Shavuos: The Need For A Chosen Nation

By BJLife/Moishy Pruzansky

Posted on 06/06/19

Parshas HaShavua Divrei Torah sponsored by
Dr. Shapsy Tajerstein, DPM - Podiatry Care.
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When Hashem gave us the Torah, He thereby set us aside as His chosen nation. Before this point in time there was no concept of a Jew. Adam and Chava were not Jewish. Noach was not Jewish. In fact, even Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov were not "Jewish" per say. If they were, Yishmael and Esuv would be Jewish, and they aren't. They were the forefathers of the Jewish nation and devoted their lives to Hashem, but were not Jewish. Only now, with the giving of the Torah, did Hashem officially choose us as His special nation.

Why was it necessary to have a "chosen nation"? Also, if it was so important, why didn't Hashem choose one sooner?

 The Purple Jacket People

Let us explain with an incredibly powerful parable told by R' Benion Klatzko:

There once lived a kind and benevolent king who only wanted the best for his kingdom. Unfortunately, his kingdom was filled with crime and corruption. This bothered the king tremendously. One day he gave his subjects the following ultimatum: Act with morality and kindness towards each other, or else I will leave. Nobody believed the king would ever leave, after all, who ever heard of a king leaving his kingdom? However, after many weeks of no improvement, the king indeed left. He was independently wealthy, and brought all of his money with him.

He decided to start over. He bought a huge plot of land, and built from scratch the most beautiful city imaginable. All of the residents from the nearby villages approached the king, with the desire to live there. The king welcomed them, with one simple rule: You may live here in happiness, and I will take care of your every need as long as you promise to be kind and moral. The offer was pleasing in everyone's eyes, and the kingdom quickly filled to full capacity. Everyone lived in harmony, which brought the king immense joy.

After a couple of months however, things began to deteriorate. One day the news of a shoplifting hit the streets. A couple of days later there was a mugging. Before the king knew it, crime started to take root in his brand new kingdom.

The king was distraught. He called in his top advisor, desperately seeking advice. "I can't make a new kingdom every time an issue arises. What should I do? Why won't my citizens behave justly and morally?". The adviser responded "my king, you are moral and kind, and simply want everyone to follow in your ways. The problem is that the public never see you, because you live in your castle, on top of a tall mountain, and rarely go out in public. This makes it difficult for your subjects to learn from your shining example. My advice is as follows: find the most moral of men in your kingdom, and train them in how to represent your ways. Give them royal purple jackets to wear in order that your subjects will know that they represent you. If the people have living role models of your will spread out throughout the kingdom, you can effectively direct them in how to be moral and kind just like yourself".

Living Inspired

We are the "Purple Jacket People". When Hashem first created the world, the inhabitants became so corrupt that Hashem had to give them the following ultimatum: repent, or I will have to start over. They didn't believe He would follow through on His promise. After many years, Hashem had to bring the mabul and start over. When Noach and his children left the Teivah, they followed in Hashem's ways. It looked as though the world was finally headed in the right direction. But yet again,  it was not long before corruption was rampant. Hashem decided that the most effective way to direct His world to follow in His proper ways, was to handpick the "Purple Jacket People". We should represent His will in every aspect of life, and serve as role models to all of the world regarding proper morality, honesty, and conduct. The world is supposed to be able to look at us and say "That must be the way G-d wants me to act". Every mitzvah in our Torah that we perform is supposed to display Hashem's model of perfection, and to augment and strengthen every positive character trait that we possess. May we all live up to our tremendous privilege and responsibility of representing Hashem's will and truly be a light unto the nations.