The Secret Of Redemption

By Rabbi David Kupinsky

Former Rosh Kollel Memphis (2014-15)
 Currently Director of Marketing and Sales at travelinsuranceisrael.com

For almost two thousand years the Jewish Nation has been in exile. We are fortunate enough to see the beginning of the Geula, but there is still much more that awaits us.
We did not return to the Land of Israel just to be safe and just to  have a Homeland. We have a goal, a purpose and the more we fulfill it, the better we will become, and with us the rest of the world.A scientist once brought his seven-year-old son who wasn’t feeling well to work with him. Unfortunately, the son was bored and did not let his father work. He was constantly badgering his father to do something with him. To receive a bit of peace the father gave his son a task.
“You like puzzles – right?,” he asked.
The son answered, “Sure, I love them.”
The father tore out a page from a magazine that had a picture of the world. He tore the page up to many little pieces. 
He gave his son some tape and the following task, “Fix the World!” 
He thought he would have at least on hour of quiet.
Much to his surprise, his son came back a few minutes later and the task was done.
“Wow – that’s amazing. His did you fix the world so quickly?”
The boy turned the page over and on the other side was a picture of a child.
“I fixed the boy and the world was fixed by itself.”
The midrash asks:
Why did Am Yisrael deserve to be saved and redeemed from Egypt?
Rabbi Huna answered: Because of four things: they did not change their language, they did not change their clothing, they did not speak evil of one another (Loshon Harah), and they did not compromise the family structure. (Gilui Arayot).
Sometimes, we are tempted to be like everybody else. The latest fashion, the latest gossip, accepting alternate lifestyles with pride. Some would say, that by being more like the rest of the world we can influence them more, but at the same time the opposite can be claimed. We can lose our own unique identity if we are like everybody else.
There is a sad occurrence in Israel where Jews have a Xmas tree in their house. The media talks fondly of how understanding and accepting we are of other religions, even to the extent that we embrace their customs. 
We have such a rich culture that goes back thousands of years, with so many meaningful customs and guidelines. Traditions that make us who we are. 
How self-loathing do we have to be, to forsake our own heritage and celebrate with those who in their not-so-far past used their holiday as a platform for hatred and prosecution?
We can and should respect and honor other people and their religions and beliefs, but in no way should we adopt their unique  customs or support beliefs that contradict our own.
That is the lesson of Rabbi Huna and the source for our merit for redemption.
The way to fix the world and bring the redemption starts with us fixing ourselves. Being the best we can be is the way to go.
Wearing clothing that are dignified, that show how much we respect the Image of G-d that is part of each and every one of us.
Using the Holy language of the Bible and of our forefathers, which shows how connected we are to the past and that we continue those values that they encompassed.
Seeing only good in people, and avoiding speaking evil of others – Sinnat Chinam – acting hateful for no reason.
Upholding the family structure and values.
This is the formula for us to succeed as individuals, as a nation, and The Secret Of Redemption. 
May it come speedily in our days and may we see miracles like in the time of Exodus of Egypt.
 
comments: dykupinsky@gmail.com