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Shabbat Parashat Yitro 5772

Yitro | 18 Shvat 5772 | 2/11/2012

Parashat Hashavuah: On this Day, They Came to Sinai

Our parasha takes us to the apex of Sefer Shemot, the book of liberation, as Bnei Yisrael approached Mt. Sinai. After all, Moshe had been told that the sign for the delivery from Egypt was, When you take the nation out of Egypt, they will serve Hashem on this mountain (Shemot 3:12). The experiences at Sinai also helped clarify why there was a need for an enslavement that had been foretold centuries earlier to Avraham. Everything that happens to Bnei Yisrael is unique and wondrous. It was born as a nation in a special way, specifically in a foreign land under a period of tremendous subjugation, unlike most peoples who become nations while sitting in their own land. They received the Torah, the blueprint for their national life, in a manner that makes them special among the nations of the world. Hashem loves all of mankind, but Bnei Yisrael was to have a special role (see Seforno, Shemot 19:5). This occurred in the wilderness, of all places, in the midst of a nomadic existence. They were, at the time, disconnected from a normal existence, eating bread from the sky and water miraculously extracted from a stone. They knew nothing of the land they were to enter and where they would live their national life, and did not know how their agricultural lifestyle, which the Torah would regulate, would be run. Were they sure they would be able to observe Shabbat or Shemitta and survive? Sold lands would be returned to their original owners, and debts would be cancelled. Is it possible to accept all these laws without a trace of skepticism?


This edition of
Hemdat Yamim

is dedicated
 to the memory of
R' Meir
 ben Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld



Hemdat Yamim

is endowed by

Les & Ethel Sutker

of Chicago, Illinois
in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker

Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l


This edition of
Hemdat Yamim
is dedicated to the memory of

Rabbi Shlomo Merzel o.b.m,
who passed away
 on the 10th of Iyar 5771

Hemdat Yamim

A weekly divrei Torah leaflet: A Glimpse at the Parasha, Ask the Rabbi, From the writings of Harav Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook, ztl, Pninat Mishpat (Jewish Monetary Law).

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