Idealism is a blessing and also totally unrealistic. Oh, I don’t intend to throw the baby out with the bathwater. No, Idealism is what has brought change to the world.  Idealism has brought so much good to the world.  But it only works when it moves out of its idealistic space into reality.

Think of it like this.  After the rally is over and the committee has met to incorporate change, there is that one person still standing outside with his cardboard box protesting the ailments of society.  “Friend, the war is over, you got what you want, it’s time to move on”!

One of the buzzwords of 2023 is boundaries.  Everyone is putting up boundaries. There is a good reason for it.  In the name of diversity, equality and progress, (idealism) we’ve removed many of the boundaries that create the very objective of diversity, equality and progress.

If there are no boundaries then what makes you you and I I?

But in the name of this idealism, boundaries have taken on entirely new meaning. It’s become a weapon of self protection and isolation and it’s hurting society, badly.  

This week’s Torah portion gives us an objective measure of what are healthy boundaries.  Mishpatim – laws.  Coming on the heels of last week’s Torah portion with the Revelation at Sinai, this week’s Torah portion tells us “and these are the laws that you should place before them.”

If we want to live the spiritual divine connection experienced at Sinai we need to have healthy boundaries. These are the laws of the Torah. They are strong, moral, compassionate and practical. 

What are we all looking for at the end of day? Peace of mind and stability.  If we can let go and let G-d decide for us what boundaries are kosher and which aren’t, we’d find this peace of mind and spirit.

I love this teaching from Hayom Yom from the 22nd of Shevat.  22 Shevat is the Yurzeit of the Rebbetzin and is commemorated during the week of this Portion.  Perhaps this is a messaging around the power of the Jewish woman to be the one to tap into the power of boundaries in the healthiest manner?

There are two sorts of statutes: a) statutes that create life, and b) statutes created by life. Human laws are created by life so they vary from land to land according to circumstances. The A-lmighty’s Torah is a G-dly law that creates life. G-d’s Torah is the Torah of truth, the same in all places, at all times. Torah is eternal.

In a word – STABILITY!

Good Shabbos!
 Rabbi Mendel Schusterman

Thanks to my brother, Rabbi Eliyahu Schusterman, Chabad Intown, Atlanta, for sharing the above thought.