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The Song Of Our Soul

01/02/2020 03:48:35 PM


Rabbi Mordechai Bookbinder


There is a Chassidic concept for this time of year, that starting in the Hebrew month of Ellul (one month before Rosh Hashannah), “the King is in the Field”.

This phrase beautifully and vividly captures the essence of the high holiday season – namely that the King (Hashem), leaves His palace and comes down into the field (the world) where all the villagers (the Jewish People) live, making His presence that much more tangible and accessible to all. Not only do we tend to “feel more Jewish” at this time of year, but our ability to sense G-D's presence is that much more heightened.

As we progress through this Yom Tov season, there is an inevitable spiral upwards which culminates at its highest point with the joy and festivity of Simchas Torah. And then, all too often, comes the transition back the “the real world”. But it doesn’t have to be this way. The progress and advancements we make can be kept.

This week’s parsha, parshas Ha’azinu, contains the second song of the Torah (the first being the song that was sung after the crossing of the Sea). Each song marks the end of an era: a substantive, material change in the events and history of the Jewish People. The first song at the Sea marked the transition of B’nai Yisroel from slavery to freedom. The song of Ha’azinu marks a shift for the Jewish People from being a wandering nation in the desert under the leadership of Moshe, to a nation settling the Land of Israel under the guidance of Yehoshua.

The entire high holiday period, with Simchas Torah as its climax, is the song of the Jewish Soul. It speaks of spiritual growth and renewal, of hope and aspirations, of love and forgiveness. Most of all, it speaks not so much about becoming better than we were, but rather more of who we really can be. Its lyrics and melodies call us to become who we already are, but more so – to become the real us. And in this way, we too can start a new phase, a new chapter in our own book of life.

Mon, April 22 2024 14 Nisan 5784