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The Big Little Voice

By Rabbi Yedidiah Shapira

A Devar Torah for Parshat Pinchas:

In our Haftara this week we read as to how a despondent Elijah turns to G-d describing the terrible spiritual wasteland of the ten Northern Tribes of Israel. G-d brings him back to Sinai where the Torah was given and then G-d appears to him in the following manner:

11. And He said: "Go out and stand in the mountain before the Lord, Behold! the Lord passes, and a great and strong wind splitting mountains and shattering boulders before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake-not in the earthquake was the Lord.

12. After the earthquake fire, not in the fire was the Lord, and after the fire a still small sound.

13. And as Elijah heard, he wrapped his face in his mantle, and he went out and stood at the entrance to the cave, and behold a voice came to him and said: "What are you doing here, Elijah?"

All of the above are miraculous phenomena, so why does G-d choose to appear in the small voice?

A possible answer is that Elijah is looking for a sudden large-scale transformation of the people of Israel to the good.

G-d's response is that "My voice will begin to be heard and effect change in very quiet and small things". "The return to Sinai happens with little things first".

"Don't look for sudden and total return to G-d all at once -look for people to hear G-d's voice in the little things, a Mezuzah here, or a Tefilin there, an act of selfless love somewhere, or a charity box in a home..

These are not little things, because the full presence of G-d speaks through each one of these events.

If we can hear and get others to hear the small voice, and respond , we are then attached to the full power of G-d and a full revival will indeed happen.

(Rabbi) Yedidiah Shapira

(Find other articles by Rabbi Yedidiah Shapira)

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