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BS”D Parashat Pekudei 5782

Three Parts: Unwanted Guests – Jew Be Proud – Eisav vs Eisav

 

A: Unwanted Guests

The Gemara (Megila 14a) quotes a Breita (a ta’annaic halachic work) that Am YIsrael gave forth prophets twice the number of men who left Egypt, bringing the number of prophets to one million two hundred thousand! However, only those prophecies that had implications for future Jewish history were recorded as part of the Tanach’s 24 books.

It is logical to assume that this principle holds true regarding the Judges (Shoftim) who served in the 400-year period from Yehoshua bin Nun until the last judge, Eli, the Kohen Gadol in Shiloh. There must have been hundreds, if not more, judges but only 12 are recorded in the Book of Judges: Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Devorah, Gideon, Tola, Yair, Yephthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, and Shimshon, because their prophecies were pertinent for the future of our nation.

Of particular interest to me is the episode of the Judge Gideon. HaShem appeared to Gideon with a command to form an army to defeat the Midianites who controlled Eretz Yisrael at the time.

Thirty-two thousand heard the call.

HaShem appeared again to Gideon, stating that an army of 32,000 fighters is far too large for people to internalize that the forthcoming victory would be a miracle, therefore reduce the numbers. Gideon announced to the troops that anyone who is frightened to go to war, or any other reason is requested to return home; 22,000 left, leaving 10,000 troops.

HaShem appeared and said that 10,000 is still too high.

The ten thousand were tested near a stream of water, with only 300 remaining to fight the Midianites and their allies. That night HaShem commanded Gideon to position his 300 men close to the enemies, who are described as Midianites, Amalekites and all their allies “thick as locusts”. The Jewish army attacked and was victorious.

What does this have to do with our present situation?

Answer: There are many people here in Eretz Yisrael whose very presence is delaying the miracles which will usher in the age of the Mashiach; they will have to leave.

There are the 4 million or so Arabs between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. About 400 thousand non-Jews who came here from Europe through the absurd and brainless clause in the Law of Return that a mehadrin goy (both parents are not Jews) but he has one Jewish grandparent, has the right to enter the country and obtain citizenship; they too will have to convert to Judaism or leave.

Then there are the Jews who are frightened “of their shadow,” they will also leave, as I witnessed in the three weeks prior to the outbreak of the Six Day War. We were living in Kiryat Sanz in Netanya. The flow of taxis did not stop taking people to the airport to escape the falling bombs, which never fell. And also, there are some Jews who have little love for the Medina and will move to Germany.

Now how and why will these unwanted people leave the State?

The most elegant way would be for each one to dream that an angel is encouraging their leaving; however, the chances of this happening are quite small. So if the angels will not be involved, HaShem could utilize the good services of the Russian and Iranian devils.

The political and military configurations will create an atmosphere of fear which will convince them to leave. The chosen of HaShem will remain. The small number of Jews who have an ‘“irrational” love for the land will place their lives and future in the hands of HaShem.

Let us pray that we are among them.

 

 

B:   Jew – Be Proud

Chazal (our rabbis of blessed memory) extol the many great virtues of the sacred land chosen by HaShem for his chosen people. What is the hidden character of the land that is not obvious to every person?

Indeed, there are many virtues to the land, some are stated factually some are implicit. I would like to concentrate on a virtue which is not easily perceived.

What do the following, in descending order of sanctity, have in common?

  • Eden
  • The Garden
  • Eretz Yisrael
  • The Written Torah
  • Oral Torah (Mishna)
  • Jerusalem and Babylonian Talmuds
  • Rashi and Tosafot
  • Mei Menuchot

Answer: every entity on the list is in itself a life’s lesson, but in addition each is an explanation, elucidation, exposition or description of the one preceding it.

1- The Mei Menuchot series is an elucidation (explanation) of the Rashi and Tosafot commentaries to the Talmud.

2- Rashi and Tosafot authored their magnum opus to explain complex issues raised in the Babylonian Talmud.

3- The Yerushalayim Talmud (completed app. 350 C.E.) and the Babylonian Talmud (app. 500 C.E.) are explanations of the Mishna (Oral Torah).

4- The Mishna (app. 200 C.E compiled by Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi and his contemporary Tanaim) serves as an explanation of the mitzvot in the written Torah.

5- The Written Torah explains how a Jew functions and lives in the holy land of Hashem.

6- Eretz Yisrael, its topography, flora and fauna, and all else, is for one who understands its inner codes, an explanation of the intricacies of the “Garden” (of Eden).

7- The “Garden” as the entrance to Eden, explains what Eden itself is.

Eden is the summit of Hashem’s creations, above which there is nothing more to explain.

The first five deal with the requirements of a Jew in this physical world, but do not break the barrier between this world and the next world.

Numbers 6 and 7 go beyond our physical world and illuminate essential precincts of Olam Haba, the Garden and Eden.

Number 6, Eretz Yisrael, breaks through the narrow dimensions of our world, and for those who are erudite in the spiritual codes, guides one to the hidden experiences of the Garden and Eden.

That is the essence of the land that HaShem formed for His chosen people.

Summary:

1- Each level explains a more internal one up to the most inner domain of HaShem’s created worlds – called Eden. Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish states in Sanhedrin 99a that no human being, including the prophets has ever seen Eden. The reason could be that Eden is still under construction by the mitzvot that we perform.

2- Eretz Yisrael is the guide for those who merit its virtues to understand and experience if even superficially, the Garden of Eden.

Remember that this sacred hierarchy was presented to us, the Jewish nation, exclusively!

In our time, HaShem, has opened the gates to Eretz Yisrael which were closed while we were in exile in the lands of Ukraine, Russia, Iraq, Yemen, and from Argentina to Zanzibar with all the “righteous gentiles” for 2000 years.

How can a Jew stay away from the ongoing miracle called Medinat Yisrael?

My brother and sister Jews – Be proud. We are Hashem’s chosen people!

 

C: Eisav vs.  Eisav

A curt but mighty statement regarding what is now happening in eastern Europe. There are many lessons to be learned from the Shoah.  First and foremost is the principle that when Eisav goes on a murdering spree against another Eisav, it is no place for Ya’akov to be. When the inhibitions of hate and murder are released, then the ever-present hatred toward Jews rises to the fore and both sides of Eisav seek to put an end to Ya’akov.

Shabbat Shalom

Nachman Kahana

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