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09/21/2022 09:39:53 AM


In memory of her majesty, Queen Elisheva ob"m

In memory of whom? Of course, Don't you know? In chapter 6 of Shemot, we are told that Moshe's older brother Aharon married a woman called Elisheva. And according to the ancient Greek translation, known as the Septuagint, her name was Elisabeth!!

So, our late Queen's Hebrew name was Elisheva!!

In all seriousness, in this week's haftarah, we read that the time will come when monarchs will be inspired by the light of HaShem umelachim lenogah zar`eikh.  In that light (pun intended) did you hear the amazing "devar torah" delivered to the English parliament by Baron David Wolfson. Proudly wearing a bright kipah on his head, he began by reciting the beracha "barukh dayan ha-'emet," but then pointed out that when he first met the Queen, he recited the blessing "blessed be He who has given from His glory to human beings." And he explained that this does NOT refer to the "divine right of kings," to do whatever they want, but rather that the royalty of earthly monarchs reflects (or should reflect) the Royalty of heaven.

And the late Queen, by her concern for the welfare of her subjects, did reflect that royalty.

Baron Wolfson also pointed out that the well-known word "mitsvah" does not mean simply a good deed, but rather comes from the word meaning "commandment." The queen did everything from a sense of duty and obligation. [I am not a gematrist, as you know, but he showed the assembled that the numerical value of the root of the word mitsvah is 96, i.e. her 96 years were marked by a sense of duty, a sense of doing what was right and proper.]

The Baron explained that we are now completing the Book of Deuteronomy, the last of the Pentateuch. We read there of the passing of the leader. And immediately afterwards, we start a new beginning, from the Book of Genesis. A leader passes, and then we prepare for a new beginning. And likewise, we pray that the new King will have a reign of mitsvah, a reign of following his Divine duty, and doing what is right.

The Baron concluded with the prayer yehi zikhrah barukh, may the memory of the Queen be for a blessing. And as we say in CS on Shabbat mornings, "He Who grants victory to kings," may He bless and protect King Charles, and may there be peace and blessing for Am Yisrael.


And may we all have a good healthy year, Shabbat shalom,

Rabbi Menahem White

Fri, February 23 2024 14 Adar I 5784