Past Weekly Shabbat Message
Rabbi Dovid Saks
(Torah Portion Va'airah) Heavenly Sounds
Our leader Moshe came to the Pharoh with specific instructions from G-d to free the Jewish people. Pharoh responded, “Who is G-d that I should listen to him.”
Pharoh’s denied the existence of G-d until the seventh plague, which was fire mixed with hail. Pharoh finally caved in, calling Moshe to stop the plague, and proclaiming, “G-d is righteous, and I and my nation are wicked.”
Although this sentiment was short lived, for Pharoh reneged from this position after the plague stopped, nonetheless, Pharoh and the Egyptians were rewarded for this recognition, in that after they were drowned at the Red Sea, their bodies were spat out of the sea and they merited burial in the ground.
We see from this incident that no one is too distant from connecting with G-d, and that every gesture one makes towards furthering his connection to G-d, is recognized and accounted for, and he is rewarded in kind.
The Mishna in Ethics of our Fathers teaches us that each day a Heavenly sound emanates from Mount Sinai and proclaims, “Woe to them, to the (Jewish) people, because they insult the Torah by ignoring it!” Commentaries ask, what is the purpose for such a proclamation if it is not heard?
The Shem MeShmuel explains: The Talmud states that when one commits a sin it causes clogging of his spiritual heart; and the more one sins, the spiritual blockage is compounded.
If so, that one becomes so far removed and soiled through sin, how can one possibly repent?
The verse states: “Torah is not in the Heavens.” The Talmud explains that had the Torah been placed in the Heavens, we would have to find a way up there to get it.
You may ask, if Torah would be placed in the Heavens, how could we be responsible for it? After all, we have a concept that G-d does not demand from us something that we are not capable of doing?
The answer offered is; had the Torah actually been placed in the Heavens, G-d would have indeed given us the ability to get it from there. By the fact that He gave it to us on earth – it is certainly within our grasp to attain.
With every Mitzvah that we perform, we affect the Heavenly spheres. How is this possible?
There is a Talmudic concept that if one appoints a person as a messenger to do something – when he performs the act; it is as if the sender is doing it himself.
In a similar vein, when we perform a Mitzvah that G-d commands us to perform, we are in effect a messenger of the Almighty, and to a certain degree, it is a if G-d is doing the Mitzvah.
Getting back to our original question, how could a person who has become so distant from the Almighty repent? The answer is, since there is a command in the Torah to repent, we are a messenger of the Almighty and we are given the ability to return.
However, if a person continually sins, he severs his attachment to the Almighty and can reach the point when he is no longer considered a messenger of G-d - since he has become disconnected from G-d. How can his position as a messenger be repaired and reinstated to gain the ability to repent?
There are times in our lives when we feel some type of spiritual jolt, inspiration or uplift to do what is right. Did this feeling just come out of the blue? Says the Shem MeShmuel, this uplifting feeling is rooted in that Heavenly voice that calls out from Mount Sinai to renew our connection - which our souls perceive and gives us a renewed charge and energy to become once again a messenger of G-d and gain the ability to repair any discord.
So when we suddenly feel inspired to deepen our service to the Almighty, it is as if we are taking on renewed orders from G-d through the proclamation of the Heavenly voice.
With this inspiration, we can understand how we can affect the Heavenly celestial spheres with our deeds, for our Mitzvah performance is as if G-d, who by sending us, is doing the Mitzvah.
A beautiful, inspiring and uplifting concept!
Wishing you a restful, peaceful
and inspirational Shabbos!
Rabbi Dovid Saks