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Shabbat Parashat Vaetchanan 5773

Ein Ayah: Seeing Hashems Greatness through Israel

Gemara: He expounded on the pasuk (Divrei Hayamim I, 29:11): “To you, Hashem, are the greatness, the strength, the grandeur, the eternity, and the glory, for all that is in the heavens and the earth; to You, Hashem, is the kingdom and the supremacy over every leader.” “For all that is in the heavens and the earth” refers to the battle against Sisra, as the pasuk says, “From the heavens they fought” (Shoftim 5:20). “To You, Hashem, is the kingdom” refers to the war with Amalek, as it says: “He said: ‘For the hand is on Hashem’s throne’” (Shemot 17:16). “And the supremacy (v’hamitnaseh)” refers to the war of Gog and Magog, and so it is written, “Behold, I am upon you Gog, the leader (nasi), the head of Meshech and Tuval” (Yechezkel 38:3).   


Ein Ayah: In a case where there is one goal, the activity of the broadest heavenly powers overlaps with the most powerful forces of nature, along with the simple, weak powers of individual human beings.

Such an occurrence makes us contemplate the unity and greatness of Hashem, Who unites, in His lofty power, the greatest and most general together with the lowest and most specific. This is reminiscent of what the Rambam writes in Moreh Hanevuchim, that the egg yolk reminds us of the sun and also of that which unifies different things that are so distant from one another.

This is what happened in the battle against Sisra. Although the stars and other strong forces of nature intervened on behalf of Bnei Yisrael, Sisra was personally killed by Yael based on very specific occurrences. Think how great the difference is – yet all these factors joined to defeat him.

The general powers are in the heaven, whereas the specific things in a person’s life are in the land. Yet Hashem relates to “all that is in the heavens and on the earth.” In that way, there is not a great distance, neither in location nor in value. They are all joined together, the large and the small, to fulfill whatever Hashem decrees in His providence. We see that nothing is separate from Him, neither the powerful elements of nature nor the ever-changing thoughts of man – all are ready to carry out the word of Hashem, which will certainly and eternally be fulfilled.

Amalek stands up as an enemy of Israel. They were antagonistic of that which Israel set out to bring to the world: a nation that would serve as a kingdom reliant upon the greatness of Hashem. In this way, Israel was great even before it did anything to elevate itself above other nations by conquest. The world needed a nation whose greatest asset was the power of Hashem, with Whom they could build a relationship of belief, reliance, love, and awe. Amalek sought to oppose this.

At the time of Gog and Magog, the standing of Israel will exceed this level. Israel will not be just an independent nation; rather its spirit will dominate all the nations and flood them with knowledge and spiritual insight. At the end of days, the spirit of Israel will be raised above other cultures, thereby stirring the jealousy of Gog and Magog. While they are happy with Israel having its own place among the nations, they cannot tolerate them being elevated above them. At the end, Hashem will show the whole world that Hashem, the G-d of Israel, has absolute sovereignty. Thus, the difference between Amalek and Gog and Magog is that the war against Amalek is necessary to establish basic kingship for Hashem with regard to His nation, whereas for Gog and Magog, the war is needed only to establish supremacy.  
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This edition of
Hemdat Yamim

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R' Meir

Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld



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