Saturday, December 13, 2008

Shabbos Thought

I was really wanting to go to sleep abysmally early last night, but felt embarrassed to be going to be at 6:30 PM at my age. So I forced myself to slog through the rest of my learning, and even cracked open a new sefer. While Hashem did reward my efforts with granting me a chiddish, I subsequently failed to remember it past this morning. So I suppose it's good nobody asked me to give a brief word at the lunch table. All that said, here is my feeble attempt to reconstruct my little thought.

When referring to Yaacov's bowing to the shechina versus Esav, Rav Dessler stresses that as opposed to the strategy of the secular yid, whose sole focus is seeking Esav's approval, Yaacov exemplifies the Toradik focus that one should maintain during galus. In a similar vein, Maharal relates the story of how the question was once asked why "the Chosen People" should be so fractured. Where's the national unity? Maharal recounts that galus requires this dissolution of unity, since it is this lack that is a critical component of the dispersion. Mental dispersion was required, and the end result was diverse outlooks that purposely interfered with brotherhood.

Indeed, this fracturing is appropriate given the reason that the second temple was destroyed, as again given over by Maharal. Unlike the first temple, the shechinah did not reside in the second temple. Rather, the second temple served as a sign of national unity; it was where the klal congregated as a people, and in that merit, stood until the people became divided. Thus Yaacov's bowing to the shechinah versus to Esav underscores how the klal, in galus, must remain focussed on a Toradik perspective, not pander and strive to placate the other nations. By doing so, we can remain in a mindset that enables us to create achdus in the community, and ultimately reunite as a people. In turn, by begetting a positive mindset, we can be zocher to once again have the shechinah dwell openly amongst us.

Good voch!

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