Pearls of Rashi – Re’eh

This week we read the Torah portion of Re’eh. This portion tells us to (Devorim 16:1) “Keep the month of spring, and make the Pesach offering to Hashem. For in the month of spring G-d brought you out of Egypt at night.” Rashi cites the words “keep the month of spring” and explains the meaning of these words. “Before Nissan arrives, watch that it should be fit for spring, capable of producing ripe ears of barley by the sixteenth of the month. These would be needed to offer as the Omer meal offering. And if not (if it is not yet spring), proclaim it a leap year. (This will enable you to wait another month until the barley ripens).”

We need to explain this in a manner which will help us in our service of Hashem. During the winter all growth is hidden; it is asleep. It appears to us as if there is no growth. During the spring the beauty and greenery suddenly awakes. We become aware that it was temporarily gathering its strength. Now, in the spring, it can appear in all of its glory.

The same was true during our exile in Egypt. It was bitter both for the physical body and the soul. However ultimately we were able to traverse in a mere 50 days from the 49th level of impurity to the ability to receive the Torah directly from the Almighty Himself.

This is the lesson for each of us. At times we may (G-d forbid) undergo a period during which there appears to be no growth. Everything around us appears to be frigid and lifeless. We must realize that this is just a temporary state. We are merely gathering the strength needed to “spring” into life. All that it means is that we are about to step into the complete and true redemption with our righteous Moshiach.


Wishing one and all a good Shabbos!


Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

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