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Shemot-ivated for 20חי‎

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Prior to Shabbat, I love to write about the lesson(s) I or we as Jews – or even anyone - can learn in the current week’s Torah portion. Sometimes I even give my own D’var Torah. My passion to do this rose when I grew up hearing various Rabbis give valuable insights about the Torah. Their fascinating lessons always inspired me to live my life with values and actions we learn from Moses, Abraham, Jacob, and many other great Jewish leaders. I hope to encourage you to learn more about the Torah and even inspire others to strengthen their Judaism as well.

As we begin the year 2018, we also start the beginning of Exodus. The first story of Exodus is parsha Shemot, which, along with many other lessons, reminds us to hold on to what is - or should be – deepest to us. Our Judaism.

In the first part of Shemot, we are told that G-d’s promise to make Jacob’s family into a great nation was fulfilled and the number of Jews in Egypt was increasing. The pharaoh was afraid of the rise in number of Jews that he enslaved them. More unfortunate than the Pharoah’s physical punishment was that many of the Jews neglected their birthright, thus allowing the pharaoh to continue enslaving the Jews.

Today, and even in this new year, we face similar exiles of our traditions. We remain small in number and are constantly faced with assimilation and other forces tearing our Judaism away from us. It is our duty to hold on to our faith and hasten the bringing of Moshiach (Messiah)!

Despite the evil done by the Pharoah, we are told of the birth of our greatest and most humble leader, Moses, who will help us escape Egypt. We know that redemption will come, but we must learn that cherishing the Torah’s values, sustaining strength in our Judaism, and trusting in G-d will guarantee us true spiritual and material happiness.

There is beauty in having a Jewish heritage. The faster we strengthen our own and those closest to us, the faster we will decrease assimilation and allow for Moshiach to come sooner… And trust me, the time of Moshiach sounds awesome. Who wouldn’t want to live during the time of Moshiach?!

Helpful insights are from Daily Wisdom, Inspiring insights on the Torah portion from the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

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