BS”D Parshiot Netzavim-Va’yailech 5772

Devarim 29:9-10

You are all standing today in the presence of the Lord your God, the leaders of the tribes, your elders and law enforcement officials, and all the other men of Israel. Together with your children and your wives, and the converts in your camps, from those who chop your wood and carry your water.

And Rashi explains:

Moshe greeted those standing before him in order of importance.

Moshe, by indicating the different statuses of the people was, I believe, re-iterating a fundamental principle – that no two people are created equal, neither physically nor in their stations in life, just as in a snow storm of tens of billions of snow flakes, where no two are identical, although each one has six points like a Magen David.

The rungs of the ladder of importance are decided upon by the Creator himself, as the Gemara (Berachot 58a) states that even the appointment of the lowly official in charge of the irrigation drains is from heaven.

Midrash Tanchuma in parashat Bo states:

Until HaShem chose Eretz Yisrael every land was potentially suitable for HaShem to reveal Himself to a prophet, but after HaShem chose Eretz Yisrael all other lands became unfit for prophecy.

Until HaShem chose Yerushalayim all Eretz Yisrael was suitable for the holy Shechina to dwell, but after HaShem chose Yerushalayim all other places became unfit for the holy Shechina. Until HaShem chose the Bet Hamikdash all Yerushalayim was suitable for the Shechina, but when the Bet Hamikdash was chosen, the rest of the city was no longer fit for the Shechina.

The Midrash continues with this thought with regard to the choosing of Aharon for the kehuna, and David for the monarchy.

HaShem chooses people and places for reasons known to Him, and His choices are what distinguish good from bad, right from wrong and attraction from rejection.

The claim that all men are equal before the law is also untrue in this world as it is in the next. In this world, the wealthy retain more effective lawyers, and the powerful stand before a judge who considers the implications for himself before issuing his decision.

In the spiritual world, HaShem judges each person on the background of his potential. Two people who have committed the same offense can be judged by Hashem with very different outcomes, depending on the family, education, social status and many other factors surrounding each person.

Pirkei Avot chapter 3 states:

Man is endeared by HaShem since he was created in the image (of God, with the freedom to make choices). Yisrael is endeared by HaShem as testified by the fact that He calls them His banim (children) and revealed to them His beloved vessel, the Torah, through which He created the world.

The Midrash Tanchuma (parashat Re’ah chapter 8) states:

Eretz Yisrael is endeared (by all) because the Holy One Be He has chosen it. For when HaShem created the world He divided the land among the nations but chose Eretz Yisrael as His own.

Indeed, how proud and yet humble we must be, for being the chosen few by HaShem to live in His chosen land, in order to serve as His personal messengers to bring about the redemption of Am Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael, and from us the redemption of all mankind.

The approaching new year of 5773 might have in store for us in Eretz Yisrael and for other enlightened, civilized peoples, unprecedented challenges. We are witnessing today in Iran-Persia episodes similar to those which lead up to the perils in the time of Purim, and brought about our salvation through HaShem’s intervention for His nation Yisrael. We will probably lose some international friends and allies, which would redirect much of our activities and thinking back to HaShem.

As the Mashiach draws closer, life will become mercurial and erratic, testing our faith in HaShem to its limits.

The weak will run.

The feeble and irresolute will not come.

The powerless will beg for compromise, and the cowards will offer surrender.

But those families who have stood the 2000 year test of time will rise to the occasion, and with total faith in HaShem will overcome all obstacles.

Another year of writing these messages has past. The Jewish population in Eretz Yisrael has reached six million (kain yirbu), while I have yet to make so much as a dent in the stiff-necked Jews who still cling to their delusions that they are safe in the galut.

To all my brothers and sisters – those for whom (in their words) Shabbat would not be the same without these weekly thoughts, as well as those who do not permit them in their homes for fear of upsetting the shalom bayit equilibrium between the entrenched parents and still, somewhat, ideological prone children – to all I offer my heartfelt blessings for a ketivah and chatima tova.

May HaShem bless us all with the foresight and courage to sanctify, in life, His holy name through the rebuilding of His holy land in accordance to the Torah.

Shabbat Shalom

Nachman Kahana
Copyright © 5772/2012 Nachman Kahana

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