It’s Not Petty When It’s Your Child

November 19, 2018 at 2:28 AM , , ,
“….Therefore, the bnei Yisrael may not eat the Gid Hanasheh, which is on the socket of the hip, until this day, for he touched the socket of Yaakov’s hip, in the tendon which became displaced….” – Bereishit 32:33

״…על כן לא יאכלו בני ישראל את גיד הנשה אשר על כף הירך עד היום הזה כי נגע בכף ירך יעקב בגיד הנשה…״ – בראשית לב, לג

This mitzvah is to serve as a reminder to the Jewish people that though they will suffer many hardships in their exiles, at the hands of the nations and at the hands of the children of Eisav, they will be confident that they will never be lost. —Sefer HaChinuch, Mitzvah 3


It is remarkable that such a crucial aspect of Jewish faith, our eternal hope of survival, is commemorated with a law so narrow in scope. The prohibition of eating the sciatic nerve seems to be a mere technicality in the laws of Kosher, applicable only to the precise nerve that the angel wounded in Yaakov, which is in and of itself only a minor detail in the story of Yaakov’s miraculous salvation!

The emphasis on detail in this mitzvah is extremely significant. It highlights that G-d’s intimate concern extends even to the most negligible details in the life of a Jew!

Truly, the Baal Shem Tov taught that every single aspect of creation is governed by Divine Providence, and serves a specific role in the Divine plan for the universe. Nevertheless, in the rest of creation, the significance of the role played by each blade of grass is still minor in comparison to that played by the sun or the clouds, or by animals and humans.

Not so in the details which transpire in (and effect) the life of the individual Jew; the health of even a nerve in his hip is as important and cherished by G-d as is the whole of the entire universe and even more so. Each Jew is uniquely chosen by G-d to be a part of His treasured nation, each member of which He loves like His very own biological child. Therefore, even the seemingly trivial details of a Jew’s life are of infinite and essential importance to Him and are His most pressing issue and concern.

—Likutei Sichos vol. 30, pp. 148-154


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