In our modern society, many of us have lost even the definitions of what it means to be Jewish. It’s not enough that we don’t practice being Jewish, many of us don’t even remember the definition of being Jewish!
The pasuk says “Mimizrach Shemesh ad Mevao, Mehulal Shem Hashem” – “All nations are praising Hashem”
Let us ask ourselves, is this true? In reality, there are many people who worship all kinds of Idols etc. Can it be said that these people are engaged in praising Hashem?!
A certain Tzadik answered this question with a parable.
There was once an impostor to the king who sent a proclamation to a very small town, saying that he would be visiting in a few weeks. In those days and in the age before modern communication, these townsfolk had never seen the King and certainly had no idea what he even looked like! Naturally, the town made festive preparations and arranged special gifts for the king in anticpation of his visit. The day arrived and the simple townsfolk bestowed much honor upon their ‘king’. Suffice to say, when the real king heard about this, he was enraged and decided to wipe out this entire town. One of the sages of the town heard of this and quickly travelled to the king to try and appease him.
He explained to the King that although the simple townsfolk were mistaken in determining who was actually the King, they were indeed and in actuality honoring their King and his throne and not the individual who stood before them. With this, the King was indeed appeased.
Similarly, explained the Tzadik as it pertains to those who are engaged in all forms of idol worship. The simple reality is that they are indeed engaged in the service of the A-mighty God. Except, the difficulty is that they are making an unfortunate mistake and are misguided with respect to who the real G-d is!
As beautiful as this answer is, I with my smallness disagree.
Consider, an imposter dresses up like a donkey and proclaims that he is King. He is heaped with lavish praise etc. Then, when the real king finds out and becomes upset, they try to appease him by explaining how this was not an affront to the king and his kingship, it was a simple case of mistaken identity! Imagine the reaction of the King.. He would scream, that the very fact that they mistook him for a donkey, is indeed the greatest insult to the King!
When people are engaged in all forms of idol worship and paganism, it is not merely a confusion with respect to who the real Almighty God is! The fact is, that they have LOST ALL DEFINITIONS WITH RESPECT TO GOD. They are worshiping something entirely different…they are worshiping a DONKEY! This is indeed the biggest insult possible to our Hashem Yisborach, who is the one and only God.
So to is the predicament which we find ourseleves in today. Many of us have lost our definitions and have forgotten what it means to be Jewish. We have forgotten who Hashem is and what it means to live our lives with Hashem.
We must strive to get back to a place where being Jewish is more than simple worship and a “part” of our lives.
Being Jewish is our ENTIRE Lives AND THE ENTIRE PURPOSE OF OUR EXISTANCE, IS TO LIVE IN PRIVACY WITH OUR HASHEM YISBORACH!
<Heard From Rav Shimshon Pincus>
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