Tuesday, May 04, 2021

still a ways to go

Towards the end of the tochacha (26:41) the Torah says that Bnei Yisrael will say viduy on what they did wrong:

וְהִתְוַדּ֤וּ אֶת־עֲוֺנָם֙ וְאֶת־עֲוֺ֣ן אֲבֹתָ֔ם בְּמַעֲלָ֖ם אֲשֶׁ֣ר מָֽעֲלוּ־בִ֑י וְאַ֕ף אֲשֶׁר־הָֽלְכ֥וּ עִמִּ֖י בְּקֶֽרִי

And 2 pesukim later the Torah promises that as a result Hashem will remember zechus avos and the zechus of Eretz Yisrael:

וְזָכַרְתִּ֖י אֶת־בְּרִיתִ֣י יַעֲק֑וֹב וְאַף֩ אֶת־בְּרִיתִ֨י יִצְחָ֜ק וְאַ֨ף אֶת־בְּרִיתִ֧י אַבְרָהָ֛ם אֶזְכֹּ֖ר וְהָאָ֥רֶץ אֶזְכֹּֽר׃

But sandwiched in between, we have a pasuk that doesn't seem to fit:

 אַף־אֲנִ֗י אֵלֵ֤ךְ עִמָּם֙ בְּקֶ֔רִי וְהֵבֵאתִ֣י אֹתָ֔ם בְּאֶ֖רֶץ אֹיְבֵיהֶ֑ם אוֹ־אָ֣ז יִכָּנַ֗ע לְבָבָם֙ הֶֽעָרֵ֔ל וְאָ֖ז יִרְצ֥וּ אֶת־עֲוֺנָֽם׃

Once Bnei Yisrael said viduy, then why would Hashem make things even worse in galus?  As Ramban puts it:

והנה אחר: והתודו את עונם (ויקרא כ״ו:מ׳) היה ראוי שיאמר: וזכרתי את בריתי יעקוב (ויקרא כ״ו:מ״ב), כי מה טעם: והבאתי אותם בארץ אויביהם עכשיו במקום הזה, ואין עתה הזמן שיגלה אותם ויביאם בארץ אויביהם.

Ohr haChaim explains (HaKsav v'haKabbalah as a similar interpretation) that this pasuk is a continuation of the viduy, an acceptance that Hashem had to send us into galus to achieve the tikun that we needed and it was not just happenstance.  

לזה כשאמר ה׳ והתודו זכר שיאמרו גם כן בוידוים כי צדיק ה׳ במה שהלך עמהם קרי, ולאותו הטעם ולאותו המבחן הביאם בארץ אוביהם כדרך מעשה המקרה בלא כיון אל הצריך.

But Ramban and Seforno explain that ain hachi nami, once there is viduy Hashem will return Klal Yisrael to Eretz Yisrael, but that doesn't mean we are out of the woods yet.  Ramban refers you to what happened in Ezra and Nechamia's time, how the nations who were in the land tried every which way to thwart Klal Yisrael from gaining a foothold in the land, from rebuilding Beis haMikdash.  There will be a הֵבֵאתִ֣י אֹתָ֔ם, but the Eretz Yisrael we come back to will be אֶ֖רֶץ אֹיְבֵיהֶ֑ם, a land filled with our enemies.  

Sound familiar?

R' Chaim Elazari points out that in the piyutim in the avodah on Y"K we talk about the tefilah the kohen gadol said when he entered kodesh kodashim.  He davened, "Y'hi raton... shanah she'tolicheinu komimiyus l'artzeinu, shnas taaleinu smeichim l'artzeinu."  If there was a kohen gadol doing avodah in a beis ha'mikdash, then we must already be in Eretz Yisrael, in Yerushalayim, so why was the kohen davening that we should be able to return to our Land?!

He suggests based on this Ramban and Seforno that we might be in the land and even have a beis ha'mikdash, but so long as we are under the thumb of some other ruler, so long as we have to struggle against enemies within our borders, there is no "komimiyus b'artzeinu," there is no "smeichim" yet.  We still have a ways to go.

1 comment:

  1. "so why was the kohen davening that we should be able to return to our Land!?"

    for he had "still a ways to go", the final national test, the keruvim of gold! those apparent idols 'guarding' the way to the Tree of Life, that would come between he and the luchos!

    the true keruvim of gan eiden were invincible-- Hashem never gave the garden to Adam and his seed, so it was possible that the first man pass a Point of No Return.

    but Hashem remembered, finally*, that He'd >given< the land to Avraham and his seed; there was no point of no return, so long as the high priest could pass the annual test: mentally bypass [i.e. defeat] the most internal of Israel's "enemies", the golden pseudo-keruvim of the "kodesh kodashim"!

    *final phrase, 26:42