Bo: Tikkun HaOlam

My oldest daughter has a wonderful mix of being studious and not being nerdy.  She works very hard in her studies and whatever other "missions" she might have to complete, yet at the same time, she enjoys having a good time.  

And thankfully, some of her closest friends are like her.

This past week, they had a test to study for and they needed a change of scenery.  So, what did they decide to do? Simple!  They decided to rent an apartment to study in!  And if you're wondering how a bunch of sixteen/seventeen year old girls can do that, you would appreciate their solution.  They went to IKEA, looked around at some of the mini-apartments that are made on the showroom, found one they liked, and sat down and studied there for several hours.  All while enjoying the looks of people as they walked through, not knowing that the apartment was already occupied.

"And also the mixed multitudes went up with them" (Shemos 12:38).

I saw a wonderful thing from Rav Shimshon Pincus on this.

As we know, when the Jewish nation left Egypt, there was a large group of non-Jews who left with them.  They saw and understood which side to stick with, and Moshe allowed them to come with.  However, it was proven to be quite fatal, as they ended up starting several tragic episodes that took place before arriving in Eretz Yisroel.  Similarly, Shimshon, who was one of the Judges before the Beis HaMikdash; when he took Dalila as a wife, she became his downfall.  And so too with Shlomo HaMelech, when he took the daughter of Pharoah as a wife.

Each of these individuals thought that the time was right to "repair the world," by bringing together our world and theirs.  And all three cases ended in tragedy.

The Midrash writes that Shlomo HaMelech wanted to marry Pharoah's daughter on the day he inaugurated the Beis HaMikdash, joining two simchos together.  At that time, Hashem said, "Which 'simcha' should I accept?  This one or that?" and decreed that eventually the Beis HaMikdash would be destroyed.

So, asks Rav Pincus, if Hashem was angry about this arrangement, why did He decide that the Beis HaMikdash was to be destroyed?  What did the Beis HaMikdash "do" to deserve such a punishment?  Rav Pincus answers that it was because of the Beis HaMikdash, which represents the unity of Hashem and the Jewish people, Shlomo HaMelech thought that it was the right time to bring the two worlds (Jewish and non-Jewish) together in harmony.  Therefore, the "cause" of such thinking was to be destroyed.

Therefore, one must be careful, especially when on a "spiritual high" to be wary of "changing the world."  When on such a high, a person often mistakenly believes that since he has "seen the light," he can show other "less enlightened" people the "true path"… even those who are really on a higher level than he!  And in the end, he can harm other people.  Not only that, but he then realigns his life to his new mission of fixing the world, while turning away from his true mission of fixing himself.

I believe the lesson is clear... sometimes the only world we can fix, is our own personal one.

With that, I wish you all a wonderful Shabbos!