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A Sivan Letter to the Nitzotzos Community from our Mashpia, Rav Burg 

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

Dear Nitzotzos Community, A gutten Rosh Chodesh Sivan! “In the third month after the Exodus of the Jewish People from Egypt, on that very day, they came to the Desert of Sinai…And the People of Israel encamped there, opposite the Mountain.” Chazal teach us that the "very day" was Rosh Chodesh Sivan. When describing our encampment around Har Sinai the Torah uses the word "Vayichan" in the singular form despite the fact that multitudes of people were gathered around the mountain. This teaches us that we were a unified nation. We were like one person with one heart. Approximately 600 years later on this very same day we would once again be gathered together as one. In Divrei HaYamim we are told the story of King Asa of Yehudah, “And he gathered all of Yehudah and Binyamin, and from those who lived with them, from Ephraim and Menasheh and from Shimon, for they gathered unto him in multitudes, because they saw that the L-rd was with him. And they were gathered to Yerushalayim in the third month, of the fifteenth year of King Asa. And they sacrificed to the Lord on that day, bringing from the booty, seven hundred cattle and seven thousand sheep. And they entered into the Covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and all their soul.” What is it about Sivan that gives us the power to unite throughout history? Why is this a prerequisite to entering into a covenant with Hashem? The Zodiac of the month of Sivan is twins. Chazal teach us that no two people have the same face. Even the most identical twins have some small mark that allows people to differentiate between them. Somehow a mother knows just by looking at her twins which one is which. Twins are very different and yet the bond they share can be very special. A quick anecdote. Many years ago I had the privilege of teaching a set of twins. They were very close with each other but they had two totally different personalities. Both were very smart but while one was physically very strong the other was of a very slight build. The stronger one was more stoic while other was hysterically funny. They complimented each other beautifully. After being together for elementary school, middle school, high school and Yeshiva they were going their separate ways to two different colleges. As the end of the year was approaching both asked to speak with me privately. The stronger, more stoic twin met with me first and expressed his concern for his brother heading off to college on his own. He explained to me that as the stronger twin he was always looking out for his brother and he was anxious as to how his brother would fare without him by his side. Later that day I met with the other twin. He too expressed concern for his brother heading off to college on his own. He explained to me that because of his humor he was always the one who ensured that his brother was included socially and was anxious as to how his brother would fare without him. As the Rebbe listening to both of them I was struck by the beauty of these conversations. Each one felt so deeply connected to the other. Far from hindering their relationship, their differences enhanced their connection. Each one understood what he contributed to the other and valued the strengths of his brother. They were two separate people in every sense of the word but they had one heart. In a certain sense every member of Klal Yisrael is a twin. We are all unique and yet we all share the same essence. We are all endowed with the same spark of divinity. Like the many paintings of one master we are all unique expressions of the same artist. Only when we uncover the oneness that unites all of us can we be truly worthy of uniting with God. It is our connection to the Godly spark in each other that opens the portal to connecting with God Himself. In Judaism a state of unity is critical to entering into a Covenant with God. There is no relationship with God if there is no relationship with His children. As Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch zt"l said, we are 12 unique tribes all facing the Mishkan. We have our differences. Each one of us contributes uniquely to the community. And each one of us is made from the same essential stuff. We are all one soul. In Sivan we become aware of our twin brothers and sisters. It is a time throughout history in which we connect to each other and in so doing we connect with God. Now more than ever, in the final moments before Mashiach, we are being challenged to find the spark of God in every Jewish person. Sadly we have divided ourselves into so many different communities. What unites us is infinitely greater than what divides us. I am reminded of the message of Rabbi Emanuel Feldman. Mashiach wants to come but he doesn't know what head covering to wear. If he wears a kippa sruga or a velvet yarmulkes will he be accepted by the community? If he wears a borsalino or a shtreimel or no hat at all? Personally I could care less what Mashiach wears to his inauguration, as long as we are all there to witness it together. And isn't that the prerequisite after all? Looking forward to once again receiving the Torah with ALL of you.


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