May this help us to “understand” what is happenig now politically and give us some comfort [and even realting to the whole Covid “confusion”]
As soon as the Truth became apparent, it was as if someone turned on a light in a dark room.
This week’s portion contains the incident of the sin of the Golden Calf. The Ramba”n says this was not real idolatry that was being worshipped — the Jews just wanted an intermediary, thinking Moshe Rabbeinu was dead. Nonetheless, it was a terrible sin. What the Torah tries to convey is that what happened was akin to a runaway freight train. Things got out of hand. Moshe was late in returning. Satan saw an opportunity. He made, what Rashi tells us was the appearance of “confusion in the world”. The people clamoured for an intermediary. Chur got up and tried to stop them. The people killed Chur. That is how things got out of hand. It was like a snowball coming down a mountain. Unstoppable. Aharon, who feared for his life after seeing what happened to Chur, went along with the people while trying to minimize and mitigate. But he also gets swept along in this unstoppable snowball. All of a sudden Moshe came down from the mountain. He put up his hands and, in a sense, said, “Stop!” In an instant, the whole thing stopped. What happened? How is it that this unstoppable “snowball” could stop on a dime? The Beis Av makes the following observation: This is the power of Truth. Since their sin was based on Falsehood, on an incorrect assumption, on an act of Satan with no validity to it,
The darkness dissipates in a moment. Such is the power of Truth to push away Falseness. Sheker (falsehood) can be stopped in its tracks with pure unadulterated Emes (truth). This is a tremendous ethical lesson for us. For thousands of years, we have been wanting, praying for the coming of Moshiach. We say that when Moshiach will come that “every creature will know that You have created him…” We may ask ourselves, how will it turn-around in Moshiach’s time? How will it be that all of a sudden all people will realize the centrality of the Jewish people in the Universe? How will it be that the religious leaders of other faiths will all of a sudden say “You are right — there is only One G-d; the rest of it is all Sheker”? How is this entire scenario going to happen? This Parsha in the Torah teaches us how it will happen. When Falsehood meets Truth, Falsehood melts. When the Truth of Moshiach becomes evident, the whole world will turn around. Note: This story occurred in 1992 when Rav Pam came to Baltimore to visit Rabbi Binyomin Steinberg (z’l) who was very ill. Rabbi Steinberg was a student of Rav Pam and was the Menahel (principal) of the Bais Yaakov High School of Baltimore for many years. Rabbi Steinberg was also an outstanding teacher of Jewish history and current events. I was not privy to the following conversation. But, I am told that Rabbi Pam visited Baltimore not long ago and was at Rabbi Steinberg’s house. Rabbi Steinberg had the opportunity to speak to his Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Pam, and asked him the question that is on everybody’s mind: What is going on in the world? The world that we are living in today — shortly before Pessach 5752 (1992) — is a different world than the world we were living in 6 months ago before Succos 5752 (1991)! Before Succos there was a Communist Government in Russia, the world was functioning as it has “always” functioned, there were two Germanys, everything was “normal.” Less than six months later everything has changed. What does it mean? Why does it all happen? In his characteristic fashion, Rav Pam shrugged his shoulders and said, “I don’t know.” But he did offer one insight. G-d is trying to show us — See! This is how it is going to happen! If anyone doubts how the Moshiach will turn things around, how overnight people will reject life-long beliefs and proclaim that G-d is True and the Jewish People are his Chosen Nation, and all other religions will be thrown in the towel… If anyone will say to himself “It can’t happen — How can it change overnight?”, this is what G-d has done for us in the last 6 months. The world has revolutionized almost overnight. This has been the “sneak preview”. This too is the lesson of our parsha. Sheker can be pushed away by Emes. Moshe Rabbeinu stopped the Golden Calf on a dime. This is how the Moshiach will do it — may it be speedily in our own days.