Rashi writes in this week’s parasha that one should be conscious of the idea that HaShem’s document preceded the contract that one enters into a with a human master. This means that although one sells himself into slavery, he does not remain a slave forever, and even when being sold, one cannot place him on the slave block announcing that there is a slave for sale. Why does the Torah need to tell us regarding the laws of slavery that we are ultimately HaShem’s servants? Would one entertain the thought that by selling a slave, the Jew is no longer under the justification of HaShem?
To answer this question, it is worth exploring the Gemara (Megillah 14a) that states that one of the reasons that we do not recite Hallel on Purim is because in Hallel we recite the words הללו עבדי ה, give praise, you servants of HaShem, and we are still deemed to be servants of Achashverosh. What does this mean that we are still servants of Achashveirosh? And how can the Gemara state that we are not servants of HaShem? Apparently, the Gemara is saying, if we have not been liberated and are not focused on living in Eretz Yisroel, then we cannot be deemed to be true servant of HaShem. Yet, in our parasha, we see that one who steals or is impoverished and is sold into slavery still must remember that he is first and foremost a servant of HaShem! Thus, it is truly a mindset that one must have to retain the status of being a servant of HaShem. Even a servant is not really a servant, as long as he knows who his true Master is.
HaShem should grant us the consciousness to recognize who our true Master is. We just celebrated the passing of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai on Lag BaOmer. It is said (Shemos 23:17) שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים בַּשָּׁנָה יֵרָאֶה כָּל זְכוּרְךָ אֶל פְּנֵי הָאָדֹן יְ-ה-וָֹ-ה, three times during the year shall all your menfolk appear before the Lord, HaShem, and the Zohar states that the “master” [Lord] that is referred to is Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. In the merit of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai we should merit the Ultimate Redemption, of which it states (Malachi 3:1) הִנְנִי שֹׁלֵחַ מַלְאָכִי וּפִנָּה דֶרֶךְ לְפָנָי וּפִתְאֹם יָבוֹא אֶל הֵיכָלוֹ הָאָדוֹן אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם מְבַקְשִׁים וּמַלְאַךְ הַבְּרִית אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם חֲפֵצִים הִנֵּה בָא אָמַר יְ-ה-וָ-ה צְבָאוֹת, behold, I am sending My messenger, and he will clear a path before Me; suddenly the lord Whom you seek will come to His Sanctuary, and the messenger of the covenant for whom you yearn, behold, he comes, says HaShem, Master of Legions.
Have a Liberating with Servitude Shabbos!
Erev Shabbos Kodesh Inspiration Behar 5776
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