Israel Forever

For the week ending 10 May 2008 / 5 Iyyar 5768

The Ultimate Freedom

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll


This week's Torah portion, which includes the sacrifices offered during the Festivals of Pesach and Shavuot, is always read in the period between those two holidays.

There is an interesting connection between the two festivals. On Pesach we relive the liberation of our ancestors from Egyptian bondage. On Shavuot we virtually return to Sinai to re-experience the receiving of the Torah. The message of this connection is that true freedom is not achieved by merely removing the shackles of slavery. Only when Jews received the Torah as a Divine prescription for life did they achieve the ultimate freedom from enslaving human passions.

Moving from physical freedom to spiritual freedom is a challenging process. This is why we count the days – sefirat ha'omer – as we move forward to reach this goal, which makes the People of Israel free forever.

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