Monday, 17 May 2010

Shavuot Yitro and Ruth

There used to be a popular game show called "You DON'T say"
It was introduced so:
"It's NOT what you say that counts, it's what you DON'T say!"

What don't we lain on Shavuot?

Well we DO lain about Ruth. Ruth embraced Judea first and then Hashem. "Ameich ami Vaylokayich Elokay" her Judaism was a commitment to join the people of Israel, not Just the God of Israel.

To be a "Mamlechet Cohanim v'Goy Qadosh" means to serve God via the society, the peoplehood, the nation.

And we DO read the above Passuq!

But what DON'T we lain? We start baHodesh Hashlishi we skip the story of Yitro. Why? Did not Yitro ALSO embrace Hashem above all other gods?

Indeed Yitro did. So why not lain it? Because Yitro became a prototypical Ben No'ach good guy. He embraced the ONE TRUE GOD. But when it came to embracing Israel and its destiny, Yitro rejected that. What is the passuq before baHodesh hashlishi state? Vayelech Lo el artzo.

Yitro was into the theology of the Best God, the winner of the Pageant. The GREATEST of the GREAT.

When it came to Israel and Mattan Torah? Vayelech lo el artzo. Bye Bye Moshe Rabbeinu. Nice knowing you!

But Ruth "dovqa vah". She refused to leave Naomi, her family, the tribe of Judah, and the Peoplehood. Ruth's embrace was total and not partial - without compromise.

And so WE embrace the reading of this National Destiny of Torah, and reject reading the personal odyssey of the individual who - while embracing Hashem - refuses to join the national destiny and to go it alone.

Hag Samei'ach

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