Be deserving of both crowns

When someone you love asks, 'Can you do something for me?' Your first answer is Yes, followed by needing to hear what you're being asked.

Contact Editor
Phil Chernofsky,

Phil Chernofsky
Phil Chernofsky
Ben Bresky

Ask people (maybe not this week) in what sedra did the people of Israel exclaim - All that G-d tells us NAASEH V'NISHMA, we will do and we will hear or understand. Most will probably say, in Yitro. Also ask, in what sedra is the account of Matan Torah.

Most will answer, Yitro. In fact, Matan Torah is in Parshat Yitro and at the end of Mishpatim with Moshe's ascent of Har Sinai where he will remain for 40 days and 40 nights to learn from HaShem all of the Torah.

In Yitro, the people proclaimed, NAASEH, we will do all that G-d says. In Mishpatim, we said NAASEH again. And then, four p'sukim later, we declared NAASEH V'NISHMA. It was that declaration that 'earned' us two crowns each from the Heavenly Angels. Not merely committing our- selves to do all that G-d says.

May I suggest the following idea... The commitment to do all that G-d commands can be motivated by Fear of G-d (Yir'at HaShem) and/or (hopefully both) Love of G-d (Ahavat HaShem). Additionally, there is the factor of Hakarat HaTov, gratitude to G-d Who took us out of Egypt and took us to Himself. The prophecy in the beginning of Parshat Va'eira included with V'LA- KACHTI ETCHEM LI L'AM (I will take you to Me as a Nation), VIDA'TEM, and you will know that it is I, HaShem your G-d Who took you out of Egypt. And, of course, there is the opening statement of the Aseret HaDibrot - ANOCHI HASHEM... Who took you out of Egypt.

We can say that all of the above led to our declaration of NAASEH - we will do. We can even add the plain meaning of V'NISHMA, we will hear, which significantly followed NAASEH, as being motivated by YIR'A, AHAVA, and Hakarat HaTov.

When someone you love, respect, revere, fear, and owe a debt of gratitude asks, Can you do something for me? Your first answer is, Yes, of course, followed by needing to hear what you are being asked to do. But the Yes I will comes first. But the other, deeper meaning of NISHMA adds a dimension which really excited the angels, and if we can say so, it 'excited' HKB"H too.

By following the declaration of commitment to G-d' commands with WE WILL UNDERSTAND, we can see another love at work - AHAVAT HATORAH, AHAVAT HAMITZVOT, Love of Jewish Life. Yes, we will do as G-d commands. Yes, we will commit ourselves to Torah and Mitzvot. And we will do more. We will explore and strive to understand the Torah and Mitzvot, to try as is humanly possible to understand why G-d com- mands us thusly.

Some things will be easier to understand than others. Some will elude us. First and foremost we will do what we are commanded. But right on its heels comes LIMUD (learning) and hopefully understanding.


Click here to download the podcast