Roy Neuberger - Mar. 06, 2020

Pardon me, but I do not favor sloppy clothing for a Jew.

It seems clear that Hashem wants us to dress with dignity: “Know before Whom you stand. And on account of this you will merit the life of the World to Come.” (Berachos 28b) The ultimate example of dressing with dignity are the kohanim (priests) who minister before Hashem in the Holy Temple, may we see it soon in our day! Their begadim (clothing), which are the subject of this week’s Torah Reading, elevated the souls of the kohanim and those who saw them.

We need elevation now so that we do not sink further into the pit which surrounds us, and this is consistent with the events of Purim. Amalek is waiting to destroy us. The pit of destruction is gaping before us.

Shaul Hamelech (King Saul) was regal, but he slipped through excessive compassion when he “took pity on Agag, the best of the sheep and cattle … and all that was good, and they did not destroy them.” (I Samuel 15:9)

Today, surrounded by “all that is good,” we are sick from the poisoned candies our enemies are offering us, the lavish banquet which resembles the feast through which Achashveros almost destroyed our ancestors.

Recently, the (supposedly friendly) government of the United Kingdom introduced regulations which would force yeshivos to teach subjects antithetical to Torah. These regulations would literally destroy the educational system. This, of course, reminds us of recent existential threats from the State of New York and is a direct attack on Torah itself, the core of our existence.

“Remember what Amalek did to you on the way, when you were leaving Mitzraim!” (Deuteronomy 25:17) Was it long ago, in the forgotten past, that Amalek struck those who “did not fear G-d?” No! It is today!

Do not be surprised if the surrounding culture turns against us suddenly. We have contracted this terrible illness in which we have come to believe that their culture is our culture.

My friends, we have to wear the begadim! We have to dress, spiritually and physically, in holy garments so that we are fit to minister to the Lord of the Universe in the Holy Temple. Please forgive me, but we have to remove the torn jeans, sneakers and baseball caps so we look like kohanim, because we are in fact “mamleches kohanim … a kingdom of ministers and a holy nation.” (Exodus 19:6)

“Yehoshua was dressed in filthy garments …. [The malach] spoke … to those standing before him, saying, ‘Remove the filthy garments from upon him!’ Then he said [to Yehoshua], ‘See, I have removed your iniquity from upon you, and dressed you with clean attire.’” (Zecharia 3:3-4)

The lands of our Exile are ejecting us now; it is time to shed our foreign garments.

“Shake off the dust! Arise! “Don your splendid clothes, My People, through the son of Yishai ha Lachmi (the father of King David)!” (Lecha Dodi) One world is dying and a new one is dawning.

“In the evening one lies down weeping, but with dawn … a cry of joy! …. What gain is there in my death, when I descend to the Pit? … Hear, Hashem and favor me …. You have changed … my lament into dancing; you undid my sackcloth and girded me with gladness …. I will thank You forever!” (Psalm 30)


Recent Posts


Divine presence Isaiah Chanukkah Day of Atonement Sephardi Torah messiah murder Mordechai sacrifices Tzuk etan Pharaoh Boaz eternal Children of Israel Esau seder chaos Judaism ancestors secret water Shushan tablets Final redemption brotherhood Sodom Moshiach Torah scholars purity angel materialism tabernacle yarmulke fault Galil Bais Hamikdosh Amalek creation Isaac plague death Jeremiah Parsha Zohar blessing hubris Red Sea Western World night Garden of Eden Rome heavenly throne Sukkos war Nation of Israel eternity evil bird Shavuos Holy Temple Achashveirosh Shabbos darkness Ruth pain spirituality media keys spiritual kesuba Sea of Galilee spies Terror Attack in Jerusalem Joseph light Jew Rebecca sun Western Wall dreams Jews Jewish festival self-worship shofar Zechariah Genesis Judgement Day Rosh Hashana Elul Teshuva mitzvos mikveh forefathers incense Eglon Rachel Jewish People Ammon Holy land Solar eclipse danger shield of Abraham Holocaust peace yeshiva world to come Avraham Sefiras haOmer prayer book heaven Zion, Angel Abraham Abrahem Macabees earthquake deluge flood Europe cholent exile Chanukah bible Blame judgement violence Hasmoneans Mount Hermon cries Golden Calf Moses Sabbath slavery King Solomon Temple logic commandment fires India Gog Israel trees menorah mikveh, Sabbath Second Temple moon terrorism rain Tefillin Angel of Death Chofetz Chaim king miracle repent fear Matriarchs liberation America repentance Yom Kippur tears salvation Miraglim culture Passover synagogue Prophecy Earth Ishmeal Aharon Geula Jewish holidays resurrection Red Heifer paradise Chol haMoed Psalms kinneret Passover Seder idol Canaan Song of Songs Babylonia Balak Lot Rashi Master of the Universe miracles Amram survival meraglim Temple Mount holiday gossip Chafetz Chaim Leah New Moon prophets Father in Heaven Egypt Esther Creator Ishamael G-d Talmud idolatry Purim Adam Yaakov Yerushalayim Torah portion Moshe bris milah angels Edom prayer Ishmael Tisha b'Av Golan Repentence sin stars terror patriarchs Jewish priests Sarah Raiders of the Lost Ark Faith King of the Universe Holiness chessed Holy Ark holy Laban lights three weeks Noah Dead Sea Miriam End of Days leprosy Pinchas alone King David evil inclination Heavenly Mercy Babylon locusts rabbi redeemer Matisyahu Jacob Moshaich biblical evolution Rabbi Akiva Midrash Mount Sinai Shechina Benjamin fragrance automobiles siddur Golus High Priest Ashkenazi esrog prophet Psalm Mount Zion Samuel stones kosher Hagar compassion terrorists Zion Tu b'Shvat Lunar eclipse Land of Israel Bilaam soul Ezekiel Sages Exodus mitzva tremors patriarchs'matriarchs Protective edge rosh chodesh David Malbim redemption Rebbe Jerusalem Samuel the Prophet Banias persecution High Holy Days prayers matzos Moab Judah prophet Samuel Sukkah minyan Greeks 2020 Vision missiles God Rosh Hashanah Haman Hashem enemies Hebrew sanctity Ten Commandments kiddush song Baku Eve United Nations shmittah ethics Tu b'Av slaves Magog Tallis pray Solomon Rabbis terrorist barley Maimonides Maccabeans heavenly gates Beit Hamikdash Day of Judgement