Once again, a very important message from the Torah portion that was read on Shabbos. First the commentary on the Haftarah from the Artscroll Chumash:
Haftaras Bechukosai, Jeremiah 16:19 – 17:14
As the prophet of the Destruction, Jeremiah's message was much like that of the weekly Torah portion: If the Jewish people are devoted to the Torah, they will enjoy respect, prosperity, and blessing. If they forsake the Torah, they will suffer contempt, poverty and curse. The prophet begins with a scathing description of how deeply ingrained is the national sin of idolatry and the coupling of a lack of faith in G-d with an absolute faith in frail man. The latter part of the message is indeed timeless. For, Jeremiah warns, these illusions will all be in vain; any good that comes of them will be fleeting and end in humiliation and tragedy.I have heard many times the Torah being described as a book of history. The most important lesson of history is to learn from it, and not make the same mistakes. The Torah is our handbook of life and uses history to teach us how to succeed in life, how to be happy, how to be prosperous and how to go into the time of Moshiach as well off as can be.
Like even the fiercest prophecies, however, this one ends in words of hope and consolation, as does the frightful admonition of our weekly Torah portion. No matter how dark the present and how ominous the imminent future, G-d does not forsake Israel forever, nor does Israel cut its bond to G-d. The covenant of the Patriarchs remains intact; hope and healing will yet come, for Hashem is our salvation and praise.
This Torah portion has the very simple message that is repeated often: turn to Hashem, follow His ways, trust in Him, have total faith in Him and know that He is our only way to salvation. The Haftarah just lets us know that the theme is repeated throughout history and that nothing has changed, except that we have many more ways of getting into trouble and hurting ourselves these days than ever. The Torah portion is much more pertinent now than throughout history, and should be studied and lived as though our lives depend on it.
To enhance this message that every word, every letter, every numerical value of every letter is prophecy and is guiding us to total happiness and success, I thought I would mention one very interesting key in the text of the Torah that is not so obvious. It is called the "reversing vav.” Did you ever notice how many weekly portions of the Torah begin with the Hebrew letter ו vav? Vayeira, Vayeitzei, Vayishlach, Vayeishev, Vayigash, Vayechi, Va’eira, Vayakhel, Vayikra, Va’eschanan, and Vayeilech. This reversing vav also appears many times in the Torah, not just as Torah portion names. What is the hidden message here? Grammatically, each of these words are written in the future tense, but are read in the past tense. As an example: Vayeira is translated as “Appeared,” telling us that Hashem appeared to Avraham. But, it really should be translated as “And he will appear,” future tense. By adding the letter vav, it changes tense but gives us a very beautiful message that history repeats itself. Even though Hashem appeared to Avraham many years ago, it is a prophecy that Hashem will appear to him and all of us in the future. Many, many times in the Torah where it is read as a past tense event, it is telling us that it will happen again, possibly over and over again.
Such a beautiful way to let us know that history repeats itself, and that we should learn the lessons of the past to guide us throughout life. The handbook of life covers everything, sometimes a simple historical lesson is all we need to help us be happy and succeed in the present and the future.
Note: I am not posting many comments anymore. I always had in mind that comments are to benefit my dear readers by adding to the subject or asking pertinent questions that everyone can benefit from the answer. I have been getting many comments recently that would not benefit my readers, and I therefore have become very selective in my posting of comments. Examples include: personal comments that would be much better handled by a personal Email, questions that have been covered extensively (often a new reader who is not aware of my previous coverage), incorrect information that benefits no one or, my least favorite, nasty comments from individuals who obviously are in horrible trouble and want me to be the scapegoat.
Any comment can be sent to me as a private Email instead. Consider my readers and ask: is this comment something that would benefit others? I am very happy to discuss private situations since helping everyone is my purpose here. If you disagree with something I said, tell me about it and we can solve the disagreement in a very friendly manner. My Email is: email@example.com
If all you need to do is blow off some steam with a nasty response, you should realize that Hashem reads all the comments I receive and judges whether it is something the He would approve of, or whether it is a Torah violation. After all those who bless you are blessed, those who curse you are cursed. If you are trying hard to be in the 2/3rd group, there are many ways to do that. Masochists have a variety of ways to hurt themselves. I also would like to question: if you have a nasty message to report, would you say it if we were face to face? The web makes it easy for cowards to operate, but you really are hurting yourself greatly since Hashem knows exactly who you are, and how He will punish you. If you don't believe this, you will find out soon, the hard way.
It is interesting to me that the one who is trying to save your life is the one with whom you need to take out your ignorant frustrations. Why am I bringing this up? As difficult as it may be to believe, I am more concerned with your welfare than you are. Doing Teshuvah may help, since it is Hashem that you have the conflict with, not His messenger.
Another very interesting find by Rav Glazerson in Torah Codes: