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Dvar Torah - Mishpatim

Updated: Mar 14, 2022

My shadow's the only thing that walks beside me

My shallow heart's the only thing that's beating

Sometimes I wish someone out there would find me

'Til then I walk alone. -- Green Day

The famous Green Day song, I walk alone, deals with the feeling of social alienation common in our world. In an era ever more connected, many of us feel more and more alone, less and less in touch with others. We find a parallel for this feeling in Moshe Rabbeinu as he climbs Mount Sinai. Last week, we only heard of Moshe climbing into the heart of the maelstrom to receive the Torah. It sounds like he was alone.

And yet, we know that this was not the case. We know that Moshe was not alone because he only received the Torah on behalf of us, the Jewish people. Had he been a lone wanderer, however, righteous and meritorious, he would not have received this revelation from G-d. We also know that he did not climb alone because this week we will re-experience the revelation, with different details highlighted. Here we will learn of how Moshe, Aharon, Chur, and the seventy elders of the Jewish people climbed Mount SInai together. How the seventy elders waited for Moshe further down the mountain, how Chur waited at a higher point, and how Aharon waited almost at the summit. Moshe did not go up alone. Like many of us, there was a task that he alone was suited to do, but he was accompanied by others.

In the story of Moshe, we find the antidote to the modern problem of social alienation. If Green Day felt that they always walked alone, that they could find no connection, in Judaism we understand that loneliness is a choice. As members of a community, both locally and covenentally across all the people of Israel, there are always people for us. By choosing to take part in our community and national life. We make the choice to connect with others, and to be no more alone than we want.

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