Rabbi Milevsky's Thought of the Week: Devorim - 5774

MESSAGE FROM YISHAYAHU

The Shabbat before Tisha B'av is named for the first word of the Haftarah (the section we read on Shabbat from the prophets) and thus is known as Shabbat Chazon.

The Haftarah of Chazon is the opening statement of the book of Yishayahu. It is not the first message he delivered to his people, but rather an introduction to his Raison d'être: to make the nation of Israel mindful of their leading stumbling block.

When reading the Torah we recognize the importance of the Korbanot (Sacrifices and Offering) as part of our service towards Hashem. However when our relationship with the Almighty, develops into something habitual and is performed without reflection of its true function, it becomes worthless. Yishayahu taught the nation that when the Service in the Temple was carried out as a thoughtless ritual without personal growth that includes righteousness and honesty, is is purposeless.

Shabbat Chazon is a time for us to tune into the words of Yishayahu. The Haftarah reminds us that if we want to put an end to the exile and merit a complete return to Eretz Yisrael, we must improve as people and not rely on external acts.

The People of Israel are going through challenging times. We all recognize the fact that without assistance from Hashem, all our efforts to protect Eretz Yisrael, will not succeed.

It`s time to awaken and realize who we are, and what we can achieve by strengthening our bond to one another and together reconnect to Hashem.

May the Protector of Israel watch over the soldiers who are courageously doing the great Mitzvah of protecting Klal Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael.

Shabbat Shalom,