Thursday, February 14, 2008


Dvar Torah for Parshas Titzaveh
We often ask G-d for help when we need help or clarity, but we see from this week's Parsha it's not that simple. The Kohen Gadol (High Priest) wore a breastplate called the Urim V'Tumim which was used as a conduit between Hashem and the Kohen Gadol. So, when the Jewish people needed advice on how to handle a certain situation, they would ask the question and certain letters would light up with G-d's answer. However, even though the letters lit up the Kohen Gadol needed to figure out how to arrange the letters. The Vilna Gaon points out that a perfect example of this is Chana. When she came to the Tabernacle to pray to have a child the Kohen Gadol, Eli, asked Hashem if her prayers were sincere. The letters that lit up could either be construed to say "drunkard" or "Kosher". Eli rebuked Chana thinking her supreme intensity came from her drunkenness and not her righteousness.

We see that even when Hashem sends us the message, it still requires some interpretation. So too, in our life, if we ask Hashem for help or guidance, we still need to see the messages and interpret them correctly. We are always partners with Hashem, and it is our responsibility to always do our part to try and understand G-d's ways.

Rabbi Joshua Strulowitz
Congregation Adath Israel
"Bringing Tradition to Life"
1851 Noriega St
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 564-5665

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