To begin the Tikkun Olam Women’s Foundation’s March 28 Trustee Meeting, Marcy Wolf presented her D’var Torah on Shabbat Ha’Gadol (which took place Saturday, March 31). Her words were inspiring and insightful, and we wanted to share them with you. Chag Pesach Sameach! (Happy Passover!)
“This Shabbat is Shabbat HaGadol, the last of the four special shabbatot that precede Passover.
It is called “Shabbat HaGadol”, the Sabbath of The Great because of the last line of the Haftarah, at the end of the book of the prophet Malachi, which reads: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord”
It discusses something rather unusual the final day of judgment. Nowhere in the Torah is the final judgment mentioned, and in general, the idea of final judgment is not often found in Judaism.
But we find it here, and we are told, before it arrives, Elijah the prophet will appear. Elijah will come and will close the generation gap–return the hearts of sons to their fathers, and the hearts of fathers to their sons, or else a terrible calamity will befall the land.
This Shabbat is also called Shabbat HaGadol because of the connotation of great as in “large”, or better yet, all grown up. Where we as a people “grew up” to leave Egypt.
Up to this point in the Torah, all the miracles and all the action had come from God alone. He sent Moshe to save us, He performed all the plagues upon Egypt. We were pretty much bystanders to the whole production.
But now at this point in the Torah, it was OUR turn to act, to step up and prove our loyalty to G-d and our faith in Him. In fact, not every Jew was up to the task; many never left Egypt. But those who did go through with this act of defiance were ready for liberation and statehood.
And so it was with Moshe himself. Twice the Torah says, “Vayigdal – and Moshe grew.” The first is in the physical sense; the baby grew into a mature man. But the second reference comes when Moshe throws in his lot with his Jewish people and kills the cruel Egyptian. That was a true “coming of age,” an active decision to define himself.
What a “Gadol” or Great thing that we are doing today with the Foundation. Like Elijah, we are closing the Generation Gap – amongst the many young women and older women here today – and helping the world become the better place for that final judgment.
And as a Foundation we are “growing up” and “coming of age” like Moshe, as we expand our reach with more trustees, new grantees, more funds, and a nationwide group of like-minded Foundations to partner with.
Great work ladies, thank you so much.”
- Marcy Wolf, presented March 28, 2012