"You won't do what we all do here today, every man doing what is right in his eyes."
Av 26, 5774/August 22, 2014
We begin reading this week's parashat Re'eh and Moshe is teaching Israel how to dwell in the land, how to build a society, pursue justice, and to be ever cognizant of Hashem. And then he speaks of the Holy Temple: "But only to the place which Hashem your
And then Moshe says this:"You won't do what we all do here today, every man doing what is right in his eyes." (ibid 12:8) And then Moshe moves on, talking of other things. But what has Moshe just told us? "Today, every man [is] doing what is right in his eyes." Is this true? Does it truly describe our times?
In the name of democracy we have crowned the individual. The individual decides what is right. Every man is king.
We live in an era of professed multiculturalism but one in which disregard for another's way and belief is generally preferred over truly learning to live in peace.
There is no right or wrong, only narrative. But what happens when another's narrative precludes your own narrative? Ultimately, everybody hates everybody. We live in fear. Terror rules. The world has gone mad.
"But only in the place Hashem will choose in one of your tribes; there you shall offer up your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you." (12:14) In this place, Moshe tells us, we will all do what is right in
Israel needs this center, this chosen place from among her tribes,the place around which Israel will dwell, the place around which Israel will build her society and pursue justice, The gravitational pull that will guide Israel, the solid rock, the north star, the moral imperative; the place where
Israel is in need of a place. A place to take council with Hashem. A place to face inward and reach out to Hashem. A place to breath free. A place to eat and be satisfied and to bless Hashem.
Imagine a world in which every one does what's right in
Moshe is not describing a panacea, a magic elixir to cure all our ills. But he is pointing to the urgent imperative to fulfill
Try imagining such a place: the Holy Temple.