Join Sivan's newsletter!

Get updates & news via Email

To look beneath the surface

הרב בוטמן

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

We spent Shabbat with my parents in Herzliya. On Shabbat morning, Rabbi Yehuda Butman of the "Oneg Shabbat" synagogue, said the following:

"I want to speak about three invisibles!" he declared.

The first invisible is Moshe Rabbeinu. He does not appear in the Torah portion of Tetzaveh that we just read. This is the only parasha from the time he is born until he passes away in which his name is not found. It's as if the Torah renders him invisible and insignificant and yet his very absence demonstrates his importance and what he represents. After the sin of the golden calf, the nation of Israel was in danger of destruction and Moshe Rabbeinu was ready to have his name erased from the Torah if that was needed to save his people. His absence in this Torah portion is a reminder of that willingness to be removed from the story of his people due to his love for them.

The second 'invisible' is God. In Megillat Esther that we will read this week on Purim, the name of God does not appear even once. It's as if He does not play a part in the story. But actually, if we look beneath the surface, we find that He is the director, the true hero behind the scenes. He directs all the twists and turns in the Purim story. All the little details that seem unconnected come together at the end of the story to show the important contribution of each and every one of them to the miraculous salvation of our people.

The third invisible is Jewish unity. It would appear that we are hopelessly divided, especially at this time. But things are not always as they seem. Just the other day, I was waiting at the doctor's office and seated next to me was a young man with slogans on his shirt that clearly showed his opinion of people like me... yet after we began to talk, it was difficult for us to stop. The love between our nation is sometimes 'invisible' but it is always there, we need only look beneath the surface.

May we merit to give a second, deeper look, to take off our shells, and to reveal what is invisible on the outside but eternally present within".


We use cookies to ensure the best experience for you. Please, accept the usage of cookies.