Israel Forever

For the week ending 5 March 2011 / 28 Adar I 5771

The Rallying Cry

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

"Chazak, chazak V'nitchazek!"

This is the traditional rallying cry which Jews throughout the world will be shouting as the Reader of the Torah concludes Parshat Pekudei and Sefer Shmot.

Looking back at the chapters of this second of the five Chumashim, we can appreciate why Ramban refers to Sefer Shmot as the "Book of Exile and Redemption". The first chapters deal with the exile in Egypt and the Exodus. Liberation from Egyptian bondage brought our ancestors physical freedom, and the chapters dealing with the receiving of the Torah describe the beginning of spiritual redemption. Only when the Mishkan Sanctuary, the subject of the last five chapters, was built could our people be considered liberated because they then returned to the level of the Patriarchs as a base for the Divine Presence.

"Chazak, chazak v'nitchazeik" is a communal pledge to spiritually strengthen ourselves in our prayer, Torah study and good deeds which invite the Divine Presence to return to us and dwell in Israel forever.

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