Close
Log In using Email

Whom Can We Trust?

Whom Can We Trust?

Mati Kirschenbaum

This week’s Parasha Bechukotai concludes the so called “Holiness Code” – i.e. chapters 17-26 from the Book of Leviticus which describe the ritual and moral prohibitions aimed at making the people of Israel a nation aspiring to holiness. The beginning of our Parasha coincides with the summary of the Code in which we find the description of the blessings and curses which are to befell the Israelites if they will – or will not – keep the Eternal’s commandments after entering the Land of Israel. The reward shall be prosperity and peace, whereas the punishment will entail the devastation of the land of Israel, the exile of the Israelites, fear, hunger and humiliation suffered in a foreign land. However, the punishment will not last forever – the Eternal shall not forsake the remnant of His people and eventually He will remember the covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. A reference to the covenant with God can also be found in the Haftarah to our Parasha – that is in chapter 16 and 17 of Jeremiah’s prophecy. In the Haftarah we find the following statement:

אָרוּר הַגֶּבֶר אֲשֶׁר יִבְטַח בָּאָדָם

Cursed is he who trusts in man (Jr 17:5.) Here is how Jeremiah describes such a person:

He shall be like a bush in the desert, which does not sense the coming of good: It is set in the scorched places of the wilderness, in a barren land without inhabitant (Jr 17:6.)
So where can we find hope? Jeremiah lets us know without a shadow of doubt, as he states:

בָּרוּךְ הַגֶּבֶר, אֲשֶׁר יִבְטַח בַּיהוָה; וְהָיָה יְהוָה, מִבְטַחוֹ

Blessed is he who trusts in the Eternal, whose trust is the Eternal alone (Jr 17:7.)
This Sunday we are going to elect the Polish representatives to the European Parliament. Many of us feel that we are voting for the lesser evil. We do not feel that we can trust our politicians. And we don’t have to: Jeremiah teaches us that in fact we can truly trust only the Eternal. But this doesn’t mean that, full of mistrust, we should abstain from voting. On the contrary, we must vote, keeping in mind the subsequent words of Jeremiah:

עָקֹב הַלֵּב מִכֹּל, וְאָנֻשׁ הוּא; מִי, יֵדָעֶנּוּ. אֲנִי יְהוָה חֹקֵר לֵב, בֹּחֵן כְּלָיוֹת:  וְלָתֵת לְאִישׁ כִּדְרָכָו, כִּפְרִי מַעֲלָלָיו.

Most devious is the heart (the source of human intellect); It is perverse — who can fathom it? I the Eternal, probe the heart, search the mind (one’s character) — to repay every man according to his ways, with the proper fruit of his deeds (Jr 17:9-10.)
Jeremiah teaches us that politicians make mistakes which stem from their human, imperfect nature. Ultimately it will be the Eternal who shall judge their mistakes and hold them accountable for them. But for now we must believe that by trusting the Eternal and His teachings we will be able to choose the best politicians that our society is capable of electing. May you all cast a well-thought-out vote on Sunday. And for now – may you have a peaceful Shabbat! Shabbat Shalom!

Translated from Polish by: Marzena Szymańska-Błotnicka

Mati Kirschenbaum


Notice: Trying to get property of non-object in /public_html/beitpolska/wp-content/plugins/polylang/include/query.php on line 179
Chazon
Matot-Massei
Pinchas
Pinchas
KORACH
Force of habit, passivity, fear and their consequences
The King and his Son. Thoughts on Parashat Naso
On Jewish Unity and Diversity. Thoughts on Parasha Bamidbar
Whom Can We Trust?
Has the Time Come For a Jubilee Year?
EMOR
Once Again About the Needy
PESSACH  2019
Ideological wars and social unrest: what can we do about them?
The World Between Order and Chaos
TZAV
Democracy and Responsibility. Thoughts on Parasha Vajikra.
What’s the Role of Religion?
TETZAVEH
What does the Tabernacle symbolize?
A Good Example Shows the Way
Chaos and hate – our outer and inner enemy
Freedom Once Gained Must Never Be Given Up
Parashat Vayera
One Person Can Change the History of the Entire World
Divine Actions Viewed as the Sum of Human Actions
Turning point. Thoughts on the parashat Miketz
Enslaved in Parental Lack of Attention and Brotherly Jealousy
Wrestling in the night
To lie or not to lie? Thoughts on Parashat Vayetze
Infertility – A Shared Problem
External and Internal Beauty.
Local Government vs Sodom
LECH LECHA
The meaning of life. Thoughts on parashat Lech Lecha.
Trying Our Best – Just Like Noah Did
Killing Anger. Thoughts on Parashat Bereshit.
An Ephemeral Booth or a Lasting Legacy? How Should We View Our Lives?
SUKKOT
Is Progress Actually Always Progress? Thoughts on Parashat Haazinu.
YOM KIPPUR 2018 JONAH
KOL NIDRE
Nabożeństwo Jom Kipur | Yom Kippur Prayer 2018
Standing Before the Heavenly Court
ROSH HASHANAH MORNING
EREV ROSH HASHANAH
To love is to see potential. Thoughts on Parashat Nitzavim
Time to be grateful [Ki Tavo]
Promises, Pledges, Oaths
Elul – the Month of Judgment
Good fortune and justice. Thoughts on Parashat Ree.
SHABBAT EKEV
Who will hear my Shma?
The role of women in traditional Judaism. Reflection on parashat Pinchas.
Thoughts on Parashat Bamidbar
What Kind of Society is “Without Blemish”?
Pesach: Matzah, Spring and Freedom
Vayakhel and Pekudei – Candles, Blessing, Shabbat!
Cindy Paley Poland Tour 2017
Concert Neal Brostoff&Marcin Król – Hebrew Melodies