Thursday, September 15, 2016

What It Will Be Like

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This week's Haftora is read twice during the year. Once with parshas Noach (Noah) and again as the fifth Haftora of consoling, with parshas Ki Seitzei.

The Haftora has a double theme. First, that when Moshiach comes, things will be so good, that we will forget the hardships of the exile. Second, that the redemption will be final, never to be followed by another exile.

The Haftora begins, "Sing, barren one, who hasn't given birth." Who is the barren one?

The simple explanation is that Hashem is talking to the city of Jerusalem, which feels like a barren woman, who hasn't given birth. Because she is desolate during this long exile. Hashem tells her to sing, as now that Moshiach is here, her streets are once again filled with her children, the Jewish people, she doesn't feel barren any more.

On a deeper level, Hashem is talking to the Jewish person who claims that the Jewish people are barren and have not given birth to him. Meaning, he has totally disassociated himself from the Jewish nation. Hashem is saying, that even he will sing the "Shir Chadash," the New Song, the song we will sing when Moshiach comes.

The revelation will be so great that we will break out in song, just as we did at the splitting of the sea. Every Jewish person will be included, even the "barren" one, who is in the darkest place. The revelation and transformation will be so great, that he too will break out in song.

The exile will then seem as a fleeting dream as the Haftora says, "For a brief moment I forsook you." And as it says in Tehilim, when Hashem returns the exiles of Zion, "Hayinu k'cholmim, we will have been as dreamers." like a dream it feels real, but when you wake up it fades away. This will be because, as the verse continues, "with great compassion I will gather you." The next verse continues, "With a little wrath, I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness, I will have compassion on you... "

What is clear from these verses, is that when Moshiach comes, it will be so good, that the exile will feel like a brief moment.

Now the Haftora says, "Like the waters of Noach, this is to me, just as I swore to never again cover the earth with the waters of Noach, so have I sworn not to be wrathful with you and not to rebuke you (ever again)." This verse is self explanatory, except that Hashem calls the flood "the waters of Noach." Why? Because the word Noach is like the word nachas, indicating that it is positive, because it changed the world for good. The same is true about this exile. When Moshiach comes, we will see how everything we went through in this exile, directly made the world ready for Moshiach. We will see the positive in it all.

The Haftora finishes, that when Moshiach comes "... My kindness will never depart from you, and my covenant of peace will never falter...

Like bookends, this Haftora is read before and after the holidays, which sets the tone for the whole year. Because bringing Moshiach is at the core of our mission as the Jewish people. Like beacons of light, it is read at the beginning and end of the year, to remind us that though our work is difficult and the exile is dark, what we are accomplishing is tremendous and our reward is even greater.

Perhaps it is your effort, your mitzvah, that will finally tip the scale and bring Moshiach.

May he come soon. 


  1. Thank you so much Rabbi Yitzi! That pshat on the waters of Noach is amazing! Have a great Shabbos!

  2. It was beautiful and inspiring, Rav Yitzi! Thanks for the double dose for this Shabbos. Can't wait to share it!
    Mashiach in Hebrew is also the gematria (numerical value) שנח granting rest!
    Good Shabbos

  3. I am the mother-in-law of Ariel, Alov HaSholom. Every night we listen to something called "Daily Emunah." Tonight, the the message was that because we are in a time of the gr eatest darkest (When we do not see HaShem, and we are not praised for our efforts) that our every small mitza accomplishes so much good and brings so much light.
    A conservative doctor, who made a house call to my mother two days ago, told me that I have to see your sight (blog) and that she listens to you every single day!
    I will also!