• Let’s Make a Choice by Rabbi Schapiro

    Read a piece on Chassidus titled “Let’s Make a Choice” written by Rabbi Sholom Schapiro, the Shliach of the NY Torah Center on 5th Avenue in Manhattan • Full Story

    Read a piece on Chassidus titled “Let’s Make a Choice” written by Rabbi Sholom Schapiro, the Shliach of the NY Torah Center on 5th Avenue in Manhattan.

    ***

    It was mealtime during a flight.

    “Would you like dinner?” the flight attendant asked Max.

    “What are my choices?” Max asked.

    “Yes or no,” he replied.

    * * *

    During the Shabbat Torah reading, in addition to reading the week’s Torah portion (Parshah), we read a portion from the prophets, called the Haftorah, whose theme parallels that of the Parshah.

    The Haftorah of parshat Ki Tisa tells us of at time when many Jews were idol worshipers, serving Baal, the pagan deity. But they didn’t lose their faith in G-d or renounce their ties to their Jewish heritage entirely. Instead, they felt they could do both, alternating between these two forms of worship, at times following the Torah’s guidelines, and at times reverting to paganism.

    Elijah, the prophet, reproached the people: “How long will you straddle the fence? If G-d is the L-rd follow Him, and if it is Baal, then follow it.”

    Then Elijah proposed a test. The prophets of Baal and Elijah would each offer a sacrifice. Whichever deity accepted his sacrifice would prove himself as the true G-d.

    The people and the prophets of Baal agreed to this test, and two bulls were sacrificed. The sacrifice for Baal remained unanswered (obviously!), and the prophets of Baal were unmasked as frauds. When Elijah asked for G-d to accept his sacrifice, a fire issued forth from heaven. When the people saw this miracle, they all joined forth proclaiming in unison: “G-d is the L-rd.”

    Now, the challenge that Elijah posed to the people is puzzling: How could he tell them: “If it is Baal, follow Baal”? Isn’t better for a person to be “straddling the fence” than to serve Baal entirely. Certainly, straddling the fence is not a desirable state, but for a person who is not ready to make a total commitment, it has certain advantages. He is not totally divorced from his Jewish heritage. The door is open for him at all times, and sometimes he even enters it. Why should Elijah tell such a person to abandon everything and follow Baal?

    Elijah saw that as long as these people “straddled the fence” they would never be forced to face the truth and see the error of their ways. Elijah was telling them that they could not follow two paths, they must make an active choice: If you believe in G-d and that is the truth, then commit yourself to live it entirely. And if you think Baal is the truth, then follow him! Elijah knew that forced to confront this head-on, no Jew would fail to see the truth.

    The Talmud tells us that in modern times, the desire for idol-worship is no longer compelling. So today “straddling the fence” is not between serving G-d or idol worship, it’s a much finer line. Today, we straddle the fence between serving G-d and other things that we may desire. Elijah is telling us: Confront the truth and make a choice. And when we’re forced to decide, we all know where the truth is.

    (*Although we do not read the Haftorah of Parshat Ki Tisa this Shabbat, as we read the Haftorah of Parshat Parah, the lesson still remains.)

    Shabbat Shalom,

    Dedicated in honor of Mr. Juda Chetrit for good health, Nachat, success and all blessings

    Rabbi Sholom Schapiro
    KOLLEL TORAH CENTER
    393 Fifth Avenue, Ground Floor
    New York, NY 10016
    212-532-7618
    www.thetorahcenter.com

    30

    Tags:

    Related Posts:

    *Only proper comments will be allowed
  • Event Calendar

  • Tuesday, Oct 27th, Wedding – Shlome Wolvovsky – CH & Rochel Leah Matusof – Madison, WI @ Oholei Torah
  • Thursday Oct 29th Wedding: Devorah Bennish – Detroit & Mordechai Rubin – London @ Royalty House, MI
  • Sunday, Oct 25th, Sholli Miller – Chicago, IL & Batya Korf – Miami Beach, FL @ Bais Rivka 310 Crown Street
  • Thursday, Oct 22 Wedding: Chaim Boruch Bar-Chaim – CH & Shoshana Pimentelli – CH/TX @ Oholei Torah
  • Thursday, Oct 22 L’Chaim: Sruli Finck – CH & Chaya Mangel – Dayton, OH @ Chovevei Torah 885 Eastern Parkway
  • Tuesday, Oct 20th Wedding: Dovid Kaminetzky – Melbourne, AU & Chaya Okunov – Crown Heights @ Oholei Torah
  • Monday Oct 19 L’Chaim: Ari (Aaron) Levertov – Crown Heights & Debby Rabinowicz – Sao Paulo, Brazil @ Choivevey Torah
  • Monday, Oct 19 2015 Wedding: Mendy Zippel – Salt Lake City, UT & Fraidy Shagalov – Crown Heights @ Oholei Torah
  • Sunday 18th Oct. L’Chaim: Chananya Niassoff – CH & Tzirl Brennan – CH @ Bais Rivkah Crown St
  • Sunday Oct 18th – Wedding: Mendy Edelman – Crown Heights & Sara Lozenik – Miami, FL @ Oholei Torah
  • Tehilim

  • Urgent Tehillim Needed
  • Dov Chaim Ben Rivkah
  • Tzvi Hirsch Ben Guttel
  • Charna Alexandra bas Chana Esther
  • Ettie Bas Alte Miriam
  • Zissel Yehudis Bas Masha
  • Chaim Yosef Yitzchok Ben Sarah Elka
  • Devorah Bas Sarah
  • Boruch Ben Sarah
  • DovBer Ben Dina
  • Lost and Found

  • Lost Men’s Heavy Black Winter Jacket Size Large in 770
  • Lost in 770 before Pesach, a black Bradley Jons long coat size 38R. No lining and no belt. Almost brand new! Please call zalman at 347-788-0749
  • Found black hats outside 770, behind the Hatzalah ambulance
  • lost – Chitas bearing a blessing to Shmuel from Sarge. (Sargent Zvi Fisher z..l.v) geulanow@012.net.il or +1-7869427070
  • LOST: in 770 a black Lenovo Intel core i5 laptop in a dark grey laptop bad together with a WD hard drive, if found please call Zalmy 347-788-0749
  • Found: Maroon Chitas
  • Found: Bag of Clothes
  • Found: Leather-Bound Pink Siddur
  • Lost: Box with Mini Shas from YSP
  • Lost: Rose Gold Bangle/Bracelet
  • Classifieds

  • Cook position for a local Mosad
  • Looking for a cook/kitchen manager
  • Administrator for a local Mosad Experience a must, and preferbiligual a bonus poconosmountains@gmail.com
  • Looking for a cook/kitchen manager Experience a must. poconosmountains@gmail.com
  • ‘Beis Mosiach’s’ to give away for free
  • Private Rooms for Men
  • Newly renovated Basement for rent
  • Judaica Store in Crown Heights is Looking to Hire
  • Looking for Work? Opportunity available, for a quick & efficient typist in Williamsburg. For more info: 201-800-1774
  • Lost in 770 Last Week: Transparant Bag of Tefillin, Rashi, R”T, Chitas – in black/grey 770 pouches