Sunday, January 15, 2006

Shemot and the always actual message

Our parasha this week introduces us to the first Holocaust the Jewish Nation went through: Egypt. After being extremely comfortable and successful in Egypt, a "new" pharo came to power and gave very harsh decrees against the Jewish People. The Jewish People who were forced into exile because of a famine that lasted 5 years stayed for much longer because of the great conditions exile brings to us and they were extremely successful there. They ruled the country. Everything was theirs. After going to Poland this year, every passouk of this parasha came to life: From the meyaledot being similar to the yudenrat, to the way the Jews thought, until the last second, that they could cooperate with pharoa and accused Moshe of being too harsh with him.

Another interesting similarity is the aftermath. After leaving Egypt, the Jews went into Israel.

Rav Elon gave an amazing pshat on one passuk in this week’s parasha. In the parasha, after G-d asks Moshe to get the Jews out of Egypt, he says that the Jews will tell him: "Lo nira alekha hashem". This passouk is usually translated as saying that G-d does not exist but the simple explicit meaning is that Moshe is saying to G-d, who am I for G-d to show himself to me? Who am I for Bnei Israel to believe I'm not just another false prophet, another crazy guy?

G-d answers him with 3 miracles. We will focus on the first one and you will see that that all the miracles are the same. I'll give an explicit translation of the psukim and then I'll give you the idea the Netsiv brings out which is so important for our days.

G-d asks Moshe: What is it in you hand? Moshe answers: a Stick (This seems to be just a simple shepherd’s stick). G-d tells him: Throw it on the floor. He does so and it became a snake. G-d tells Moshe: Take your hand and hold the snakes from his tail and he took the tail and the snake became his stick once again.

The miracle here seems to be that G-d made the stick become a snake. The netsiv says this isn't so. The Egyptian magicians could do so, there is nothing special. The miricale is implicit in the passuk. When Moshe took the snake from the tail, the tail became the head of the stick once again. The netsiv learnt from that even the tail of a snake (yetser hara) can be turned into the head of the mashiach (symbolized by Moshe’s stick).

This is an essential lesson for anyone who criticized Herzl, Sharon, Ben Gurion etc... Sure, they are not mashiach, but they are working for mashiach, and if we work with them, we can turn this tail of a snake into mashiach. Even disengagement can be a yerida which will only be letsorekh aliyah and bring the masiach. It all depends on how we react to it.


Dovid said...

Interesting take, and although ultimately everything is hashgocho Protis and works towards the goal of Moshiach, I wouldn't say explicitly that the fact that it's for moshiach makes it good. Don't forget we could never have a bayis shlishi if we still ahd a bayis sheine. Does that mean we have to "work with" the antisemites who dismantled our temple? I think not.

Dan said...

Of course, and my point is that once the action has been done, we need to make the best out of it

Anonymous said...

je suis d'accord avec toi... maman