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Hearing God's Inner Voice

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You will again obey the LORD and follow all his commands I am giving you today. Deuteronomy 30:8

The Torah reading for this week is Nitzavim, which means "standing," from Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20 and the Haftorah is from Isaiah 61:10-63:9.

The Jewish sages frequently make use of stories in order to teach us important and inspirational life lessons. One such tale is about a wise king who wanted to give many treasures to his son, but at the time, he realized that the prince was still young and not quite ready to handle such wealth. So the king hid the treasure away in a place that no one knew.

However, the king passed away before he could reveal the exact location of the treasure to the prince. Even after the prince had become a wise and worthy leader, he had no knowledge of the gift stored away for him. One day, the prince was walking through the palace built for him by his father. The palace was a sight to behold, constructed from the finest materials and by the most skillful artisans. No detail was overlooked.

On that day, the prince noticed a part of a floor mural that was obviously out of place. How could such a glaring mistake occur when everything else was so perfect? As time went on, the prince uncovered more mistakes and other elements that made no sense at all. He wondered how his father allowed such blunders when he was so meticulous about every detail.

Finally, it dawned on the prince that his father hadn't allowed any mistakes. If something seemed out of place, it was for a reason. The prince studied the places in the palace that bothered him and found that each mistake was actually a sign that pointed him to the buried treasure.

What had seemed wrong turned out to have a very well-planned purpose. What had seemed crooked was actually straight and perfectly aligned. The prince's faith in his father had led him to understand where the treasure was hidden.

So, too, in life, we often encounter scenarios that seem wrong and out of place. How could God allow such things? But when we have faith in our Father, we one day will see how it all fits into a perfect plan for our good.

In this week's portion we read: "You will again obey the LORD and follow all his commands I am giving you today." Literally, the verse reads, "You will return to God and hear his voice." The sages teach that this means more than our return to obedience; rather, when we listen to God's Word, we will merit hearing His "inner voice." We will understand how even what seems bad is really for the good. When we have faith that all God does is for the best, He will allow us to see so for ourselves and enjoy the immense treasure that He has in store for us.

With prayers for shalom, peace,

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President

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