Thursday, August 08, 2019

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The One Jew

   by Reb Gutman Locks   
     The One Jew


     This week's Torah portion, Devarim, has one of the most important teachings in the entire Torah. It is not just an important law, or something that happened to us at that time. It is so important because it defines what we actually are. This teaching is not stated just one time but is taught there over and over.

     Moshe our Teacher is about to leave the world. The Jewish people are standing before him prepared to enter the Holy Land that Hashem promised to give to us way back in the days of our forefathers. But Moshe wasn't just saying goodbye. He was reviewing all that we did from the time we left Egypt until that day when at last we were ready to enter the Holy Land.

     He didn't sound so happy about us either: "Because you complained, and you rebelled, and you refused, (and on and on), we had to wander in the wilderness these forty years. Because you murmured in your tents, and…" on and on he reminded us of all those negative things we did.

     But wait a minute. Who was Moshe talking to? The Jews standing there before Moshe being reprimanded were either very small children, or not even in the world yet when those negative things happened! So how could Moshe blame us for what they did?

     The same way I just wrote that he blamed us when you and I weren't even in the world back then,… or were we?

     The point is, the Jewish people are one. We are, and have always been judged as a single unit, both by Hashem, and certainly by our most hateful enemies. Whatever any Jew in the world did then, or does today, you and I receive some of the credit or some of the blame. It has always been this way.

     And this is perhaps the best reason for us to be concerned with each other's well-being. This is why Jews must reach out to help each other physically and even more so, spiritually. It not only helps them; it helps all of us.


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