-Perspectives-logo

Eisenhower understood that motivated men will fight much harder and longer than unmotivated men.

PTI-082214

Who does not want to get close to Hashem? Yet, how do we do that?

Weiss-082214-Beloved

Hashem recalls everything – nothing is hidden from His eyes.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

According to Rabbi Yishmael one was not permitted to eat such an animal prior to entering Eretz Yisrael, while according to Rabbi Akiva one was permitted to eat animals if he would perform nechirah.

An interview was overheard in which an Arab asked a Hamas commander: “What’s the problem? Why aren’t you hitting your targets? Don’t you know how to aim?” To which he was answered: “We know how to aim very well. We are experts. But their G-d moves the missiles.”

Discretion
‘Vendors Of Fruits And Clothing…May Sell In Private’
(Mo’ed Katan 13b)

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

If a man sins and follows his inclinations, he will find comfort in this world – but when he dies, he will go to a place that is all thorns.

Nothing is more effective to diminish envy than gratitude.

The first prayer of Moshe was Vayechal, where Moshe’s petition was that no matter how bad bnei Yisrael were, the Egyptians were worse.

“We’re leining now, and shouldn’t be talking,” Mr. Silver gently quieted his son. “At the Shabbos table we can discuss it at length.”

If we regard pain and suffering as mere coincidence, we will feel no motivation to examine our lives

Culture is not nature. There are causes in nature, but only in culture are there meanings.

Rabbinic law is pivotal but it’s important to understand which laws are rabbinic and which biblical.

We give slave gifts? If he wants to stay, we pierce his ear?!

More Articles from Rabbi Dani Staum
Staum-080814

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

Staum-062714

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.

It is one thing to do a chesed for someone one time or when it is convenient. But for a person to go a few hours out of his way every year for a stranger demonstrates incredible selflessness.

Rav Pam said we must realize that God has no pleasure from such negative speech.

A friend of mine recently heard a comment that left him stunned. A colleague told him that his mother, a survivor of Auschwitz, who had recently lost her husband of five decades, told her son, “You should know, being alone is worse than Auschwitz!”

Even if he has committed sins that warrant his rejection from the community, he is never rejected by G-d.

Winston Churchill repeated a grade during elementary school. He twice failed the exam to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. He later wrote, “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to the convictions of honor and good sense. Never, Never, Never, Never give up!”

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: