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Shabbat Parashat Teruma | 5769
The Attraction to a Country, Bigger Miracles Are Not Better
The Attraction to a Country
(based on Berachot 1:116)
Gemara: “They emptied out
Ein Ayah: From the Torah’s warning not to return to
One draw to a country is if it has bountiful food and is a good place to acquire wealth. Every great nation desires such things, and nations can be drawn even to lands that are distant, geographically and spiritually. Beyond this, a nation that is accustomed to a certain land from which it was distanced may be drawn by love of the land’s society. This can be prevented only when the society’s order is broken; no one wants to live in a desolate land.
Rav Ami spoke of a trap without grain, for when its wealth [represented by food] is lost, people are no longer drawn there to make riches. This broke the Israelites attraction toward
Bigger Miracles Are Not Better
(based on Berachot 1:118)
Gemara: Why did Eliyahu say “answer me” twice? Once that the fire should descend from the heaven and once that Hashem should occupy their minds so that they won’t attribute it to sorcery.
Ein Ayah: The goal of true belief is to attain shleimut (completeness) in actions and attributes. Intellect’s insight is very great, as the Chovot Halevavot says. It can be achieved without miracles, by means of pure recognition of the fear of G-d and the desire of good attributes; this is the goal of the heights of the spirits. Therefore Divine Providence always saw to it that miracles should occur in a manner that prepares the spirit to go on the straight path based on intellectual insight.
Therefore, it is better, if possible, that a miracle not be a major wonder but something that resembles nature. Thereby, one who wants to deny the miracle can say it was sleight of hand or sorcery, so that cognitive recognition will take part in deciding on the good path of Hashem, ways of full pleasantness and paths of peace. Only when necessary were obvious miracles performed.
Eliyahu used the miracle of the fire although one could claim it was witchcraft so that
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This edition of Hemdat Yamim is dedicated to the memory of
R ' Meir ben Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld
Hemdat Yamim is endowed by Les & Ethel Sutker of
and Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l.