Shabbat Parashat Matot | 5768
Things That Delay Redemption
(from the Writings of Harav Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook, z.t.l.)
(based on Ein Ayah, Berachot 1:9)
Gemara: Due to three things, people should not enter a churva (building in ruins): due to suspicion (that he is involved in illicit relations), due to collapse, and due to damagers (demons).
Ein Ayah: As is fitting for the words of the Sages of blessed memory, I decided to give another meaning to this saying, which also hints at the delay [in the ending] of galut (exile).
Although Hashem is capable of returning our captives, gathering us and having His Honor rest among us, there are three things that are preventing the dwelling of His Divine Presence in us until the deficiencies will be filled. For it is known that Israel, through their service, build the palace on high, and Hashem swore that He will not enter the Jerusalem on high until He will enter the Jerusalem below. However, as long as we have still not been totally purified, to fix the blemishes so that the edifice [of the national structure] will be arranged and in full repair but rather it will still have fissures and the characteristics and actions are not properly purified, it is described as a churva, for the whole unit is destroyed due to our great sins. Indeed the p’sukim have already compared the Nation of Israel to a house and a city [see Yirmiyah 23:8 and Tehillim 115:12].
It is impossible to have the blessed Divine Presence rest on Israel until the rectification is complete because of three things. The first is: the nations of the world should not say that they see that the actions of Israel are improper and yet Israel is given prominence. This would, Heaven forbid, look like favoritism was involved in the matter. In fact when the Members of the Kingdom of Yehuda [the remnant of the original Kingdom of Israel] were exiled, there was also a kiddush Hashem (sanctification of Hashem’s Name) [in addition to the chillul Hashem]. This is because people said: “Even to the members of His household he did not show favoritism.” If so, there is chillul Hashem (desecration of His Name), Heaven forbid, in the matter [if He shows us favor before we deserve it]. However, when Israel improves its actions, there is a kiddush Hashem when the nations see their greatness and all recognize that Hashem grants good to those who do good.
There is a second reason. Hashem wants the future redemption to be a complete redemption that has no subjugation afterward. Therefore it is necessary to wait until everything will stand on a firm base, so that it will not deteriorate, Heaven forbid. This cannot happen until there is a major improvement, including being purged by the exiles and true teshuva (repentance).
A third reason is that there are evil people who were not removed from Israel who are unfit to enjoy the Divine Light. It is impossible to have redemption until those distant elements are further distanced and those who are meant to join us will join us. This is what the pasuk means, “I will remove all of your base metal… Zion will be redeemed with justice…” (Yeshaya 1:25-27).
This is what the Rabbis hinted at in the three reasons not to enter a churva, that Hashem will not cause His Presence to dwell and Israel will not be gathered back to their place, until all of the fissures heal. One is the suspicion of chillul Hashem, that the nations will say there is favoritism in the matter; another is of collapse, that sins should not cause a return to falling, and therefore one needs strengthening so that the redemption will last forever. Also, there are “damagers,” the wicked who are unfit to see the greatness of Hashem, for they need to be pushed off. This is referred to by the pasuk, “I left in your midst a poor nation, and they will shelter themselves in the Name of Hashem” (Tzefaniah 3:12).
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This edition of Hemdat Yamim is dedicated in loving memory of
MinaPresser bat Harav David and Bina
on the occasion of her yahrzeit 24 Tammuz
and members of her family who perished in the shoah Al Kiddush Hashem
as well as
R ' Meir ben Yechezkel Shraga Brachfe
Hemdat Yamim is endowed by Les & Ethel Sutker of Chicago, Illinois
in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker
and Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l.