When Are We Arriving?


July 16, 2021
Av 7, 5781
Candlelighting Time 8:O8 PM

            Moshe blessed the nation that Hashem should expand the people thousandfold. Rashi comments that the people complained to Moshe that Hashem blessed them that their populace would be innumerable and that he is limiting them. Moshe responded that my blessing is thousandfold but Hashem’s blessing is indeed infinite. Why did Moshe give them a blessing if Hashem already had done so and why did he make it deficient? 

            The entire parsha of Devarim requires an overview. A large portion deals with the conquests of the nation that took place before they entered into the Land of Israel. This seems to be discordant with the original theme of the parsha that rebukes the nation for various failings that occurred in the desert. One of their errors was the scandal of the spies which condemned them to a forty-year sojourn in the desert. Then we read further in the parsha of how they merited to destroy and conquer large areas east of the Land of Israel. Did Hashem punish them for their iniquity or not? Seemingly, they were richly rewarded in terms of their annexing many kingdoms to their possession.

            Nachmonides explains that truthfully due to the spy episode they should not have had the right to victory over these other nations. However, and this is the key to the entire parsha, Hashem in His boundless attribute of mercy allowed them their success in battle. And that is truly the preface of this parsha that Hashem rebukes them for their many accountable transgressions to motivate them to improve their conduct. However, in the final analysis His love for us is so intense and passionate it prevails even in the face of such oppositional conduct and bestows upon us such tremendous success in what we do. And this actually is a lesson for all generations that Hashem always seeks to encourage our ongoing accomplishments despite the setback of our failures. We recite in Tehillim that we seek Hashem’s forgiveness in order to advance our commitment to serve Him.

            Netziv has an additional insight that serves to foster additionally a motivating factor to study Torah. When we witness Hashem’s magnanimous love for us hinged upon His vast quality of mercy then we come to the realization of the importance of Torah. After all, Torah is the ultimate expression of Hashem’s will that we merited to receive on Mt. Sinai. Therefore, it would stand to reason that we should pursue a deeper and more intimate connection to Hashem through His Torah.

            Possibly, Moshe placed a limit on his blessing fully aware of the extent of Hashem’s blessing in order to highlight Hashem’s incredible adoration and imminence to His nation. We mortals are limited, but Hashem’s strength exceeds by far what we can do for another. And this definitely accentuates the feature of this parsha.

As we enter into the abyss of mourning at the conclusion of this week, the Shabbos preceding Tisha B’av, it behooves us to ponder the extent of our loss of the Beis Hamikdash. Certainly we recognize how that loss has impacted our lives even until today in some many ways. The opportunity to sacrifice an offering thereby drawing close to Hashem is absent from our lifestyle. To be able to view the many miracles that occurred in the Beis Hamikdash is no longer available. We are bereft of the warmth of the Divine Presence in Jerusalem and in the Beis Hamikdash. The exile from Jerusalem and the Beis Hamikdash has subjected us to centuries of barbarism and savagery. However, the tears that we will shed this Sunday will be collected by Hashem and in His infinite wisdom and mercy we will yet secure once again our magnificence and behold the rebuilding of that great edifice containing the power of sanctity that will incredibly upgrade our lives and reestablish our connection with Hashem.

                                                A BYTE FOR SHABBOS

At times we encounter in life precarious situations that are well beyond our ability to resolve. At that juncture, we must endure the difficulty and it will recede. However, if we intend to battle that challenge, then we will fail.