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It's a pity for the glass - Ki Tisa

Wednesday, 20 February, 2019 - 2:12 pm

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At Jewish weddings, at the end of the Chupah ceremony, the groom breaks a glass, everyone shouts “Mazal Tov! And the party starts. The reason of this custom is to remind is about the destruction of the Temple, even in this joyous moment of our lives.

But why in this way? Isn't it a pity for the glass…

In this week’s Parasha Ki Tisa, Moses comes back from Mount Sinai with the two G-d-made Tablets, on which the Ten Commandments were engraved. As he comes down, he sees the people of Israel worshipping a Goloden Calf. He takes the Tablets, throws them on the floor where they break. A people that sins in such a way just 40 days after seeing G-d on Mount Sinai, does not deserve to receive G-d’s wisdom. But why did Moses have to break them? Those Tablets were the work of G-d and they had inestimable value. Could he not have kept them on a side until the Jewish people would repent? Those Tablets were lost forever.

After G-d forgave His people, he asked Moses to make new Tablets. But those were not written directly by Him, but through Moses’ hands. There must have been a very good reasons for Moses’ action…

People usually prefer to speak about their successes and forget about their failures. They think that success and failure are two opposites. But the truth is that failure creates success. Our mistakes create in us a thirst for truth. We try to correct them with more passion and positive energy. In other words: failure can bring us to a bigger success.

This is why Moses broke the Tablets. When he saw the people worshipping the Golden Calf, he understood that they need a deeper connection with G-d. Not an automatic relationship where G-d does everything and the Jewish people only listen. A relationship where they would be involved themselves, where they would be active participants. A relationship that would transcend their personality.

Moses broke in order to build something new. In this new relationship, the Jews had to make a special effort. But G-d also did something more the second time. While the First Tablets only contained the Bible, the Second Tablets included more wisdom, with the basis of the Talmud and the Midrash.

This is why the Torah says that Moses broke the Tablets in front of the eyes of the Jews. It was in order to shock them, to shake them and bring them to self-improvement beyond their mistake.

This is the same for the Jewish wedding. At the end of the Chupah, the groom breaks a glass, and everyone shouts out “Mazal tov!”. This is how we remind to the newlyweds that even when something breaks in their conjugal life, which is bound to happen, this does not mean that everything is finished. After the breaking, they can build something new in their relationship, something better than what broke.

May we always learn from our mistakes and may Mashiach come speedily, where we will not make any mistakes anymore.

Shabbat Shalom,


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