Thursday, July 21, 2016

How To Bring Protection And Redemption

Dear friends,

This week, Parshas Balak, I am extremely grateful to Hashem, as it marks the beginning of my third cycle of Dvar Torahs. I am grateful for being able to do it, and to all of you who read them. I am grateful for my wife Dina, who supports me and constantly pushes me to learn more and write these Dvar Torahs. I am grateful to add to your Shabbos table and Torah groups. I am grateful to be alive and to be making a difference. I am honored that you read it, by all the positive feedback and by your encouragement to continue.

Thank you,

Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Hurwitz, AKA Yitzi 

In this week's parsha, Balak, we read how Balak and Balam schemed to curse the Jewish people. Hashem protected them, not allowing Balam to curse the Jews, instead, he blessed them. Balam goes on to prophecy the coming of Moshiach. It ends off on a low note, of indecency, and immodesty.

I am amazed by the brilliance of our sages to choose Haftoras, which encapsulate the theme of the parsha to a tee. Reading the Haftora, helps us understand the theme of the parsha.

At first glance, the Haftora mentions "Please remember what Balak king of Moab advised, and what Balam answered him..." But this is mentioned only as part of a larger picture, so it can't be the reason that this Haftora was chosen.

What are the essential themes of this parsha that the Haftora brings out? What specifically is this parsha, which has no mitzvahs, and Haftora asking us to do?

In the Haftora Micah prophecies about things that will happen with the coming of Moshiach. Then, he brings the complaint Hashem has to the Jewish people. "What have I done for you... I brought you up from Egypt... from a house of slavery I redeemed you... I sent before you Moshe, Aaron and Miriam... remember please what Balak advised and what Balam answered him... So you can know the righteous acts of Hashem..." And concludes with Micah saying Hashem doesn't care for grandiose gestures, rather, "He has told you... what is good and what Hashem demands of you, only, to do justice, to love loving-kindness and to walk modestly with Hashem."

The Haftora and parsha have two themes, gifts, which are intertwined, and the key to receive both.

First, that Hashem saves and protects us from those who wish to harm us. He took us out of Egypt, he saved us from Balak and Balam.

The second is, that Moshiach is coming.

They are intertwined because the coming of Moshiach is the final redemption, protection and salvation of the Jewish people. Being that Hashem's presence will be open to all, evil will cease to exist. Hence, salvation, redemption and protection will be unnecessary.

The key is found at the end of the parsha and Haftora.

In the parsha we see that it was our failure to keep our laws and modesty, that caused us to lose our protection.

The Haftora says this in a positive way. It gives us three rules to follow.

Do justice. Which means to keep Hashem's laws, mitzvahs, etc.

Love loving-kindness. In Torah language, love is not a feeling, it is an act. Here it means to do acts of loving-kindness.

To walk modestly with Hashem, which means to be aware of Hashem's presence. When you are aware of Hashem's presence, it is more than belief. Your relationship with Hashem has reached a point, where you know He is there, He is real to you. This changes the way you do things. The way you talk, act, dress and even think, become more refined, because Hashem is part of your reality.

These three things, are who we are, it is the definition of being Jewish. When we get away from our essential selves, we lose our protection, because Hashem wants to protect us, not someone else we are acting like.

Becoming who we are meant to be, taking on these three things, keeping Hashem's laws, doing acts of loving-kindness and making Hashem part of our reality, is the key to bringing Moshiach as prophesied in our parsha. May he come soon.


  1. amen! thank you for your constant inspiration!

  2. Rabbi, your Dvar Torahs as inspirational as it was when you spoke on Shabbat mornings or our weekly classes. Now you just have a bigger audience that can appreciate your gift of clarity and understanding!

  3. Thank you for the insightful dvar Torah. I especially appreciated the meaning you gave to walking with modesty- being aware of Hashem's presence which causes us to act, dress, talk and think in a more elevated manner.

  4. A big shkoyech..
    wish you many more cycles of lovely dvar torahs.
    All the best
    Tel Aviv

  5. Agree, love is not a feeling but an act.
    Love is not love until you give it away.
    Always praying and wishing the best for you, most sincerely.