This week President Trump visited Israel on his first trip abroad. History was made as he became the first sitting United States president to visit and pray at the Western Wall. Having the leader of the free world recognize our holiest place of worship was very symbolic and meaningful. Indeed, the Yeshaya HaNavi states, “For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples” (Yeshaya 56:7).
In Parshas Lech Lecha the Torah tells us that when Avraham Avinu came to Eretz Yisrael, he built a mizbe’ach and “vayikra b’shem Hashem – called out in the name of Hashem.” The Ramban explains that this means that Avraham publicized to the world that there is a Creator and that He continually runs the world. He informed everyone that this Creator is great and that He wants everyone to follow in His ways.
The Ramban continues that Yitzchak Avinu continued this work in his own way. However, we do not find that Yaakov Avinu publicized Hashem to the world. The Ramban explains that this was because he had many sons and all of them served Hashem. Through them and their actions, Hashem’s name was publicized. The Zohar (quoted in the famous tefillas HaShela which many recite on Erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan) says that the purpose of this world is to teach the world about Hashem and His ways. The only way this is accomplished is through Am Yisrael acting as ovdei Hashem in Eretz Yisrael. At Yetzias Mitzrayim, we became a nation of ovdei Hashem and the world then became aware of Hashem.
The Midrash (Esther Rabbah 6:2) likens Mordechai to Avraham Avinu in the sense that they both taught people about Hashem. As the megillah says, “V’rabim mei’amei haaretz misyahadim – many of the people of the land converted to Judaism.” The Midrash says that this is why Mordechai was called “Yehudi” – for he fulfilled the purpose of a yehudi, to teach the world about Hashem. This is the purpose of the Jewish nation as well; it is our mission. In fact, it is documented in history books that the Jewish people contributed the concept of monotheism to the world. We must continue to educate the world about the Single Creator and Ruler of the world.
But how should we do this? The answer is with our actions. Through our actions, Klal Yisrael is supposed to be mekadesh Hashem, and make known that the ways of the Torah are pleasant.
On Yom Tov we ask Hashem: “galei kevod malchuscha aleinu – reveal the Honor of Your Reign upon us.” When the nations of the world will see Hashem saving his children, His nation, they will see that there is a Borei Olam who runs the world. That is our purpose. We must do everything we can to effect that Hashem should reveal His malchus and redeem us, displaying to the world that there is a Creator who runs the world.
The president’s visit to the Western Wall under Jewish control surely demonstrated to the world the significance and the holiness of that place. Mr. Trump remarked later that day “this land is filled with beauty, wonder, and the spirit of God… I was very moved by my visit to the Western Wall, words fail to capture the experience. It will leave an impression on me forever.” May it be His will that the gravity and magnitude of his visit leave an impression on the world at large, and cause them to appreciate this holiest place on Earth.
May we all be zocheh to be reach our tachlis of being mekadesh shem Shamayim. May we all be zocheh to do teshuvah, which will bring about the fulfillment of the tefillah we daven on Yom Tov, “V’yismechu becha Yisrael mekadshei shemecha – And may Yisrael, who sanctify your name, rejoice in You,” with the revelation of the malchus Hashem speedily in our times. Amen.