Thursday, May 18, 2006

"Berlin is Yerushalayim"

"...and therefore [Ya'akov Avinu] commanded with all his strength that he should be buried in Eretz Kna'an, so it would be known that the Avos of the nation and its heritage is found in Kna'an, thereby causing his children to have a natural bond and aspiration for the land of their fathers. This is the meaning of "vayagar sham - this teaches that Ya'akov did not descened [to Egypt] to dwell, only to live" - meaning, for all generations, in each and every galus, we must know we are not there to dwell but only to live awaiting the true redemption, not as permanent citizens..."
"This is the way of our people, that when they enter a foreign land they are bereft of Torah scholars from the trials and travails of persecution and expulsion, but then the G-dly spirit awakens within them to return to their roots. They learn, teach Torah, do wonders, until the glory of Torah is restored... Soon they begin to say our forefathers have given us falsehood, as they forget their origins and become as full citizens, abandoning the teachings of their faith, learning foreign languages, learning from 'kilul' and not 'tikkun', thinking Berlin is Yerushalayim... Then a storm will arise to rip them from their roots..."

I can't really do justice to the poetic flavor of this Meshech Chochma, Parshas Bechukosai, and I left out the fire and brimstone ending, so take a look at the original source. Choose your own substitute for Berlin in the bold sentence, but does the message ring less true?

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