Friday, February 01, 2013

Yisro 5635 Second Ma'amar

"אנכי ה' א-להיך .../I am God your Lord …" (Shmos 20:2)  Thus begins the Ten Commandments.  Even though there is a debate among the commentaries as to whether this statement is counted as one of the mitzvos, it clearly is not written as a command like the commandments that follow.  It is written as declaration.  God declares that He is the God of Israel.  

This declaration lends added gravity to the next commandment, "לא יהיה לך אלהים אחרים על פני/You shall not have other gods before Me." (Shmos 20:3)  Similarly God says through the prophet, "העם המכעיסים אותי על פני .../The nation that angers Me, before Me." (Yeshaya 65:3)  The nation did not simply anger God.  They angered God before Him.  We are judged more harshly because He is our God and we are His subjects.

As His subjects, we are charged with spreading His kingdom.  How?  We need not go out and proselytize.  All we need to do is accept His kingship upon ourselves.  To the extent that we accept God's rule, His kingship is revealed to the rest of the world.  The pasuk tells us that God wants us to be a, "ממלכת כהנים/kingdom of priests." (Shmos 19:6)  In this context, the word "priests" means the officers who surround the king and sustain him before his nation.  We too, by accepting the yoke of Heaven at Mount Sinai, spread God's kingship, as it were, to the entire world.  We are thus God's "officers".  Chazal[1] as well state that the nations of the world recognized God.

The world was rectified when we accepted the Torah.  This is because our accepting God's kingship caused God's kingship to be revealed to the entire world.

The sole exception was the nation of Amalek.  Amalek recognized our greatness and God's kingship and rebelled.  If it were not for Amalek, the rectification that resulted from our accepting the Torah would have been complete as it will be at the final redemption.  Because of Amalek's rebellion, God declared that His throne is not complete[2].  This means that His revelation was not complete.  Amalek represented an alternative to recognizing God's kingship.  We are therefore required to hate Amalek.  

In order for the rectification to be complete God will blot out Amalek's name.  Then, there will be no alternative to God's kingship and His throne, representing His revelation, will be complete.  This is why all the nations will have a part in the future redemption except for Amalek, "אחריתו עדי אובד/His end will be everlasting destruction." (Bamidbar 24:20)

May we merit being a kingdom of "priests" - the King's officers.

[1] Menachos 110a
[2] Tanchuma Ki Seitzei 11 (quoted by Rashi end of Parshas BeShalach)

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