Shabbat Shalom,

This week’s Torah portion, Mishpatim, is one that is literally a series of laws that God shares with Moses. We see laws that deal with crime and punishment, laws that focus on the land itself, and even laws about eating. As God mentions all of these commandments, the Hebrew people respond with “Na’aseh V’nishma,” which translates to “We will do, and we will understand.”

The phrase “We will do, and we will understand,” brings back memories of myself as a child. I was constantly challenging my parents (and their patience), asking them “why” to everything they asked of me. As children, we are so curious about everything around us. When we are told NOT to do something, our first response is often to seek out an explanation. In this case, God is asking the Israelites to do just the opposite.

Na’aseh V’nishma” shows the trust that our people had in God at the time. They did not talk back or ask for an explanation, but they simply went forward with their faith and explained that they would do what God said, knowing that they may not understand the importance and meaning until later. That is the ultimate trust in God, but also in the leadership at the time.

Last Sunday, as I watched my Kansas City Chiefs play in one of the greatest football games of all time, I watched the leadership of the team and their coach Andy Reid. In times of crisis, they looked to their coach for the call. “We will do, and we will understand.” Sure enough, through listening to their coach and following through with their trusting instincts, the Chiefs were victorious.

While a football comparison may be a bit of a stretch, I want to challenge all of us to think about the times in our own lives when we have done what we were told, without truly understanding why until later. This happens all the time as we grow up, but think about how this plays out in our lives today. Be it with family, at work, or even just dealing with Covid protocols, there are so many times that we must act first, and then understand later.

I want to wish everyone a Shabbat Shalom and a wonderful week.

-Matt Rissien