Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend
RavFrand

Rabbi Frand on Parshas Bechukosai


These divrei Torah were adapted from the hashkafa portion of Rabbi Yissochar Frand's Commuter Chavrusah Torah Tapes on the weekly Torah portion: Tape # 11, Rationing Medical Care. Good Shabbos!


Good News in the Middle of the Tochacha

There is a very long and interesting Ramba"n in this week's Parsha, which attempts to demonstrate that all the terrible things in the Tochacha, those things that the Torah predicts will occur if we do not keep the mitzvos, did indeed happen.

For instance, the Ramba"n says that the verse "G-d will return you to Egypt in boats" refers to the days of Titus when the Jews were loaded onto boats and shipped as slaves to Egypt. The Ramba"n brings many different examples... "The King which you will appoint over yourself..." refers to Agrippa; the pasuk [verse] hints to the fact that he was not worthy of being a King.

Finally, the Ramba"n says that the pasuk [26:32] "I will make desolate the Land, and your enemies who dwell upon it will be desolate" (V'shamemu aleha oyeveichem hayoshvim bah) is not a curse, but rather is a blessing. It is a bit of "good news" in the middle of the bad: the pasuk tells us that our Holy Land will not accept our enemies upon it. The Ramba"n says that this is a great proof of the Divine Hand in action. "For there cannot be found throughout the world a land that had been so good and fertile (which now became so desolate and inhospitable)".

If you want to be a Believer, says the Ramba"n, all you have to do is look at Eretz Yisroel. Look what happened there for 2000 years when it was occupied by Romans and by Arabs and by Turks and by the British.

It had previously been a beautiful and fertile land, but under foreign dominion it became the most desolate. The Torah assured us that from the day we left Eretz Yisroel the land would not accept any other nation or populace. They all tried to settle it, but none were successful.

This is the meaning of what the Torah says, "Your enemies will be desolate upon it". No nation will ever be successful at inhabiting Eretz Yisroel, except Klal Yisroel [The Jewish Nation].

What would happen if the Indians came to the Federal Government and said, "We made a silly mistake 200 years ago. We sold Manhattan Island to you at a rock bottom price -- $24. We realize that you're entitled to a profit, so we'll give you $48 for Manhattan"? Or even if they would offer 48 million dollars! Or 48 billion dollars! Guess what? There would be no sale. What has happened to Manhattan Island in those 200 years? Considering its value now, there is no way the Government would ever give it back.

Imagine if other nations had been successful in making Eretz Yisroel profitable. Imagine if in 1948, it was a beautiful and productive land. Would they have consented to returning it to the Jewish People? But as the Ramba"n says, they were not able to develop the land. In 1948, when we came to ask, "Can we have the land back?" those in power may have thought, "Do you mean that strip of land that's hard like iron, in which nothing grows? Are you talking about that worthless strip of land in the middle of the desert? Good Luck with it!" This is Divine Providence, as promised by the Torah in this week's parsha.

I have always wondered - if one examines the Middle East -- Saudi Arabia has oil, Quatar, Iraq, Yemen all have oil, every country has oil. Even Egypt has oil. How is it that from our Holy Land, the choicest of all lands, we can not squeeze a drop of oil? Is this "the Eyes of the L-rd are upon it from the start of the year to its end?"

But what would have been in 1948, if the British were sitting on a Saudi Arabia? What would have been if they were sitting on Kuwait? Obviously they would not have been so eager to give black gold to the Jews. This is part of "Your enemies will be desolate upon it."

The upshot of all of this is that if we seek a lesson in Emunah, if one is unimpressed with all the other miracles and wonders that G-d has done... Just look at this Ramba"n, just look at this Pasuk, just look at that Land. If one's eyes are open, one will see the Hand of G-d and His Divine Providence upon us and upon all the Jewish people.

Glossary

Chutz L'Aretz -- Outside the Land (of Israel)

Tochacha -- (Section of the Torah dealing with) rebuke (for sins)

Emunah -- Belief (in G-d)

Hashgocha Prottes -- Personal Divine Providence

Personalities and Sources

Ramba"n -- Rav Moshe ben Nachman (1194-1270); Spain; Eretz Yisroel.


Transcribed by David Twersky; Seattle, Washington.
Technical Assistance by Dovid Hoffman; Yerushalayim.


This write-up was adapted from the hashkafa portion of Rabbi Yissocher Frand's Commuter Chavrusah Torah Tape series on the weekly Torah portion. Many of halachic topics covered in this series for Parshas Behar / Bechukosai are provided below:

  • Tape # 011 - Rationing Medical Care
  • Tape # 012 - Can Teachers Strike?
  • Tape # 054 - Life Insurance: The Torah Policy
  • Tape # 055 - Candle Lighting & Havdalah: How Early & How Late?
  • Tape # 097 - "Ribis" Problems of Interest for the Jew in a Mercantile Society
  • Tape # 098 - "Chermei Tzibur"
  • Tape # 098 - "Cheremei Tzibur": A Ban on Living in Germany?
  • Tape # 145 - Kidney Donations: Endangering Oneself to Save Another
  • Tape # 192 - Making Shabbos Early
  • Tape # 238 - Onoas D'vorim: Snide Remarks
  • Tape # 282 - The Physician's Obligation to Heal
  • Tape # 328 - Sh'mita and the Heter Mechira
  • Tape # 372 - Using Shuls As A Shortcut
  • Tape # 416 - Supporting Jewish Merchants
  • Tape # 460 - The Obligation of Checking One's Teffilin
  • Tape # 504 - Lag B'Omer

New! Yad Yechiel Institute is on-line! Visit http://www.yadyechiel.org !For information via email, you may also write to [email protected]

Tapes or a complete catalogue can be ordered from:

Yad Yechiel Institute
PO Box 511
Owings Mills, MD 21117-0511
Call (410) 358-0416 for further information.


Also Available: Mesorah / Artscroll has published a collection of Rabbi Frand's essays. The book is entitled:

Rabbi Yissocher Frand: In Print

and is available through your local Hebrew book store or from Project Genesis, 1-410-654-1799.


Rav Frand Books and Audio Tapes are now available for sale! Thanks to www.yadyechiel.org and Artscroll.com.

Please Support TORAH.ORG
Print Version       Email this article to a friend

 


ARTICLES ON BAMIDBAR AND SHAVUOS:

View Complete List

The Final Countdown
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

Back to the Present
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5763

As You Rest - So Shall You Travel
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

ArtScroll

Individual Attention
Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig - 5762

Man Plans and The Almighty Laughs
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

When a Rebbe is Equal to a Father
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5763

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Traveling In Formation
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5759

The Basis of Marriage
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5759

Shavuos: Seven Special Weeks
Rabbi Naphtali Hoff - 5768

> Personal Acceptance
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5760

Counted Out
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

Love Counts
Shlomo Katz - 5766

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Dessert, Desert, and Deserters
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5757

Reality Testing
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5758

Coming of (S)age
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

Not Just Another Joe
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5761



Buy Rav Frand's Books Now!
Tapes also available.


Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information