Shiur presented in 5773
The Bottom Line
Understanding the difference between a Jew and a non-Jew is not an academic exercise. It is one of the most fundamental hashkafic principles. We have to know the difference based on sources in Chazal, rather than repeating uneducated, misguided and often demeaning slurs. Striking the right balance between displaying sensitivity towards others, while being unapologetic in our inner conviction of who we truly are and what defines us, is of the utmost importance. According to Tiferes Yisrael, Klal Yisroel is called Adam because, like Adam HaRishon, who was created by Hashem and imbued with “pre-programmed” perfection of wisdom and intellect (not from his own efforts), the Jewish people were created by Hakodosh Boruch Hu and endowed with the chochmah of Torah. This infused them with kedusha and tremendous potential to elevate themselves and the world around them. However, we can neither take the credit for this gift nor glorify ourselves for having this chochmah. This coming week, I will, bli neder, review and reflect on the profound words of the Tiferes Yisrael, to truly understand my uniqueness as a Yid and to further reflect on why I am called an Adam!