Leah’s Blog – Yitro- January 29 2016
My grandmother Alvina had orange eyes and a strong German accent. More than the color of her eyes, it was the twinkle in them that got you going. Probably her most “famous” remark was “You are not G-d’s police!” when we would sit around talking about this one from the family that “married out” or that one that was eating out in a not exactly a kosher pizza place. I’m not saying she condoned assimilation but she certainly didn’t let you feel that you could or should judge or preach. Most of her family was murdered by the Nazis for being Jewish but she came to feel that America was the new Promised Land, a place you had to blend in becoming an ingredient in the vast melting pot. Many Jewish people there came to ask, “Who am I?” “What am I” because of this. And also question “Who is G-d.”
We’ve been trudging through exile for too long. We are tired and want to be comfortable. We want to fit in. The Jewish people that held on for so long to their traditions and Torah throughout the generations are reaching a capstone in leaving yiddishkiet. We made it this far in time and now as redemption MAMASH unfolds before our eyes, at this very same time that the Land miraculously comes back to life like Sleeping Beauty awakening after such a long slumber, we struggle as a people to maintain even the very basic Ten Commandments. Why?
Mount Sinai in our timeline in history is that place somewhere between being freed from the shackles of slavery in a land not ours and becoming a free nation in the only Land G-d intended for us to be. On the timeline today, we are ushering in a new era as more and more people throughout the world have a true knowledge of Hashem, as Rashi explains that “G-d is One” manifests when all peoples will call upon the one G-d of Israel in the end of days. Jewish assimilation rates are on an all- time high yet more and more and more Yitros are finding the Torah and the truth.
Hashem says to Isaiah in this Haftarah: “Go and tell the people: Hear indeed, but do not understand, see indeed- but do not perceive.” The Prophet asks, “How long!” and Hashem answers, “Until the cities lie waste without inhabitants, houses without men, the Land utterly desolate. Until G-d has sent the people far away, and if even one tenth remain in it, it will be consumed again. But, like a terebinth or an oak whose stump remains when it is felled, so the holy seed will be in the stump.”
There is always a remnant.
In order to take us out of Egypt, something that could not have happened naturally because it was inescapable, the Jewish people had to unite with the concept of Divine Providence. Hashgacha we call it. The more you feel it and connect to it, when you know- He is doing it for me, in every facet of life- from my own life to world events, you see nature overturn. That’s how you leave Egypt. This is why at every opportunity we have we remember and repeat “I am your G-d, Who has taken you out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” Leaving the spiritual exile of Egypt and the physical exile of outside the Land – we become the masters of ourselves knowing who we are and what we need to do, where we need to be, Knowing G-d.
Israel will have a majority of Jews living in it by the next Sabbatical year.
“I heard G-d’s voice saying, “Whom will I send! Who will go!” “Then I said, Here I am, send me!”
Shabbat Shalom, Leah