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G-d Save the King

Friday, 9 September, 2022 - 10:47 am

The United Kingdom is mourning the loss of a monarch.

The United Kingdom is celebrating the ascension of a new monarch.

The national anthem switched from “G-d Save the Queen” to “G-d Save the King.”

It is rather fascinating that both events – with contrary emotions – concur.

How does a nation (or nations in this case) cope with both emotions at the same time?

I’ve also always wondered how a country has been able to maintain – with such passion and dignity – the concept of a monarchy in our day and age, and in a Westernized country.

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In this week’s parsha Ki Tetzei, we learn about the Jewish laws of marriage and divorce.

Our Sages teach that the concept of marriage parallels the relationship between G-d and the Jewish people. At Sinai, G-d made a covenant with His people. This was a marriage of sorts.

If we stray from G-d’s ways, we are abandoning our Divine Spouse. 

This is the cornerstone to our own relationships. A healthy marriage is predicated on the commitment between the spouses. And, it is also dependent on the commitment of both spouses to a higher cause. To a Partner that sanctifies the marriage.

When we realize that our unions are sacred because we invite sanctity into our marriage, then our marriages mirror the collective marriage of G-d and His people.

Sometimes, marriages don’t work out. Then, the Torah allows for – and sometimes calls for – divorce.

The common denominator between these contrarian acts is that they both follow in the ways of G-d.

If we are devoted to doing that which is sacred, the embodiment may emerge in polar extremes – yet the goal is identical.

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Whether it is the king or queen, the key word of the national anthem is its first word. When a country realizes that its king is not the true King of Kings, it can cope with the transition from one monarch to the next.

And, quite possibly, it is that fidelity to the true King – that “G-d Save the King” - that has given cause to the continuum of a cherished tradition. 

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