BS”D Parashat Shmot 5777

Rabbi Nachman Kahana

The Descent of the Nations


As we depart from the weekly Torah readings of Beraishiet, one would not be adverse to feeling akin to post-partum depression due to the frustrating imbalance between the book’s beginning and its last chapters. The Torah begins with the overwhelming, mind-challenging phenomena of creation and closes with the death and internment of Yosef, signaling the beginning of Am Yisrael’s subjugation.

The steep descent from the Olympus of HaShem’s creativeness ex nihilo (yesh mai’ain – something out of nothingness) to the denigration of the family of Yisrael is inconsistent, incompatible, and incongruous with HaShem’s ability to fulfill of His promise to our forefathers that their descendants would be His chosen people.

However, what might appear as the rapid descent of HaShem from ultimate Creator to apparent apathy and lack of involvement in “Jewish” affairs as the Children of Israel descend into the cesspool of slavery, is in total error.

The book of Beraishiet begins with HaShem the master creator, and in fact ends with the same aggrandizement, ennoblement, and exaltation of His powers to produce ex nihilo.

At the beginning of the book, HaShem creates matter when there was no dissidents or resistance to His intention. At the end of the book, HaShem continues to create in a more complex set of circumstances.

Here begins the process of creating out of 70 free-will idolatrous coarse, crude, egotistic, narcissistic, self-obsessed, pompous, prideful, self-complacent, vain, murderous nations, one unique nation that will be destined to achieve sanctity over and beyond the level of the heavenly angels.

The creation of this holy nation from out of the 70 gentile root nations is no less dramatic than the creation of matter from nothingness; if only because no human eye witnessed the act of creation, whereas the survival and spiritual evolution of Am Yisrael gathers form in every generation, notwithstanding the efforts expended by the gentiles to challenge HaShem’s declaration at Sinai (Shemot 19,5-6):

ועתה אם שמוע תשמעו בקלי ושמרתם את בריתי והייתם לי סגלה מכל העמים כי לי כל הארץ:

ואתם תהיו לי ממלכת כהנים וגוי קדוש אלה הדברים אשר תדבר אל בני ישראל:


Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of Kohanim and a holy nation.

This week, in Paris, France, representatives of 70 nations gathered to dictate to Am Yisrael the parameters of our future in Eretz Yisrael; what we may or may not do in our own land.

The number 70 is more than symbolic. It is a total replay of humanity’s repeated attempts to revolt against HaShem by degrading and trampling His people Yisrael in the holy land.

HaShem created humanity and all that exists ex nihilo – from nothing – by their hatred toward Am Yisrael, the gentiles will determine their destiny as they revert back into nothingness!

Shabbat Shalom,

Nachman Kahana

Copyright © 5777/2017 Nachman Kahana