BS”D Parashat Bo 5782
Rabbi Nachman Kahana
The Fate of our Generation
וזכרתי את בריתי
יעקוב ואף את בריתי יצחק ואף את בריתי אברהם אזכר והארץ אזכר:
“I will remember My covenant with Ya’akov as well as My covenant with Yitzchak and My covenant with Avraham. And I will remember the land.”
1- The order of the patriarchs is chronologically reversed. The verse begins with Ya’akov, the third generation, continues with Yitzchak, his father, and concludes with Avraham, the first generation. Why?
2- The subject of the verse is the patriarchs, so why is the Land of Israel mentioned? And why is its mention a secondary “by the way” attachment?
3- This verse provides encouragement and hope. Why then does it appear in the Tochacha, the terrible chapter of rebuke from Parashat BeChukotai (Vayikra 26)?
1- The straightforward meaning of the “covenant” [Hebrew “brit”] in the verse is a reference to brit milah, circumcision, as a sign of the covenant between HaShem and Israel.
Ya’akov was born circumcised (Bereishiet Rabbah 84, et. al.), which is a rare, even miraculous, phenomenon such that Ya’akov deserves to appear first in the verse.
Yitzchak was circumcised on the eighth day after his birth, as the Torah commands us, without any miracle; his place in the verse is after Ya’akov.
At the other extreme, Avraham’s circumcision was not miraculous, neither did it occur on the eighth day. Avraham was 99 years old, and his circumcision involved difficult surgery, so much so that HaShem Himself saw fit to fulfill the mitzvah of visiting the sick on the third day after the circumcision. It was thus appropriate for Avraham to appear last in the verse.
2- Our nation’s entrance into the land parallels the three types of “brit” alluded to in the beginning of the above verse.
We, as a people, entered the Land of Israel three times. The first was with Yehoshua bin Nun, the second with Zerubavel, Ezra the Scribe and Nechemiah to rebuild the second temple, and the third is occurring in our own time, following 2000 years of exile and the Shoah.
Entering the Land in Yehoshua’s day was accompanied by open miracles, such as HaShem’s stopping the flow of the Jordan River, the victories over Jericho and the rest of the Canaanite population, paralleling the miracle brit of Ya’akov.
Zerubavel, Ezra and Nechemiah and their generation received a permit from Cyrus and Darius the Second, kings of Persia, to return to the Land of Israel and rebuild the holy Temple, without open miracles, like the brit of Yitzchak.
3- The third entrance into the land began 150 years ago when the Jewish people had their fill of suffering after 2000 years of exile. There were neither miracles nor permits – only blood, sweat and a Holocaust, paralleling the brit of Avraham, who was elderly, sick and in pain.
It thus turns out that this verse, on the whole, does not arouse happy thoughts, so its positioning in the Tochacha is appropriate.
All this is alluded to by three words at the end of the verse, which we translated, “I will remember the Land”. Our return to the Land three times parallels the circumcisions of the patriarchs: one miraculous, a second conventional, and a third involving great personal sacrifice which is the reality of our generation.
Now if this is the fate of our generation, as testified to by the flow of contemporary history, can we conjecture or conceive what awaits our nation and the world? Let’s try:
Paro dictated national policy, but it was implemented by the “good people” of Egypt in all their stratas. They were all implicated in the genocide policy of killing the Jewish males, in effect terminating the family of Hebrews. For this they deserved the death penalty and the end of Egypt as a nation (as do the Germans, Poles, etc. of our time). However, for some unknown reason HaShem killed the first-born Egyptians and that part of the army that ran after the Jews at Yam Suf, but the nation of Egypt continued to exist. Why in HaShem’s “Book of Justice” is the chapter entitled “Egypt” without the concluding words “The End”?
Presently, Egypt has the largest army in the Middle East. One wonders, who are their enemies? And why is a country that cannot feed its citizens (every 8 months another million children are born there) spending tens of billions of dollars to create such a large and sophisticated military?
The answer is that Egypt, like Turkey, Iran and the whole Moslem world have a common enemy; the ferociously aggressive, belligerent, combative, truculent, warlike State of Israel whose land mass on a map cannot even contain the word “Israel”!
Although over 3000 years separates the Egypt of Paro from the contemporary Egypt of the “Moslem Brotherhood”, there is a gene for hating HaShem’s chosen people that is passed on forever in the descendants of Aisav and Yishmael.
The day will come when the “para adam” (wild man, as the Torah describes Yishmael) will use their might against the Jewish State. At that time, the midat hadin (quality of justice) will come before the Almighty and suggest that the time has arrived to complete the destruction of Egypt that began with the exodus of Am YIsrael but was held in abeyance until needed in the future.
The Fulfillment of Prophecy
Now, many will scorn at this projection of history, because:
- It is outlandish to think that Egypt will endanger its existence by attacking the might of Israel, and
- America will protect us since they are the major supplier of weapons for Egypt, and
- The Abraham Accords is creating an atmosphere of peace in the Middle East.
Frankly, I would agree with those who rationally reject my perception of what will be in the not-too-distant future, were it not for one simple fact. The prophet Yechezkel details the final war of Gog King of Magog where Egypt will be a major player.
The above scenario and what will ensue is detailed in the Book of Yechezkel (32,17) and elaborated in the Malbim’s commentary, which I frequently quote in these weekly messages.
The prophet describes a treaty between the uncircumcised Aisav’ian peoples to the north and west of Eretz Yisrael, which is today’s Europe, and the circumcised House of Turgema, the Moslems of today.
The initial attack against the Jewish State will be launched by Egypt. And they will be destroyed at the hands of Tzahal (the IDF). The nations that will be allied with Gog will descend upon us for the purpose of avenging our obliteration of Egypt, the largest Moslem army in the Middle East. At the crucial moment of their attack, the pent up religious and cultural animosity between Christianity and Islam and between Sunni and Shiite Moslems will erupt, and each side will destroy the other. The Jewish nation will emerge unscathed as the eminent power in the world.
That is the scenario as described by the prophet Yechezkel.
At that juncture in world history, the three britot of our forefathers and our parallel entrances into the holy land, as alluded to in the above verse will have been fulfilled. And a new day will shine for Am Yisrael and for those non-Jewish survivors.
Remember the message of JLMM? Jewish lives matter more!
Copyright © 5782/2022 Nachman Kahana