Thursday, February 20, 2014

'amida (Berakha 11) All you need is love

Previously, we explained the blessing  teqa' beshofar gadol "Make sound the Shofar... that will announce our redemption... and bring us back to the Land of Israel". 

In this blessing hashiba shofetenu we ask God to provide us with the right political leaders kebarishona "like those we had in the past".  

Our first and greatest leader was Moshe Rabbenu.   

What was so special about Moshe? 

1. When the people of Israel worshipped the golden calf, Moshe Rabbenu (see last week's Parasha) rejected God's offer to get rid of the "stubborn Jews" and make him a leader of a new Nation.  Moshe Rabbenu begged God to forgive the people of Israel. And he told God, "If not, please erase me too from Your Book". For Moshe the whole concept of leadership would not make any sense if it would hurt the people of Israel. A good Jewish leader is the one that loves Am Israel more than he loves himself.  

2. Why Moshe broke the tablets, when he saw the people dancing around the golden calf? According to one opinion, Moshe broke the tablets in an effort to defend the people of Israel. How so? The tablets,("YOU SHALL NOT HAVE OTHER GODS") were the most clear evidence against the people's sin. Moshe choose to cover-up for them, breaking the incriminating document. In a sense, Moshe was willing to bring upon himself a more serious sin (breaking GOD'S tablets!) just to downplay as much as possible the sin of Israel. 

3. Moshe's love for Am Israel made him the best advocate we Jews ever had. God said: "Let me get-rid of this stubborn people". "Stubborn", because I took them out of Egypt, I opened for them the sea, I gave them the Manna, I gave them the Tora, I revealed Myself to them, and now, they abandon Me and worship a calf?!".  Moshe said: You're right, the Jews are stubborn. But once they get it, once they will have You as their God, because of their stubbornness, they will NEVER abandon You. They will be forced to convert, but they will resist. They will embrace You and Your covenant, no matter what. They will be willing to suffer humiliation, persecution, torture and death, and still be loyal to You. They will even go to their deaths saying 'Ani Ma-amin'. This is going to be Your 'stubborn people'."  
ahabat Israel, love for the People of Israel, is the prerequisite for the right Jewish Leader.