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A Real Relationship

Wednesday, 26 January, 2011 - 11:59 am

A young man named David meets a young woman. They date for a few years and get to know each other. Suddenly, on a warm summer day as they stroll by the water he gets down on one knee and says the words, "Will you marry me?"

During their engagement, his fiancé tells him; "Dave, I want you to  know that in our house we won't have any beige curtains or rugs because I do not like them. and you must take out the garbage." They continue to plan the wedding.

Five years later, David sees beautiful beige curtains and having forgotten his wife's words, he brought them home. His wife was NOT happy about it and said to him, "David, my love for you is deeper than my "desires and rules" but in the future please don't bring home what I do not want".

Something similar happened with G-d and the Jewish people in relation to the giving of the Torah. The way the event is recounted brings out an interesting point. The Torah splits the narration of this event into two. The first part contains the rules (G-d's desired mitzvos/commandments), and then at the end of this week's portion it describes G-ds proposal by to the Jewish people, who then say yes.

This symbolizes two distinct relationships G-d has with His people: 1) I have desires and rules for staying married in peace and harmony  2) The essence of a lifelong, higher relationship which is beyond the do's and don'ts.

Nonetheless, this week's Torah portion which discusses the second type of relationship is still called "Mishpatim", laws. The reason for this is because although G-d’s love for us is deeper than anything, and His love is always present, still, when we desire what G-d desires, by following his “Laws” and fulfilling  his Mitzvos, the marriage becomes better and better.

May we all be blessed with what the Torah says. "And you shall worship the L-rd, your G-d, and He will bless your food and your drink, and He will remove illness from your midst."

Good Shabbos,

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

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