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BS”D Parashat Vayelech 5783

Blessings for All Mankind

 

Torah verses where HaShem proclaims that the Jewish nation will be a blessing for all mankind:

In Bereishiet 12:2-3 HaShem informs our father Avraham:

ב) וְאֶעֶשְׂךָ לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל וַאֲבָרֶכְךָ וַאֲגַדְּלָה שְׁמֶךָ וֶהְיֵה בְּרָכָה:

ג) וַאֲבָרֲכָה מְבָרְכֶיךָ וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ אָאֹר וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ כֹּל מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה:

 

And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing (for mankind). I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

 

ibid 28:13-14 HaShem informs our father Ya’akov:

וְהִנֵּה ה’ נִצָּב עָלָיו וַיֹּאמַר אֲנִי ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵי אַבְרָהָם אָבִיךָ וֵא-לֹהֵי יִצְחָק הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה שֹׁכֵב עָלֶיהָ לְךָ אֶתְּנֶנָּה וּלְזַרְעֶךָ:
וְהָיָה זַרְעֲךָ כַּעֲפַר הָאָרֶץ וּפָרַצְתָּ יָמָּה וָקֵדְמָה וְצָפֹנָה וָנֶגְבָּה וְנִבְרֲכוּ בְךָ כָּל מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה וּבְזַרְעֶךָ:

 

And HaShem was by him (as Ya’akov slept) and said, I am the Lord, the God of Avraham your father and the God of Yitzchak; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. And your offspring shall be (many) like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring.

 

Here are two verses that make mankind dependent upon the fate of Am Yisrael. If we are deserving of HaShem’s blessings, then the gentiles will also partake in the goodness that HaShem will shower upon His chosen people. However, if we are found to be undeserving of HaShem’s benevolence, then there will be strife and suffering among the nations.

 

During the Days of Awe

 

Thinking people have agendas in life which give them the impetus to jump out of bed in the morning. For the very observant Jew, it is praying at the time called haNetz (the first sighting of the sun’s sparkling over the horizon); for others it’s the dream deal about to be signed at the office, and for the unthinking the day begins with the first alcoholic drink.

Our agenda on the Days of Awe (between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur) is to convince the Creator of our sincere intentions to repent for our past sins and our deep-felt resolutions to improve the religious quality of our lives, from now into the distant future.

A question:

On Rosh Hashana the King of the Universes instantaneously peruses all of His creations from the mineral world to flora, fauna and up to homosapians, and even the heavenly entities of Serafim, Ophanim and all the rest. So why did HaShem not include in the Days of Awe and repentance the list of Noachide mitzvot? For as things stand now, as we rush to the bet knesset on Rosh Hashana, the gentile part of humanity has no inkling as to what is awaiting them on this very day?

I submit:

The term “Rosh Hashana”, as distinct from the first of Tishrei, appears once in the Torah (Devarim 11:12):

אֶרֶץ אֲשֶׁר ה’ אֱ-לֹהֶיךָ דֹּרֵשׁ אֹתָהּ תָּמִיד עֵינֵי ה’ אֱ-לֹהֶיךָ בָּהּ מֵרֵשִׁית הַשָּׁנָה וְעַד אַחֲרִית שָׁנָה

 

A land that HaShem looks after endlessly. HaShem’s “sight” is forever upon her, from the year’s beginning (from Rosh Hashana) to year’s end.

 

On Rosh Hashana the order of HaShem’s judicial overview begins with the Jews in Eretz Yisrael, and as we go so goes the rest of humanity. If after making the relevant qualitative and quantitative computations of mitzvot verses avairot (sins), HaShem makes His judgment that the Jews in the holy land are deserving of a good year. He then extends our blessings to the rest of humanity. If, however, we are found to be spiritually lacking, the world will experience strife, wars, famines, global warming, etc.

I have a suggestion for the world. Let every nation contribute ten percent of their R and D (research and development) money to “start-up Israel” and sit back for startling scientific results.

On Rosh HaShana HaShem deals on a “one to one” level only with the Jews in Eretz Yisrael. If we are cumulatively found to be worthy and are inscribed for a successful coming year, then the world will benefit from our largess. If, however, we are found to be lacking, then there will be no peace and tranquility, but strife, wars, famines, global warming and all the rest.

I know that this view is very much politically incorrect, but, then again, when were we Jews ever politically correct? The gentile capitalist screams that the Jews are Communists, while the Communists scream that we are capitalists; some scream “go back to Palestine” and others “get out of Palestine”.

Bilam had it right when he said (Bamidbar 23,9):

כִּי מֵרֹאשׁ צֻרִים אֶרְאֶנּוּ וּמִגְּבָעוֹת אֲשׁוּרֶנּוּ הֶן עָם לְבָדָד יִשְׁכֹּן וּבַגּוֹיִם לֹא יִתְחַשָּׁב:

 

For from the top of the crags I see him; from the hills I behold him.

Here is a people uniquely alone and not reckoning itself among the nations!

 

The Torah way of life and thinking is independent of that of the gentile’s.

Could that be the reason they love us so much!?

G’mar chatima tova & Shabbat Shalom

Nachman Kahana

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