Friday, August 11, 2006

Guest Posting From Yitz Of Heichal HaNegina - Assurances From This Week’s Parsha

From Yitz of Heichal HaNegina:

A dear friend sent me an e-mail with some very encouraging words from a Chassidic commentary on this week’s Parsha, Ekev. The following is my translation of it from the original Hebrew:

If you say to yourself, “These nations are more numerous than I am / we are, how will I / we be able to drive them out?” Do not fear them, but remember what Hashem did to Pharaoh…[Devarim 7:17].

Rebbe Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov [author of the sefer, Bnei Yisaschar], in his Agra d’Kallah, is puzzled by the conditional aspect of our verse. It seems to imply, that only if this thought arises should you not fear, but if it doesn’t, it okay to be afraid – which, of course, doesn’t make sense. It should rather have said, “Do not fear the numerous nations, but remember…”

However, he says, the verse is bringing us a very positive message: that as soon as a thought of teshuva [return to G-d] arises in our hearts, and we justify the Heavenly decree, Hashem will immediately have mercy upon us, and our enemies will fall before us – even before without actually performing a good deed or mitzva.

The verse can be interpreted as follows: If you say to yourself, “These nations are more numerous, indeed the reason for that is mimeni – “from me,” that is, I am the cause of this, for having violated Hashem’s precepts. Therefore I might say, “how will I be able to drive them out?” But immediately upon justifying the Divine decree, Scripture informs us, “Do not fear them”—for your thoughts of teshuva are enough to save you.

Nevertheless, you may not be convinced, thinking that how can I drive them out, without the merit of Torah and mitzvos? The answer is, “remember what Hashem did to Pharaoh and all of Egypt,” for then the Jewish People were devoid of any merits of Torah and mitzvos, and still Hashem saved them, and their enemies fell from before them.

Furthermore, the remembrance of the miracles Hashem did to Pharaoh and Egypt is mentioned here to allude to a teaching of a powerful segula, taught by our Sages who were endowed with Ruach HaKodesh [Divine inspiration]. That is, when a person needs to get through a difficult situation, such as overcoming a disease, or crossing the ocean without harm, he should recount a miracle that happened to our forefathers in a similar situation. Thus our verse which says, “remember what Hashem did to Pharaoh and all of Egypt,” alludes to this – that a recalling of earlier miracles can help us in our present situation, arousing Hashem’s Divine Mercy and Chessed [lovingkindness] to save us.

(Picture courtesy of Baleboosteh)


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