This Weeks Haftorah
Rabbi Levi Langer

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Haftorah Parshas Netzavim

"For as the earth sends forth its growth, and as a garden causes its seeds to sprout, so will the L-rd Hashem cause righteousness and praise [of Israel] to sprout forth before all the nations." (Isaiah 61)
It is a curious things, writes the Maggid of Dubno, how the farmer goes about planting his field. For he must first break down the field. The farmer traverses the length of the field again and again with his ox, who pulls the plow. The plow breaks down the soil--destroying the once pristine, smooth appearance of the field and replacing it with unsightly mounds of earth.

Only then does the farmer cross his field once again, dropping seeds along the length of each furrow. And from those seeds the field will eventually bloom forth with life.

So too with the Jewish people. The long centuries of our exile have not been without purpose. For it is only through the travails and the difficulties which our people have encountered during those times, that we have been forced to search deep within ourselves and find heretofore undreamed-of strengths. And in the course of time, we have grown and matured.

In order to build us up, to enable us to find ourselves, it has been necessary to first break us down. "As the earth sends forth its growth"--so will the fullness of Israel's potential slowly but surely be realized.

Copyright (c) 1997 by Rabbi Levi Langer

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