11 Oct 2023 Bereishis 5784/Operation Swords of Iron
Bereishis 5784: Creation (Ch.1), Man and Woman (Ch.2), First sin (Ch.3), First murder (Ch.4), The ten generations from Adam to Noach (Ch.5). At the very end of the parsha, the Torah tells us of the corruption of man upon earth.
The pasukim tell us (Bereishis 6:6-8) וַיִּנָּ֣חֶם ה’ כִּֽי־עָשָׂ֥ה אֶת־הָֽאָדָ֖ם בָּאָ֑רֶץ וַיִּתְעַצֵּ֖ב אֶל־לִבּֽוֹ – and Hashem reconsidered having made man on earth, and He was pained in His heart (keviyachol); And Hashem said: אֶמְחֶה אֶת–הָאָדָם אֲשֶׁר–בָּרָאתִי מֵעַל פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה, מֵאָדָם עַד–בְּהֵמָה, עַד–רֶמֶשׂ וְעַד–עוֹף הַשָּׁמָיִם: כִּי נִחַמְתִּי, כִּי עֲשִׂיתִם – I will erase man whom I created from upon the face of the earth – from man to animal, to creeping things, and to birds of the sky; for I have reconsidered My having made them; And Noach found favor in the eyes of Hashem. On the words “And He was pained in His heart”, Rashi teaches:
ויתעצב אל לבו. נִתְאַבֵּל עַל אָבְדַן מַעֲשֵׂה יָדָיו, כְּמוֹ נֶעֱצַב הַמֶּלֶךְ עַל בְּנוֹ (שם ב‘ י“ט), וְזוֹ כָתַבְתִּי לִתְשׁוּבַת הַמִּינִים גּוֹי אֶחָד שֶׁשָּׁאַל אֶת רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן קָרְחָה, אָמַר לוֹ אֵין אַתֶּם מוֹדִים שֶׁהַקָּבָּ“ה רוֹאֶה אֶת הַנּוֹלָד? אָמַר לוֹ הֵן, אָמַר לוֹ וְהָא כְתִיב וַיִּתְעַצֵּב אֶל לִבּוֹ? אָמַר לוֹ נוֹלַד לְךָ בֵּן זָכָר מִיָּמֶיךָ? אָמַר לוֹ הֵן, אָמַר לוֹ וּמֶה עָשִׂיתָ? אָמַר לוֹ שָׂמַחְתִּי וְשִׂמַּחְתִּי אֶת הַכֹּל, אָמַר לוֹ וְלֹא הָיִיתָ יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁסּוֹפוֹ לָמוּת? אָמַר לוֹ בִּשְׁעַת חֶדְוָתָא חֶדְוָתָא בִּשְׁעַת אֶבְלָא אֶבְלָא, אָמַר לוֹ כָּךְ מַעֲשֵׂה הַקָּבָּ“ה, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁגָּלוּי לְפָנָיו שֶׁסּוֹפָן לַחֲטוֹא וּלְאָבְדָן לֹא נִמְנַע מִלְּבָרְאָן בִּשְׁבִיל הַצַּדִּיקִים הָעֲתִידִים לַעֲמֹד מֵהֶם
He mourned over the destruction of His handiwork: And this I have written as an answer to the heretics (who deny that G-d knows the future): A certain non-Jew asked the Tanna R’ Yehoshua b. Karchah a question and said to him, “Do you not admit that Hashem knows the future?” R’ Yehoshua said to him, “Yes (He does know the future).” The non-Jew said, “But it is written, and ‘He was pained in His heart,’ which indicates that G-d did not foresee the outcome of creating man!” R’ Yehoshua answered him, “Has a male child been born to you in your lifetime?” The non-Jew said “Yes.” R’ Yehoshua said to him, “And what did you do (when the child was born)?” He said to him, “I rejoiced, and I made everybody rejoice with me.” R’ Yehoshua said to him, “But did you not know that his destiny is to die (like all of man)?” The non-Jew said to him, “בִּשְׁעַת חֶדְוָתָא חֶדְוָתָא בִּשְׁעַת אֶבְלָא אֶבְלָא – at a time of joy, we rejoice, and at a time of mourning, we mourn.” Said R’ Yehoshua, “So too HKB”H. Even though it was revealed before Him that man’s destiny is to die, and to suffer destruction, He did not refrain from creating man, for the sake of the tzadikim (righteous) who are destined to arise.
As we face a threat to our treasured and holy nation, Am Yisrael; our beautiful Holy Land, Eretz Yisrael; and our miraculous medinah, Medinat Yisrael, such that has never been seen since the establishment of the State in 1948, let us remember that בִּשְׁעַת חֶדְוָתָא חֶדְוָתָא בִּשְׁעַת אֶבְלָא אֶבְלָא, at a time of rejoicing, we rejoice, and in a time of mourning, we all mourn. No matter where a Jew lives today, no matter his religious affiliation, we are all in an intense, deep state of national mourning. With over a thousand kedoshim, Jewish neshamos, taken from us; tayer yiddishe kinder, babies and children, women and men in captivity R”L; close to 3,000 injured; soldiers fighting for the State, for us and for their lives; with the country under attack of rockets from North to South; and battling terror infiltration on the northern and southern borders, Hashem yerachem v’yaazor… דַּרְכֵי צִיּוֹן אֲבֵלוֹת.
Rabbi Aryeh Leibowitz, rav of Beis HaKnesses of North Woodmere, wrote the following to his kehilla earlier this week: “During times of mourning (and there is much to mourn for as over a thousand people have already been murdered), the halacha demands that we curb our social behavior. Times of war are not the time for unnecessary parties, going out to shows and restaurants (order in if you don’t want to cook), or paying attention to silliness such as sports and fantasy teams. Of course, we all need to clear our heads and function as human beings, but we should do so in a way that reflects the sense of נושא בעול עם חבירו that the moment demands. Chazal teach us that מלחמות are אתחלתא דגאולה, and we should merit to see the words of the נביאים come to life as Hashem reveals His master plan.”
On the miracle of the State of Israel, in his Kol Dodi Dofek (presented just eight years after the founding of the Medinah, in 1956), Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, the Rav zt’l, stated, “Let us not forget that the venom of Hitlerian anti-semitism, which made the Jews like the fish of the sea to be preyed upon by all, still infects many in our generation who viewed the horrific spectacle of the gassing of millions with indifference, as an ordinary event not requiring a moment’s thought. The antidote to this deadly poison that envenomed minds and benumbed hearts is the readiness of the State of Israel to defend the lives of its sons, its builders. It is the voice of my Beloved that knocketh!
“This knock, which we must not ignore, was heard when the gates of the land were opened. A Jew who flees from a hostile country now knows that he can find a secure refuge in the land of his ancestors. This is a new phenomenon in our history. Until now, whenever Jewish communities were expelled from their lands, they had to wander in the wilderness of the nations, and were not able to find shelter in another land. Because the gates were barred before exiles and wanderers, many Jewish communities were decimated. Now the situation has changed. If a particular people expels the Jewish minority from its midst, the exiles can direct their steps unto Zion, and she, like a compassionate mother, will gather in her children. We have all been witness to Oriental Jewry’s settling in the land of Israel in the past few years. Who knows what might have befallen our brethren in the lands in which they had settled had not the land of Israel brought them by boats and planes to her? Had the State of Israel arisen before Hitler’s Holocaust, hundreds of thousands of Jews might have been saved from the gas chambers and crematoria. The miracle of the State came just a bit late, and as a result of this delay thousands and tens of thousands of Jews were murdered. However, now that the era of divine self-concealment (hester panim) is over, Jews who have been uprooted from their homes can find lodging in the Holy Land. Let us not view this matter lightly! It is the voice of my Beloved that knocketh!” (Fate and Destiny, p.34-35)
May HKB”H have rachamim upon us, k’rachem Av al banim, and may the yeshua (salvation), nechama (comfort), and binyan adei ad (an everlasting and eternal building) be immediately revealed.
עַל–אֵלֶּה אֲנִי בוֹכִיָּה, עֵינִי עֵינִי יֹרְדָה מַּיִם—כִּי–רָחַק מִמֶּנִּי מְנַחֵם, מֵשִׁיב נַפְשִׁי; הָיוּ בָנַי שׁוֹמֵמִים, כִּי גָבַר אוֹיֵב
הכותבת בבכי, בברכת בשורות טובות וישועות,