Sunday, May 29, 2011

Oy golus, golus

Got busy last week. Got busy so much that I pushed this post whole week later even it was only matter of scanning and editing the words of my beloved Rav Hirsch.
But please, read his explanation of our Golus and you may appreciate your life and Jewishness in different light. Without any exaggeration.

Parshas Bechikoisay 26 V. 42. Vzucharti es brisi Yaacov : it does not say brisi im or es Yaacov etc., but brisi  Yaacov, brisi Yitzchok and brisi Avraham So that clearly it is not the covenant with Jacob etc., but Jacob, Isaac and Abraham are in apposition to brisi. There is an Abraham Covenant of God, an Isaac Covenant of God, and a Jacob Covenant of God.
God has established a bris which is called Abraham, a min which is called Isaac, and one which is called Jacob. All three, Abraham Isaac and Jacob were near to God, the lives and fate of all three were directed by God, and had significance for the foundation of their nation, and yet each one of them had a different position in the world. Corresponding to the tradition that Abraham originated the Morning Prayer, Isaac Mincha, and Jacob the night prayer, the different position in the world of each of them was in accordance with these times of the day.
Abraham's lot fell in increasing brightness. Happy, and richly blessed in all and by all, he stood, although alone, against the whole world and called them to the altar of a One Unique God. Nevertheless none were jealous of him, none were his enemies; yea, highly honored, he lived as Naasi Elokim in their midst.
Isaac's position was already clouded. Isolated by treading his path with God, he found only jealousy on account of the blessings He gave him amongst his contemporaries, and was thrown back on himself and his own home.
Finally, on Jacob, the shades of night fell; his whole life was a chain of trials and tribulation, and only seldom and for a short time, did the external joy of life smile on him. And yet all three were the Fathers of our People, all three bearers of the Covenant of God, and Jacob's hard position in the world no less a revelation of the nearness of God in Man's fate in life than the bright picture of Abraham's life. That is why here all three are separately mentioned as Bris, and thereby God's Promise is proclaimed to the nation, whose ancestors and roots they form, that its fate, too, would be a varied one, as those of its fathers were, without thereby ceasing to he the mark of God's special proximity and of God's special guidance and attention. And that, like Abraham Isaac and Jacob, in the midst of the nations of the world, whether their fate be like that of an Abraham, bright, rich and honored, or of an Isaac, rich but envied and disliked and rebuffed, or of a Jacob, full of trials and troubles, in all cases they have to bear themselves and behave as true and faithful' sons of the covenant.
In connection with what was said before, the three promises of the covenant are significantly placed in inverted order, the covenant "Jacob" first, and moreover by being written in full mule, as well as by the accent and the construction of the sentence, it is brought into prominence. It is given as the principle promise to be considered quite specially to which the covenant "Isaac" and the covenant "Abraham" are only attached by af as extension and continuation.
With the beginning of the Galut the children of the Abrahamite covenant entered into the "Jacob" fate. But if — as is assumed in the second half of V,21, when introducing the other possibility of the future of the Galut — they take the Galut with its bitterness in its true right meaning as rutzi oinom, as an atoning nullification of the debt of their past, and in true faithfulness to duty, pay it off in such a way that they work themselves upwards towards the absolute opposite of their previous mistakes, the vzucharti es brisi Yaacov, then will I fulfill My covenant-promise "Jacob". I will be with them through all the long, long, Galut-night, and will form even their darkest Galut-night to an illuminating revelation of Divine Guidance, as they, the faithful, like bright stars of cheerful sacrificing devotion show up the spiritual and moral calling of human beings in living and dying. And then, when they have endured enough, and in world-historic martyrdom have entered their faithfulness to duty with their blood in the pages of history of misfortune, then vaf es brisi Yitschok, then they will not have lived and bled in the midst of the nations for nothing, by the example of their lives, the spirit of the nations becomes enlightened and their manners milder, with the dawning morn of the world, the darkest midnight of their Galut also passes, they begin to breathe freely again and to prosper in the lands where hitherto they had been so sadly persecuted. And just as in the Jacob period they had to endure the hate, now like Isaac it is the jealousy and rebuff of the nations that they are made to suffer.
Now they have to go through the second school of the Galut for their whole attitude to life, truly no easy one. They learn, in growing prosperity under the regime of nations swaying between humaneness and envy, not to assimilate, hut, Isaac-like to keep their own Jewish characters; to use the richer and freer forces they now possess only for increased faithfulness to the Torah, and, undisturbed by being isolated by the envy of the nations, to develop i a more perfect, more versatile development of their particular task n Galut.
Then, when they have successfully passed the second Galut-test, remaining faithful to the Torah in prosperity, then vaf brisi Avraham ezchor, then the Abraham sun will shine for them in Galut, then Abraham-like, they will build their alters to God and His Torah in the midst of the nations; Abraham-like, they will make the nations so realize the abundance of all that is true and good that the Teachings of God have entrusted to them for the salvation of mankind, that they will not be tolerated, not be honored, although they are Jews, the People of the Abraham covenant, but because they are Jews, because they are the People of the Abraham-covenant, because, in spirit and deed they know and practice God's Law for the salvation of mankind.
And just as Jacob's fight through the night with the Genius of Esau did not come to an end until Jacob had wrested from him his acknowledgement and succeeded in receiving his blessing, so the children of Jacob and Isaac, hated for so long, then tolerated and begrudged will finally, as the people of Abraham in the midst of the nations, receive the reverential, acknowledging greeting nussi Elokim atu besoichaynee! Then, ultimately, when in Galut they have learnt to overcome all the dangerous rocks of the enmity of the nations, of the favor of the nations, of the example of the nations, and of arrogance in good fortune, on which originally in their own land their faithfulness to the Torah foundered, then, only then vehaaretz ezchor when they have become "Abraham", will I, too, bring them to the land promised to Abraham, and give them back the land for a final permanent carrying out of their mission to be the People of God on the Land of His Torah. So that bris Yaacov and bris Yitzchok and bris Avraham, form the three progressive stages of the tasks the performance of which in Galut achieves the atonement of their guilt and at the same time matures them for the future permanent return to the land of their independence.
V. 43. vehaaretz.... For the land, of which it has just been said, that when the people will have become mature for their final purpose, it, too, will regain its purpose to be the land for God's people to keep the whole of God's Torah, the land, until then will await its people in desolation. it will serve no other people as a suitable soil for their development. By lying idle it will make reparation for the Sabbaths that were not kept, and it will remain desolate for as long as the people, by their life in exile, have to make reparation for the guilt of their past.

I hope you enjoyed as much as me.

Matys Weiser

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