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December 27, 1991 - Image 49

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-12-27

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

people? Why did Pharoah
make things worse? You have
done nothing to help Your
people."
God said to Moses, "Now
you will begin to see what I
will do to Pharoah. He will be
forced to let them go."
In this week's Torah portion
we find what happened to the
Jewish people. The heighten-
ed level of spirituality and
Jewish identity of Jacob's
descendants were lost. They
assimilated. The fledgling
Jewish society found itself
trying to survive within
Pharoah's environment. Only
one-fifth of the Jewish people
lived through the bitter
enslavement and harsh times
and were redeemed.
We are still in exile. We
have become very content and
comfortable within our
foreign environment. Unfor-
tunately, at least half of our
people have become Jewishly
illiterate and lost to us
through intermarriage.

How can we Jews today
yearn for the redemption if
we are unaware of the Jewish
way of life? Only by studying
Torah are we able to grasp the
great splendor of our past.
How do we begin to free
ourselves? How do we turn
around the years of enslave-
ment we've built up?
To end our exile existence
we must refamiliarize
ourselves with true Jewish
living and recognize we're not
supposed to be too comfor-
table in exile. This is not easy.
It is not a goal, but rather a
direction, a path, a context for
living life. We must guide our
children to reach their fullest
potential for Torah-study.
In the Torah, God com-
mands us to "remember you
were a slave in Egypt. You
were a stranger in a strange
land." The United States is a
land of great wealth and op-

portunities and many of us
will, perhaps rightfully so,
continue to partake in its
many conveniences and com-
forts. However, we are still
strangers in a strange land.
Therefore, it is important to
remember the words of the
Chofetz Chaim as recounted
in an essay by David
Salomon. This sainted rabbi
was asked by a Jewish lad,
who was forced to serve in the
Polish army, what to do about
the non-kosher food served
the soldiers. The boy feared
that if he refrained from
eating it he would perish dur-
ing the harsh winter. The
Chofetz Chaim replied, "Of
course you are allowed to eat
non-kosher food to preserve
your life. But remember one
thing, my son, do not suck on
the bones." ❑

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

49

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