Saturday, January 23, 2010

Rabbi Mordechai Machlis on Parashat "Bo"


After a longer period of time, I went to one of Rabbi Mordechai Machlis' Shabbatot (Jerusalem) last night. I came late and his house was packed with people. At least sixty or seventy Shabbat guests were there. The atmosphere was very nice although I found myself squeezed in at one of the tables. Together with a mother and all her daughters. Next to us were lots of American seminary (frum) girls seated.

The Rabbi had a very good teaching which should make all of us think. Usually we go from one Torah Parasha to the next. Study one Parasha after the other and as soon as one Shabbat is over, its Parasha seems a kind of forgotten.

"Coming out of Egypt" - We all know that the Israelites left their spiritual darkness in order to start a new life and receive the Torah. The question is: "What about us today ?"
Are we that much better ? Don't we live in our own darkness even with the Torah ?
Rabbi Machlis said that every Shabbat we are leaving Egypt. Our "Egypt" meaning the weekdays where we are busy and sometimes full of worries. Shabbat comes in and we enter (or should enter) a completely different world. Uplifting ourselves and forgetting our worries for a few hours. 

Sometimes the simple teachings are the best because they really relate to our daily lives.

However, Rabbi Machlis had another Rabbi as a guest. Rabbi Aryeh (unfortunately I didn't get his last name) from Detroit (Michigan). Rabbi Aryeh stated that a Torah believing Jew has his questions but do they keep him away from keeping the Torah ? A wise Jew has his questions and may ask them but not abandon Torah.

Rabbi Machlis answered with a teaching from Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach:
There are so many people in this world walking around with answers. All they have is answers. Other people only walk around with questions but don't have an answer.
If those two groups met each other, Meshiach would come immediately !

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