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Shabbat Parashat Shoftim| 5770
Parashat Hashavuah: Who Brings Them Home?Harav Yosef Carmel
Our haftara begins with the words: “It is I, it is I [Hashem] who is your consoler” (Yeshaya 51:12) and ends with “… and He who gathers you, the G-d of
The ingathering of the exiles is part and parcel of the prophecies of redemption and consolation. The prophets actually echo and expound upon the words of Moshe, who talked at the end of his life about “He will gather from all the nations” and, “if your scattered will be at the edge of the heaven from there Hashem will gather you…” (Devarim 30:3-5). Some of the many prophecies on the ingathering are found in Yechezkel 36:24; ibid. 11:20-39, Micha 2:12, and Amos 9:11).
How does the return to the
One of the keys to this question is the comment of the Ramban on a pasuk in this week’s parasha. “You shall certainly appoint a king, whom Hashem, your G-d, shall choose” (Devarim 17:15). Yet the Torah then limits the matter: “from amidst your brethren you shall appoint a king; do not place upon you a foreigner.” The commentators ask how there can be a question of whom to appoint if it is Hashem who is described as choosing? The Ramban explains that the people will go through the process of choosing the king, just that every human king is ordained by Hashem. He gives a similar explanation for the place of the building of the Beit Hamikdash which the Torah describes as the “place that Hashem will choose” (ibid. 12:5). He says that the simple meaning is that whatever Bnei Yisrael will chose will prove to have been the Divine Will.
This, taken as a general idea, explains our contradiction. The people will successfully toil to return to the Land, while it will prove to have been the work of Hashem. It need not be accomplished by one leader, as groups of Jews from Europe, North Africa, and
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This week’s Hemdat Yamim is dedicated in loving memory of