Israel Forever

For the week ending 8 January 2005 / 27 Tevet 5765

Let My People GoTo Serve Me

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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Independence is a universally cherished value but unfortunately a much misunderstood one. While subservience to a mortal dictator is certainly undesirable, it is an illusion for man to believe he is truly free when he is not under such a yoke and can do whatever he likes. All he has done is switch subservience to a despot for submission to his own uncontrolled passions.

Throughout this weeks Torah portion Moshe is commanded by G-d to demand of Pharaoh Let My people go so that they shall serve Me. Freedom for G-ds chosen people would not be complete by merely releasing them from Egyptian bondage, only when they would become the servants of a Divine master. In the Hallel praise we sing on Pesach and other special days, we begin with the words Sing praise you servants of G-d. This is our way of saying that it is not enough to simply be free of tyrants like Pharaoh but that true freedom consists of serving G-d.

The shocking statistics of crime, corruption and violence in the independent Jewish State of Israel pose a disturbing question mark about the quality of independence of a society which fails to appreciate service of G-d as the only road to true freedom from the self-destructive, unbridled satisfaction of human passions. If we have merited in our time the fulfillment of Let My people go it is our responsibility to complete the process by exercising the privilege of to serve Me as the best guarantee of Israel forever.

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