Pearls of Rashi – Tavo II

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This week’s Torah portion, Ki Savo, tells us that the Jewish people are Hashem’s treasured nation; as it is written in our Parshah[1], “Hashem has selected you today to be His treasured people as He spoke to you …” Where do we find that the Almighty said this? Rashi answers this question. He cites the words “He spoke to you.” Rashi then tells us that He said this to the Jewish people at the time of the giving of the Torah. He said that[2] “you shall be to Me a treasure out of all peoples.”

There Rashi explains what is meant by “a treasure[3].” He writes that the word “treasure” means “a beloved treasure, as it is written[4] “and the treasures of the kings.” This refers to costly vessels and precious stones, which kings store away. So too will you be more of a treasure to Me than the other nations.”

It is clear enough that Rashi is equating the Jew’s status as a treasure with that of a royal treasure of precious stones. However, just as is the case with everything else in the Torah, there is an even deeper meaning contained within these words.

There are various categories of precious, royal stones. The monarch holds these in trust for his/her successors and the nation. There are gems that are affixed to the royal crown in order to add to its beauty. There is another category of gem which the king uses purely for the benefit of the nation. Finally, there are gems that serve no use whatsoever. They are placed within the king’s treasury, and he makes no use of them. The only purpose which they serve is to bring pleasure to the ruler.

The same is true of Hashem, the true king, and His precious stones, the Jewish people. It is true that the service of the Jews here in this world serves a great purpose. Through learning Torah and performing Mitzvos Jews reveal G-dliness in the world!

However, there is an aspect of Jewish service which is greater than this. Each and every Jew, without exception, is Hashem’s precious gem. This is so by virtue of the fact that he is an actual part of Hashem above! G-d derives pleasure from the existence of every single Jew, even without his performance of Torah and Mitzvos. He does not need an excuse or a reason to enjoy His treasured nation. Every single member of the Jewish Nation must be aware of his exalted status and realize the potential this gives him.

May we all merit to be inscribed and sealed for a good, sweet year. Wishing one and all a good Shabbos!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 24, Pages 161-164

Mr. Sholom Moshe Hacohen
ben Reb Shlomo Meir Hacohen ע”ה Cohen
Passed away Shabbos Parshas Beshalach, 13 Shevat, 5779
May His Soul be bound in the Eternal Bond of Life
* * *
לעילוי נשמת
ר’ שלום משה הכהן בן ר’ שלמה מאיר הכהן ע”ה כהן
נפטר ש”ק פ’ בשלח, י”ג שבט, ה’תשע”ט
ת. נ. צ. ב. ה.
יו”ל ע”י בתו וחתנו שיחיו
הרה”ת ר’ שמואל ורבקה שי’ מענדלסאהן

[1]. Our Parshah, Devorim 26:18.

[2]. Parshas Yisro, Shemos 19:5.

[3]. See ibid., Rashi’s comments.

[4]. Koheles (Ecclesiastes) 2:8.

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