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Shabbat Parashat Vayeishev 5780

Parashat Hashavua: Kingdom, Independence, and Chanuka

Harav Yosef Carmel

Yosef was the first to present a vision centered around a king to whom all bow down. The question of monarchy is also one of the major themes that are dealt with during Chanuka, which always falls during or right after the reading of Parashat Vayeishev. The Rambam makes a strong point about the place of the Jewish kingdom after the Maccabean victory. At the end of his description of the historical events (Megilla V’Chanuka 3:5), he declares: “… and kingdom returned to Israel for more than 200 years until the destruction of the Second Temple.” Let us look at other spiritual significances that independent Jewish leadership in Israel has.

The Torah describes in Sefer Devarim how we are to determine when it is time to build the Beit Hamikdash. “For you have not come to this point to the menucha (rest) and the nachala (inheritance) that Hashem your G-d is giving you. You shall cross the Jordan and live in the Land that Hashem your G-d is giving to you as an inheritance, and He will give you respite from all of your surrounding enemies, and you will live in security. And to the place that Hashem your G-d will choose to have His Name dwell, you will bring everything that I am commanding you – your burnt offerings, … (Devarim 12:9-12).

When were these conditions realized? The first pasuk speaks of menucha and nachala. Nachala certainly relates to Eretz Yisrael. It is indeed impossible to build the Beit Hamikdash outside of Eretz Yisrael. But what does coming to menucha mean? From the continuation of the p’sukim, it seems that it is Hashem giving respite from all their enemies. When did this occur?

It is said about David: “And it was when the king sat in his home and Hashem gave him respite in his surrounding from all of his enemies, the king said to the prophet Natan: ‘See that I am living in a house made of cedar wood, and the ark of Hashem is located within sheets.’” (Shmuel II, 7:1-2). Apparently, at this time David thought that the conditions set out in Devarim were fulfilled. But if menucha meant that there were no wars to wage, it is difficult, as the next perek in Shmuel refers to several more battles waged.

The Rishonim deal with this and offer several possibilities, which will be discussed in our sefer, Tzofnat Shmuel. Let us offer an old-new idea.

After David set the Jews free from the dominance of the Plishtim (see Shmuel II, 5), David declared the existence of an independent Jewish state, with Yerushalayim as its political capital. In the next perek, David declared Yerushalayim as the spiritual capital of the Jewish people for all generations. For this reason, he brought the ark to the City of David. While there were still enemies around, with whom David fought later on, David already wanted to build the Beit Hamikdash.

We can learn from here that menucha means independence, not the absence of war, even if with imperfect security. That is already called giving respite from enemies. As Chanuka draws close, let us add to our prayers and thanks the prayer of Al Hanisim, while keeping in mind the great miracles that our generation has witnessed.

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Dedication

We daven for a complete and speedy refuah for:

 

Nir Rephael ben Rachel Bracha

Refael Yitchak ben Chana

Netanel Ilan ben Sheina Tzipora

Netanel ben Sarah Zehava

Meira bat Esther

Yair Menachem ben Yehudit Chana

Rivka Reena bat Gruna Natna

Lillian bat Fortune

Yafa bat Rachel Yente

Eliezer Yosef ben Chana Liba

Ro'i Moshe Elchanan ben Gina Devra

Esther Michal bat Gitel

Yehudit Sarah bat Rachel

 

Together with all cholei Yisrael

 

Hemdat Yamim is dedicated

to the memory of:

those who fell in wars

for our homeland

 

Eretz Hemdah's beloved friends

and Members of

Eretz Hemdah's Amutah

 

Rav Shlomo Merzel z”l
Iyar    10

 

Rav Reuven Aberman z"l

Tishrei 9  5776

 

Mr. Shmuel Shemesh  z"l
Sivan 17 5774

 

R' Eliyahu Carmel z"l

Rav Carmel's father

Iyar 8  5776

 

Mrs. Sara Wengrowsky

bat R’ Moshe Zev a”h.

Tamuz 10    5774

 

Rav Asher Wasserteil z"l

Kislev 9 5769

 

RMeir ben

Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld z"l

 

RYaakov ben Abraham & Aisha

and

Chana bat Yaish & Simcha

Sebbag, z"l

 

Rav Yisrael Rozen z"l
Cheshvan 13, 5778

 

Rav Benzion Grossman z"l
Tamuz 23 5777

 

Rav Moshe Zvi (Milton)

Polin z"l

Tammuz 19 5778,

 

R' Abraham Klein z"l

Iyar 18

 

Hemdat Yamim
is endowed by Les & Ethel Sutker
of Chicago, Illinois
in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker
and
Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l

 

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