Friday, March 24, 2023

Will You Answer the Haggadah?

We begin this week not only with a new parsha but a new sefer as we begin to read from the Book of Vayikra (Leviticus). It opens up with the words ``Vayikra el Moshe” or “ And He Called to Moshe.” Many of the commentaries have pointed out that though it’s evident from the text that G-d called out to Moshe, it doesn’t explicitly say so as it typically does in other textual settings. The Nesivos Shalom quotes the Midrash that a heavenly voice emanates from Mount Sinai daily and exhorts the Jewish people to repentance. He questions this by asking why we can’t hear this voice emanating from Sinai, and if we can’t hear it, what’s the point of it being declared? He writes the following profound idea. There is spiritual energy being released in the world daily. Some of us make a choice to capitalize on these sparks and internalize them into our souls. This enables us to embark on a journey of self-improvement in this world and allows our soul to connect to G-d in this finite and temporary world through meaningful Torah study, heartfelt prayer, and practicing acts of kindness. Unfortunately, some of us take a look at these spiritual sparks and even experience the spiritual energy that originates from Sinai and just take a pass for whatever reason. These souls lie dormant and become atrophied and dehydrated. In life a person needs to feel as if they are being filled with purpose. Otherwise, they will feel the need to fill that void in unhelpful and negative ways. There is a powerful phrase in our Shabbos liturgy mentioned, and that is שבענו מטובך.  This is translated as “satisfy us from your goodness”. Judaism is enriching as it allows a person to become filled with holiness and Godliness in an otherwise mundane world. An individual that can utilize these opportunities to connect will be satisfaction and purpose in life. The reason we pray for  שבענו מטובך is we realize the stakes if one does not satisfy ourselves with the goodness of our faith.  We continue to be presented with opportunities to fill our souls with enriching faith. Moshe heard that call over three thousand years ago. That call continues to reach us in our daily lives. So we have to ask ourselves the hard question of how we are answering that call. Have a Peaceful Shabbos, Rabbi Yaakov Fisch

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