Friday, June 3, 2016

Only Divine providence could secure Israel’s national future

"Tell those of overhasty heart: “Be strong, fear nothing! Your G-d is here; retribution will come, brought to bear by G-d; it will come and become your salvation." (Isaiah 35:4) “Those of overhasty heart are good-natured people who are prone to act hastily – “the head follows the heart.” Every thinking, observing Jew must realize that it is the deviation from the path of faithful performance of our duties that led to our exile, and only return to G-d and His Torah can put an end to our misery. And again: be strong, remain firmly committed to your heritage, do not fear the inadequacy of your actions, G-d is omnipresent to judge your deeds and the wrong done to you. The dream of the revival of your national existence will become reality only with the help of G-d – Who will also judge the surrounding nations for their deeds. Only when G-d brings about the salvation will it be enduring. This thought motivated our Sages as they convened in Yavneh to add the fourth blessing to our grace after meals. The uprising against Hadrian led by Bar Kochba proved to be a fatal error. Many thousands of bodies lay unburied in Betar, serving as a silent and moving reminder to the Jewish people never again to attempt to regain its national independence by its own power. When, years later, permission was given to bury the corpses, it was welcomed by the downtrodden nation as the beginning of better times. This stressed the need for the repeated warning that only Divine providence could secure Israel’s national future."

Rabbi Julius (Yehuda) Hirsch (1842-1909),  son of RSRH, Commentary on Isaiah, Chapter 35, verse 4.

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