In this week’s Parsha, Moses presents the Torah to the Jewish people and they reply with the famous statement: “Na’asse venishmah, We will do and listen.” Many have discussed the order of this statement since it would make more sense to first listen and only then actively obey the commandments and not the opposite. Or maybe not! Who said that the Torah is a book of instructions which we have to read carefully, step by step, and only then begin building our spiritual selves? On the contrary, maybe the Torah is something we must feel and only once it becomes an integral part of our lives, can we start learning it and try to understand it!
Chazal ask how was it possible for our fathers to keep the whole Torah if it had not yet been given during their lives. An answer brought by the Mefarshim is the idea that the 613 Mitzvot were given parallel to the 613 limbs and ligaments in the human body, and even if the book of “instructions” was not yet given, the fathers were able to bring their entire body, spiritually and physically, to such a level that everything they did was according to the will of G-d, as if they literally knew what was written in the Torah before it was even written. This seems difficult to understand and hard to relate to, unless we change our whole attitude of what the Torah and us have in common besides the fact that we were coincidently born into a Jewish family and we have to keep this book known as the “Torah” because we were told to. We must first find our EMOTIONAL connection to the Torah because sometimes we will not understand certain issues in our relationship with G*d, but if we feel the connection, then these questions will become irrelevant. One never asks himself why he has to eat or sleep, because these are basic necessities which one needs in order to survive. The same thing is with keeping the Torah: Each one of us must understand that he/she is unable to survive emotionally and spiritually if we don’t keep the Torah. Only based on this we can start discussing its philosophy and deeper aspects and reach huge intellectual achievements.
The Jewish people had been through many downfalls in their difficult history until receiving the Torah, and by proudly stating that they would keep the Torah despite the fact that there were so many things which they were unable to understand, shows us the huge level they had reached at Mount Sinai, allowing themselves to say that not only will they keep the Torah but they will now also try to understand it, too.
We are now a few days after the elections in Israel which involved a lot of discussion and analysis, but as we know the only thing which will solve our problems is actively finding solutions. So may Hashem give the strength and wisdom to the leaders of the State of Israel to bring the current bloodshed to a final end. May we reach the level again of “Na’asse”, of doing the right thing, in the near future.