"We are closer to G-d when we are asking the questions, than when we think we have the answers" Heschel

Friday, May 28, 2010


FNQ - parsha thought

This shabbos I will be in Modiim where I will G-d willing be serving as a rabbininc intern over the next year.  I am speaking friday night between kabalat Shabbat and Maariv.  This is the thought I plan to share (in Hebrew). 

When Shavuot exits the stage the Jewish people clear their collective calender from holidays for quite some time. No other part in the year has such a long stretch of time with no joyous days. Not only are there no joyous days but the only moadim (unique days in our calender) over the next 4 months are the two fasts of the 17th of Tammuz and the 9th of Av. Shavuot leaves us and all that lies us ahead is destruction and mourning. Not only is our calender empty after Shavuot but the portions we read in the Torah also are far from uplifting. This stretch of parshiyot are the amongst the most depressing string of stories in all of Tanach. Things go from bad to worse as we begin this week with the complainers, followed by the sad tale of the spies, the rebellion of Korach, the death of Miriam and the disgrace of the Moabite women. But I believe that in a short paragraph in this week's parsha is contained a life line and a powerful message than can guide us through these and all difficult days.

“Make for yourself two silver trumpets make them hammered out and they shall be yours for the summoning of the assembly and to cause the camps to journey.” (Bamidbar 10:2) The Chatzotzrot (trumpets) served 4 purposes. They were blown to gather people at the Tabernacle, they were blown to mark festivals and proclaim war and they were blown to indicate to the nation that it is time to go on our next journey.

I heard an idea once from Rav Shalom Rosner. The Midrash says (Sifrei 75) that all of the vessels in the temple could be passed down from generation to generation except for the trumpets. Each generation must create their own trumpets because that which will rouse the people and serve as a clarion call to gather, celebrate, fight or set out on a journey is different in every generation.

Lest I be misunderstood the trumpets that each generation is obligated to make are the exact the same silver instruments that the previous generation made. But there is a powerful message behind the requirement to make new ones every once in a while. In every generation there is a new call and rallying cry. In every generation there is a new task that only those specific people in that specific time can carry out. In every generation the destination is different. But what remains the same is that in all times there exists a Divine call to set out on a journey. In all times the trumpets sound and the Jewish people must answer the call join together and sally forth towards their destiny.

Even in times without the joyous festivals and when we read of the fall of great leaders there exists the potential both on a national and individual level to hear our unique trumpet and heed its call.

Good Shabbos

What do you think?

Binyamin – always looking for a good question

ספרי במדבר פיסקא עה

והיו לכם לחוקת עולם למה נאמר לפי שהוא אומר עשה לך שתי חצוצרות כסף שומע אני הואיל ועשה אותם יהיו ירושה לבניו ת"ל והיו לכם: לחקת עולם לדרתיכם [לחקה ניתנו לדורות ולא מתנה לדורות] מיכן אמרו כל הכלים שעשה משה במדבר כשרים היו לדורות חוץ מן החצוצרות (סליק פיסקא).

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful thought. Yasher Koach. Shabbat Shalom.