Thursday, January 7, 2016

Different is Redemptive

In this week's parsha, Vaeira, Hashem sends Moshe to Pharaoh to warn him of the upcoming plague of wild beasts, and that the plague will not be in Goshen, where the Jews live. Then Hashem says "I will place a distinction between My people and your people."

The word Hashem uses for "distinction" here is "f'dus," which actually means "redemption."

What message is Hashem sending us by using the word redemption to mean distinction or separation?

As Jews we are gifted with a strong sense of justice and the idea of inequality just bothers us to no end. We can mistakenly think that all people are the same. People are people.

However, Hashem thinks differently. He chose the Jewish people and distinguished us from among all other nations. He wants us to be distinct, in the way we act, in the way we dress, in the way we speak, etc. Hashem wants us to be a light onto the nations and when we are, we lift the world to a higher moral level, which brings redemption.

In Egypt the Jewish people distinguished themselves in three ways. Language, dress and names. Everywhere a Jew went, Egyptians knew, there walks a Jew. Since we separated ourselves for Hashem, Hashem separated us for redemption from Egypt.

As the Rebbe's emissary in Temecula, CA, I always found that people were always happy and respected that I was observant. I also found that they were very let down when a Jew did something wrong.

We are special and the world knows it, we need to embrace it and distinguish ourselves and separate  ourselves for Hashem. We need to be living examples to each other and a light onto the nations. Hashem will surely do His part and send Moshiach right away.


  1. Amen!
    Thank you for these weekly gems.

  2. Your congregants in Temecula always respected your level of observance. It kept us striving to more observant in prayer and daily activities. Even now you continue to be light unto us... thank you.

  3. Thank you for your words of encouragement and insight. Shabbat shalom to you and your beautiful family!

  4. As a shliach in a remote area and as a prison chaplain that deals with violent goyim, this article really hit home and means a lot to me, thank you for expending your energy and giving your time to post these weekly entries! May Hashem make a miracle for you for you and your family to see!

  5. This is beautifully written and so true.