Different; Yet the Same
We know that we are all created differently. People have different likes and desires. One would appreciate an outing to an expensive meat restaurant for their birthday, while someone else would appreciate a new piece of jewelry. A child, perhaps, would be satisfied with a chocolate bar and a few candies.
This week’s Torah portion, Parshat Vayelech, talks about the last day in Moshe Rabbeinu’s life. The last Mitzvah about which we are commanded is the Mitzvah of Hakhel, a gathering of all the Jews every seven years. If we are all different, however, what is the purpose of gathering everyone together?
The answer could be learned from a story that the Previous Rebbe tells us: It was during the war, in 1939, in the city of Warsaw. The bombing was getting stronger and stronger, smoke was coming out from the houses and people were running everywhere to find shelter. In one of the underground bunkers, there was a group of people; some religious and some not. Suddenly, a bomb fell right next to the shelter. Together, everyone screamed out “Shema Yisrael!”
These were Jews from all different “types” but at the moment of truth, they all united and everyone screamed the same thing.
Yes, we are different. Yes, there are different groups and categories of Jews. Yes, we all have an individual purpose and reason that we were created. At the same time, we all have the same Torah, we are all required to love and fear G-d and do what Hashem wants of us.
And this is the reason why everyone is supposed to gather together. Yes, we have different missions but we are here to accomplish the same goal, making a dwelling place for G-d in this world.
We are standing the week before Yom Kippur and it’s time for all of us to unite under the same purpose that we are here to do whatever God wants from us!
Candle lighting time (NYC) is: 6:55 PM