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Parshas Bamidbar

The Sparkle of Truth

By Rabbi Label Lam

And HASHEM spoke to Moshe in the Desert of Sinai in the Tent of Meeting… (Bamidbar 1:1)

Why is it called the Desert of Sinai? It is because of the “sina”-hatred by the nations of the world that resulted from them not accepting the Torah on Mt. Sinai. (Tractate Shabbos 89B)

Why should hatred enter the hearts of the nations of the world because of the reception of the Torah by the Nation of Israel? Does not the Midrash tell us that they were offered the Torah and they refused to accept it?! Why should such a lasting hatred ensue? What’s the benefit of having to endure a blood soaked gauntlet of history for having accepted the Torah?

The Talmud tells us that the 2nd Chapter of Tehillim (Psalms) is a direct window, a futuristic vision of the attitudes and schemes of the nations of the world on the heels of the advent of the Messianic Era. It begins like this: “Why do the nations congregate and why do the peoples think of worthless plans? Why do the kings posture themselves and the rulers take council together against HASHEM and His anointed!?”

About this prophetic verse Rabbi Shimshon Raphael Hirsch ztl. explains, more than 150 years ago, that the reason why the nations gather noisily together is specifically to conspire against HASHEM and His anointed. He writes, “They all, consciously or unconsciously, have one common goal, namely to emancipate themselves from the sovereignty of the one supreme principle, that of the dutiful obedience to the moral Law of G-d which came to their awareness through the historical fact of the existence of His people and of His anointed. Only to this law did G-d promise His aid and furtherance. Upon this law did G-d build His world order, and only through the observance of this law can nations attain enduring peace in their domestic and foreign relations. The refusal to swear allegiance to this moral law because of considerations of personal interest, power, fame, and wealth is the reason for the unhealthy internal and external relationships in the lives of the nations. Instead of seeking a cure for this state of affairs upon the only path that leads to the true goal, all the leaders of the lives

and activities of the nations are perversely engaged in a fight against this sole principle of salvation. The cure actually lies precisely there where they think they can find the cause for their troubles, while they seek the cure in that which actually only aggravates the lingering evil.”

A disciple and descendent of Rabbi Hirsch, Dr. Isaac Breuer ztl. observed, “The “people of the Book” among the nations is the most fantastic miracle of all, and the history of this people is literally one of miracles. And one who sees this ancient people today, after thousands of years among the nations of the world, when he reads the Scripture (The Torah- Old Testament) and finds that they relate clearly and simply the ever-transpiring Jewish phenomenon, and does not fall on his face and exclaim, “G-d, the Lord of Israel, He is G-d!” then no miracle will help him. For, in truth, this individual has no heart to understand, no eye to discern, and no ear to hear.”

A French author from the latter part of the 19th century, Jon DeBileda wrote the following before the Russian Revolution, the rise of Nazi Germany, and prior to the ingathering of millions of Jews to Israel; “In essence the Jewish people chuckle at all forms of anti-Semitism. Think all you want and you will not be able to find one form of brutality or strategy that has not been used in warfare against the Jewish People. “I cannot be defeated” says Judaism. “All that you attempt to do to me today has been attempted 3,200 years prior in Egypt. Then tried the Babylonians and the Persians…Afterward tried the Romans and then others and others…” There is no question that the Jew will outlive us all. This is an eternal people…They cannot be defeated, understand this! Every war with them is a vain waste of time and manpower. Conversely, it is wise to sign a mutual covenant with them. How trustworthy and profitable they are as allies…Be their friends and they will pay you back in friendship one-hundred fold! This is an excellent and exalted people!”

The same way a diamond’s strength, beauty, and perfection is revealed, after 3321 rugged yet glorious years we can only hope more perceive the sparkle of truth.

DvarTorah, Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Label Lam and



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