VaYelech: One for All and All for One

This parsha (Torah portion) contains the last two mitzvos (commandments) of the Torah: (1) for the Nation of Israel to gather in its entirety on the year following shemitah (Sabbatical) to hear the Torah read by the king; and (2) for every individual Jew to write a Torah scroll. These two final commandments express the dual manner in which we fulfill our mission as Jews to reveal God in the world. Firstly, the Jew must connect to his or her fellow Jew, as expressed in the mitzvah of national gathering. By uniting as one nation, the Jewish people reveals the Oneness of God in its united national fulfillment of the Torah, as one national body with one “soul,” the Divine Presence (Shechinah) itself. At the same time, God created each individual in His image, so that each individual soul reflects the Oneness of God in its uniqueness. Therefore, the unique expression of every individual through his or her unique personality and unique gifts comprises another level of revealing the Image of God imbued within each individual. This is the deeper meaning of the command for each Jew to write a Torah — each Jew must find his or her unique relationship with God and unique expression of that relationship. In this way, we wholly reveal the Holy One, from the macrocosmic to microcosmic level. May we merit this year, collectively and individually, to connect to one another and to God, and to merit His blessings in our lives and the lives of all.

Based on Shla”h, Parshas VaYelech

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