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Shabbat Parashat Matot Masei 5781

Parashat Hashavua: Yirmiyahu Comforts Too

Harav Yosef Carmel

Most of the p’sukim in the early sections of Sefer Yirmiyahu, which make up the first two haftarot of the Three Weeks, consist of rebuke and prophecies of doom. Yet, they also contain sections of nechama (consolation). “See, I have appointed you over the nations and kingdoms – to uproot and smash and destroy and ruin, to build and to plant” (Yirmiyahu 1:10). We also find: “Go and call out in the ears of Yerushalayim, saying: ‘So says Hashem: I remembered for you the kindness of your youth, the love of your nuptials, your going after Me in the desert, in a land that is not planted’” (ibid. 2:2).

The same type of language is used in Yirmiyahu 30-31. “…an eternal love I have loved you, therefore I have extended grace to you … You will still plant vineyards in the mountains of Samaria, planters plant …” (ibid. 31:1-4). “Just as I was diligent in their regard to uproot and smash and destroy and ruin and do bad, so will I be diligent in their regard to build and to plant” (ibid. 27).

There is an interesting development. In the opening prophecy, the builder and planter is Hashem. In the later ones, Hashem calls upon Bnei Yisrael to build the cities and plant the orchards of Eretz Yisrael. He also said: “You will still plant orchards … place for yourself road marks, put your heart on the road that you traveled, return O virgin of Israel to these cities of yours. How long will you avoid it, you wayward daughter? For Hashem has created something new, a female will encircle a male” (ibid. 4, 20-21).

For close to 2,000 years, Am Yisrael waited for a miracle from the Heavens, that a liberator would appear as a messenger from Above and bring redemption to Israel and the world. The approach of waiting was strengthened by the midrash of Chazal known as the three oaths, which opposed Israel taking decisive action to return to the Land of their own volition. The fear of the oaths and the expectation of an “awakening from Above” combined to hold us back from action. But Yirmiyahu took a stand, arguing that we should not be inactive, as we saw above: “How long will you avoid it, you wayward daughter?” That which it continues “For Hashem has created something new, a female will encircle a male” is based on the famous metaphor that in our relationship with Hashem (upon which Shir Hashirim is based), Hashem is the male, and we are the female. Here, then, Bnei Yisrael are expected to be active instead of passive. And indeed, the Gra called on his disciples to take action and move to Eretz Yisrael, which hundreds did, despite the enormous difficulties. On the other hand, the rest of Bnei Yisrael at that time was still “avoiding it.”

The push came more than a hundred years later, when Binyamin Zev Herzl (whose yahrtzeit is around now) succeeded in creating a national movement that changed the mindset of the nation and the world. Yirmiyahu’s call for road marks (tziyunim) took on a new meaning with the rise of Tziyonim who built the Land. Many members of the nation have flocked to the Land, and the ingathering is still in progress. May we merit to fulfill more and more of Yirmiyahu’s comforting and exciting prophecies of national renewal, after thousands of years in the painful exile about which Yirmiyahu is famous for prophesying.

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Dedication

We daven for a complete and speedy refuah for:

Nir Rephael ben Rachel Bracha
Yisrael ben Rivka

Rivka Reena bat Gruna Natna

Arye Yitzchak ben Geula Miriam

Neta bat Malka

Meira bat Esther

Together with all cholei Yisrael

Hemdat Yamim is dedicated

to the memory of:

Those who fell in wars

for our homeland

 

Eretz Hemdah's beloved friends

and Members of

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Rav Shlomo Merzel z”l
Iyar 10, 5771

 

Rav Reuven Aberman z"l

Tishrei 9 ,5776

 

Mr. Shmuel & Esther Shemesh z"l

Sivan 17 / Av 20

 

Mr. Moshe Wasserzug z"l

Tishrei 20 ,5781

 

R' Eliyahu Carmel z"l

Rav Carmel's father

Iyar 8 ,5776

 

Mrs. Sara Wengrowsky

bat RMoshe Zev a”h.

Tamuz 10 ,5774

 

Rav Asher & Susan Wasserteil z"l
Kislev 9 / Elul 5780

RMeir ben

Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld z"l

&

Mrs. Sara Brachfeld z"l

Tevet 16 ,5780

 

RYaakov ben Abraham & Aisha

and

Chana bat Yaish & Simcha

Sebbag, z"l

 

Rav Yisrael Rozen z"l
Cheshvan 13, 5778

 

Rav Benzion Grossman z"l
Tamuz 23, 5777

 

R' Yitzchak Eizik

 ben Yehuda Leib Usdan a"h,

 Av 29

 

R' Abraham Klein z"l

Iyar 18 ,5779

&

Mrs. Gita Klein z"l

Av 4

 

R' Yitzchak Zev Tarshansky z"l

Adar 28, 5781

 

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