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Thursday, February 29, 2024 - 20 Adar I 5784
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Moshiach in the Parsha

Choose for Yourself

This week's Torah reading begins like many others: "And G-d spoke to Moses." But then, something very different happens. Usually, G-d would tell Moses: "Tell the people to perform this commandment." Or "Tell them that it is forbidden for them to do such and such." But that does not happen here. Instead, as Rashi explains, G-d tells Moses: "If you want, send spies to find out about the land of Israel." Moses isn't commanded to send the spies and he is not prohibited against doing so. He is told to make the decision himself.

This teaches that Judaism is not only black and white, Mitzvos and sins. Even when we are neither doing a mitzvah nor sinning, when we are just living our life, eating, drinking, involved in our work, or just having a good time, our relationship with G-d continues.

There's a verse in Proverbs: "Know G-d in all your ways." Our Sages commented: This is a small verse that contains the entire Torah. For the secret of Judaism is that even when a person is involved in "your ways," i.e., his own affairs, matters that are not mandated either way by the Torah, he should know G-d and live his life in awareness of Him.

This is the lesson that Moses was given in this week's Torah reading: that G-d commands you about things He doesn't command you about. In the Messianic era, our actions and choices will naturally be influenced by G-d’s will and desires, even without an explicit commandment.



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