Saturday, January 23, 2016

Parashath Beshalah: Which 20% of the Jews Will Survive this Time?

מוצש״ק פר׳ בשלח תשע״ו

Leading up to the parting, and then crossing, of the Red Sea, the Torah teaches that...

...וַחֲמֻשִׁים עָלוּ בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל, מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם.(שמות יג,יח)
...and the children of Israel went up armed out of the land of Egypt. (Ex. 13:18)
חמושים (hamushim) here means "armed," explaining that we left Egypt with weapons (kli zayan/swords). It is no surprise that Hamush is used to mean the same thing today.

However, Rashi explains that this word can have another meaning, as well.
דבר אחר: חמושים אחד מחמשה יצאו, וארבעה חלקים מתו בשלשת ימי אפילה:
Another thing: hamushim - one out of five left; and four parts [out of five] died during the three days of darkness.
Hamush meaning "one fifth" is derived from the root word hamesh, meaning five.

Torah scholars have suggested that parallels exist between the exodus from Egypt and the future exodus from our current fourth, and presumably last, exile of Edom (Esau/Rome/The West).

One Torah scholar in particular, the Kol HaTor, the last hevrutha of the Vilna Ga'on, writes that the percentage of Jews surviving the exodus from Edom could be one of these parallels with the exodus from Egypt.

Think about it. As few as only 20 percent of the Jews from around the world might survive leaving Edom.

Fortunately, we are taught the rule of thumb concerning prophecy. Positive prophecies always come to fruition. We just do not always know exactly how and when.

Negative prophecies, on the other hand, do not have to be fulfilled at all. They might be. But, because of The Almighty's Mercy, and our through tefilllah, tzedaqah, and teshuvah (prayer, charity, and repentance), negative prophecies can be commuted, if not cancelled.

The classic example of this can also be found in Egypt. The Almighty informs Avraham Avinu that his descendants will be in exile for 400 years. But, a look at the timeline reveals that they were in Egypt for 210 years. So, was the prophecy wrong? No, of course not, The Almighty Himself having revealed directly to Avraham Avinu, that his descendants would be in a land not theirs (Gen. 15:13).

Rather, this sentence of 400 years in exile was commuted 210 years. This was done by moving the beginning of the 400 years all the way back to the birth of Avraham's son Yitzhaq, 131 years before his son Ya'aqov's descent into Egypt.

The percentage of Jews surviving the exodus from our current exile does not have to end up being as low 20 percent. If we merit having a higher percentage survive, the question is "How will The Holy One, Blessed Be He commute this sentence, reducing our punishment?

Will a countable number higher than 20 percent simply survive? Or will the commuting of the sentence be much more subtle, perhaps even hidden, from us?

Will each goy who has through a false conversion (ie. through a false beth din)? And thus, will her children who are believed to be Jews, but really are not, be counted against the lost 80 percent?

Will the goyshe children born to proudly intermarried couples save the same number of Jews from the exile of Edom?

What about those Jewish babies, who were aborted, counter to Torah Law?

Or, will we be subjugated to a different strategy?

Will Jews who run away from Israel (and perhaps obtain a foreign passport like former K'nesseth Speaker Avraham Burg), forsaking the Land and the final battles for it, simply be lumped into the lost 80 percent?

What about those who just cannot handle it here in Israel, for whatever reason? Will they be lost, too, or will they just have fight even harder to get back, when they realize they have made a big mistake?

Then, of course, there is the big one, the Holocaust. Will those lost in the Holocaust be counted against the 80 percent, saving millions of Jews this time around? (Shuqi)

I have no idea how this will pan out. But, besides tefilllah, tzedaqah, and teshuvah, I would like suggest that we remain calm, and know that who are ideally supposed to be here in Eretz Yisra'el, not in Egypt, and not in Edom (The West). And while here, we are not suppose to cry about it, like the Erev Rav.

1 comment:

אורנה ניצבת. דוד מלך ישראל חי וקיים said...

I can tell you one story as an example. Two Jews found each other in a communist country, married, and lived very long life together of hardworking, not keeping any mitzvot, not even telling anyone about their Jewish roots, including their children. They kept the Shabbat, traditionally, as a family day. They buyet a land to have kosher food. They where married for 40 years, faithful to each other. When the women died on his birthday, he died half year later, on her birthday. One of the children, who stayed in that country, let them cremate without the knowledge of the other child, that left communist country after 18 birthday. The child that left, at the moment of leaving communism, started to live the Torah step by step. You see there was a grandmother, babi, that when this child was little, took care of it and read stories of rabbi Nachman. After a long, long journey, after a child of the child that left, came to study to Israel, this adult, a parent now, followed. A grandchild was born, exactly after 11 months of that last cremation. With the shining eyes of the woman and the seriousness of the man. Someone explained, that the Jews, who left this world in a faraway country, without actually doing MITZVOT, got the chance to come the merrit of their children. Could it be that this beautiful child was born unified from the souls of the mother and father of her grandmother? Yes, it is possible.
Nachamu, nachamu...
We children, can help our simply DO and then listen, for they did not.

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