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Tiferes Yisroel: When the Jewish People Hit the Jackpot!

On the eighty-seventh floor of the largest office building in the city, the CEO of the world’s largest conglomerate convenes a meeting of his top division chiefs. Of course, everyone is present – some big announcement is expected which will have great bearing on the future direction of the company. The boss gets up and a hush settles over the assembled heads. Then, in a surprise move, the Chief turns to one of the people sitting at the large conference table and says, “Jack, I’m looking for a personal assistant, someone who I can turn to to shape the future and purpose of this company for years to come. A person who is smart, loyal and soon-to-be rich beyond his wildest dreams. Everything in this company will revolve around this person and no decision will ever be made without his consent and personal affiliation. What do you say, Jack, do you want the job?”

What an opportunity. This could be his big break, his once in a lifetime chance. Who wouldn’t jump at this offer? But instead of being overwhelmed, and to the boss’ amazement, Jack looks right at him and asks, “Tell me, sir, what exactly do I have to do?” Somewhat nonplussed, the CEO answers, “Well, it’s important that you’re honest, that you’d never steal from the company.” Jack shakes his head. “Sorry, I can’t do it. Stealing is a big part of my ancestral history. I wouldn’t be able to resist so I can’t take the job!” Shocked, the boss turns to another man sitting at the other end of the large table. “Okay. What about you, Sam? How would you like to be the number one man in this company, the one I will rely upon to make this company tick?” Sam should be excited, right? Why wouldn’t he jump at this job? But Sam does not jump. He asks the same question as Jack. “Tell me, sir, what exactly do I have to do?” The CEO is a patient man and he answers, “Well, looking after the employees is important. I would never want you to hurt anyone.” Sam turns away. “In that case, count me out. My family has a history of murder and deceit and I will not be able to properly perform my duties!” This goes on and on, to the growing consternation of the boss, as each person at the table comes up with an excuse as to why he can’t take this amazing offer-of-a-lifetime. Until the final man is asked. Without the slightest bit of hesitation, Izzy responds in a loud and unequivocal voice, “Absolutely, boss. No matter what I have to do, I’ll do it! You just say the word and I will be there for you!” The CEO is thrilled and he immediately takes Izzy under his wing, elevating his position above all his other employees, treats him like a son – and no doubt, gives him a key to the Executive washroom.

Does this sound like a strange story? Its purely hypothetical, such a crazy tale could never be true, right? Well, the fact that this is being written in time for the Yom Tov of Shavuos, and most everybody probably is familiar with the famous Medrash regarding Kabbolas Hatorah, you should have a pretty good idea of what the crazy tale mentioned above is alluding to. Its actually not so crazy after all and it really did happen – sort of! When Hashem was ready to give the holy Torah to His chosen nation, He went from nation to nation asking if they are ready to accept the Torah. Each individual nation first requested to know what is contained in this wonderful gift that Hashem values so dearly. When the Bnei Esav heard that it says, “Thou shall not kill,” they said no thanks, for they are, have been and always will be a nation that lives by the sword. Likewise, when Bnei Amon and Moav were told that they must fulfill the commandment of “Thou shall not commit adultery,” they turned down this once-in-a-lifetime offer, since their original founding father, Lot, was an adulterer. And of course, the Yishmaelim were unable or unwilling (or smoking Hashish!) to commit to the precept of “Thou shall not steal,” so they turned their back on Hashem and faded into the desert. Finally, the Bnei Yisroel, the Jewish nation was offered what can only be described as “hitting the jackpot” and in a monumental display of the renowned Jewish acumen for always getting the best possible deal, the Jews saw the greatness that was being proffered and immediately signed on the dotted line. “We will do and we will hear,” were their immortal words and the rest is history: The Jews became the “Chosen Nation,” the people of Hashem, to be loved as a son is loved by his father, and to be showered with the grace and reward that can only be Divinely inspired.

So what were they thinking? People change, attitudes change and nations presumably change. Wouldn’t one think that by investing the time and effort to denounce a life of crime – whether its stealing, murder or promiscuity – in order to receive the treasure of all treasures, a prize so revered that it was the actual blueprint that G-d used to create the world, to be known as the “Chosen Nation” of G-d – it would be well worth their while? Couldn’t they see beyond their noses, recognize an opportunity to reign supreme in the world? And the excuses they gave! No self-respecting Mafia boss, no matter how proud of his accomplishments, would incriminate himself in a court of law the way the nations of the world incriminated themselves in front of Hashem for all eternity! How is it that only Bnei Yisroel were able to say and do the right thing, thus endearing themselves to Hashem and securing their deserved role in this world as a “Kingdom of priests and a holy nation” and what was the real basis for the nations’ rejection of the Torah? It is an excellent natural energy levitra samples booster. Physiotherapy techniques such as exercise therapy, manual therapy, IMS, dry needling will utilized acquisition de viagra during treatment. This pill had been once utilized as a possible anti-hypertensive drug yet since it can successfully treat disorder, it really is 1 of two medicine which has been approved by FDA which simply means that the drug companies are taking 10 times higher price than tadalafil no prescription tablets. viagra is available at lower rates despite offering the same results. The trendy tattoos have found ways into the bodies of teenagers and young professionals that are eager to experiment and love the uniqueness a tattoo provides to their body. cialis on line The answer, says R’ Shmuel Laniado ZT”L in his classic work Kli Chemda, has less to do with the pathological mindset and criminal tendencies of the nations of the world, than with an absence of affection between gentile and his fellow gentile. In the Ten Commandments, which is the foundation on which the rest of the 613 mitzvos were built, we find a fascinating concept: All the mitzvos were given in the singular tense – “You shall not steal …. You shall not kill ….” Chazal teach us that this form of expression was used to inculcate an invaluable and profound lesson within each and every Jew, an idea so basic and yet so powerful at the same time, that school children are ingrained with this ideology from an early age: “Kol Yisroel Araivim Zeh L’zeh” – “Every Jew is responsible for one another.” Thus, when a Jew sees that his friend or neighbor or relative is acting in a manner unbecoming or heading in the direction of sin, he must rise up and prevent his fellow Jew from action, lest he be held accountable on account of the sinner. If one sees a Jew in need, in pain or in sickness, its not simply an act of kindness to come to his aid. A Jew does not subscribe to the basic theory of being a “Good Samaritan” (Although it is a first-rate hospital!). A Jew feels his fellow Jew’s pain and understands that it is his responsibility to provide assistance, his Jewish civic duty, if you will, to look out for the welfare and well-being of another yid. However, when Hashem offered the Torah to the nations of the world on the condition that they keep the commandments and take responsibility for the upkeep and fulfillment of one another, they absolutely refused to do so and summarily rejected the Torah. Bnei Esav understood that spilling blood was a part of their heritage and even if each person was to accept upon himself the intention of renouncing this practice, they had no such intention of ensuring that their neighbor would not do so. If he felt the urge to kill someone, well that has nothing to do with me! The same with Bnei Yishmael and Amon and Moav, who may have been able to endure upholding the mitzvos as individuals, but it was way beyond their spiritual capacities to accept responsibility for another person’s actions.

The Jewish people are different, however. They are able to do what the other nations cannot. R’ Ephraim Wachsman Shlit”a explains the reason for this: The nations of Yishmael, Amon and Moav, are descendents of Avrohom Avinu, who was the manifestation and pillar of Chesed – kindness, in the world. Kindness is construed as a form of reaching and spreading out, since when one does kindness, he spreads out goodness all over the world. However, there is a negative aspect to the attribute of Chesed, and that is that too much kindness can lead to a lack of restraint. When one becomes unrestrained, his inhibitions take control over him and lead him down the path of indulgence, desire, immorality and eventually, sin. This negative impact is represented in the nations of Yishmael, Amon and Moav, since their rejections of the Torah were based on their national characteristics of immorality and thievery, both of which portray the dark side of Chesed. On the other hand, Esav and its satellite nations, are direct descendents of Yitzchok Avinu. The main attribute of Yitzchok, as we all know, is Gevurah – Strength, which represents restraint, strict adherence and clarity of mind. This, too, maintains a clear drawback in that too much restraint of character, an excess of strict, principled authority and a soldier-like lifestyle does increase a person’s tendency to not tolerate others, to display anger and violence. Thus, Esav ‘s objection to the Torah was the prohibition against murder, the ultimate drawback of Gevurah and Esav represents the negative aspect of Yitzchok. The two are polar opposites. The Bnei Yisroel, the children of Yaakov Avinu fall right in between. Yaakov is known as Tiferes  which is the middle ground between Chesed and Gevurah and its purpose is to properly balance the amount of kindness and restraint that is necessary to serve Hashem in the optimum manner. Just as we find that the Christian holy day is Sunday and the Muslim holy day is Friday, while the day given by Hashem to the Jewish people as a day of rest and spiritual awakening is Shabbos Kodesh, the day sandwiched between the other “holy” days, so too, the Nation of Bnei Yisroel is referred to as Tiferes Yisroel, which is the perfect balance of Chesed and Gevurah which is lacking by all the other nations. As a result of this perfect balance, each individual Jew is aware and uniquely capable of assisting and protecting one another in Avodas Hashem – “Kol Yisroel Araivim Zeh L’zeh” – thus maintaining this unique balance of Tiferes in the world.

The Yom Tov of Shavuos reminds us each year of our purpose in this world and our unique capabilities. Because it was solely the Jewish nation that unilaterally and willingly accepted the treasure that was offered and it was only the pure children of Yaakov Avinu who displayed an intellectual and spiritual honesty needed to take their rightful place in the world as G-d’s chosen nation. Let the other nations talk and pretend to be all self-righteous in the service of G-d. But we know the truth; What you say can and will be used against you! When the nations of the world incriminated themselves, thereby letting the skeletons out of their respective closets, they threw away the most golden of golden opportunities, the chance of a lifetime to truly become special. . And as happens so often in the history of the world, past and present, good ole’ Izzy is standing right there, waiting in the wings, recognizing the true potential and unlimited value of the offer, before he swoops in and grabs up the deal! In the end, the boss was delighted, Izzy secured the deal and even married into the family! After all, this was no crazy fairytale! And in the very near future, when Moshiach comes, they’ll all live happily ever after!


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