Thoughts on the Weekly Parshah by HaRav Eliezer Chrysler
Formerly Rav of Mercaz Ahavat Torah, Johannesburg

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Vol. 22   No. 49

This issue is sponsored l'ilui nishmas
Eliezer ben Moshe z"l
whose Yohrzeit will be Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan
and Malka Gittel bas Gershon z"l
whose Yohrzeit was 11 Tishrei
by the family

Parshas Ha'azinu

Why G-d Won't Destroy Yisrael
(Adapted from the Ramban)

"I said I will cast them aside (af'eihem), I will scatter them, I will cause their remembrance to cease from mankind" (32:26).


Based on its acronym of the word "af'eihem" - 'af-I-hem' where are they), the Ramban interprets the first part of the Pasuk - with reference to the exile of the ten tribes - to mean that they will be cast away to some distant location, where the world will enquire about their whereabouts, as they will be lost to civilization on the other side of the River Sambatyon. Whereas the latter part of the Pasuk he explains with reference to Galus Yehudah and Binyamin (whose location is known, but) who live among their captor nations without any status of nationhood.


The Pasuk goes on to state that strictly speaking, Yisrael ought to have remained in Galus permanently, since they are not worthy of salvation, and Z'chus Avos has terminated. And the reason that He will ultimately take us out of Galus is because of the attitude of the nations, who would continue to anger Him in their wickedness and who will only acknowledge Him when they witness His relationship with us and that He keeps the promise that He made to our forefathers (See the Ramban inside for a more lengthy explanation on this point).


It is interesting to note that Yisrael need to be redeemed even though they are not really worthy - for the sake of the nations of the world, or, as the Ramban explains further, so that the world should fulfill its purpose.

This conforms with the famous description of Yisrael as 'a light unto the nations'. Moreover, it lends credence to the Gemara in Gitin (57b), which suggests that the worst Jew is superior to the best gentile. See also following article.

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(Translated from the Ramban)

See previous article.

"For their vines are the vines of S'dom, and from the fields of Amorah " (32:26).

The Pasuk is saying that the gentile nations (the enemies of Yisrael mentioned in the previous Pesukim) are bereft of counsel, they are devoid of wisdom and possess no understanding; they devise nothing but evil all day long. Because they stem from an evil root, and they produce nothing other than evil and bitterness, those who eat from their produce are destined to die.

As opposed to Yisrael, who admit and confess, and who do Teshuvah in the time of trouble, after investigating as to why the troubles come upon them. Not so the gentiles; they are bereft of counsel and of understanding; they continue to follow blindly their gods, whilst continually denying the Honourable Name of G-d, because that is the legacy they received from their ancestors. They comprise a root flourishing with gall and wormwood, and they are therefore of no benefit to the world. Yisrael, on the other hand, who stem from good roots, even if they are felled, can still renew themselves.'


No wonder G-d promised that He will never exchange Yisrael for any other nation!

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