Wednesday, July 26, 2006

איכה פרק א by David Farkas

1 - 21 שָׁמְעוּ כִּי נֶאֱנָחָה אָנִי, אֵין מְנַחֵם לִי כָּל-אֹיְבַי שָׁמְעוּ רָעָתִי שָׂשׂוּ, כִּי אַתָּה עָשִׂית הֵבֵאתָ יוֹם-קָרָאתָ, וְיִהְיוּ כָמֹנִי

See Rashi, who explains that Jeremiah accuses God, as it were, for being the source of the nations’ hatred towards us. Because the Torah forbids us to eat of their foods and marry their children, the nations tend to dislike us. This might be the idea behind the comment of our sages in Shabbos 88a, that Sinai is called such because the gentile’s hatred [sinnah] toward us came from Sinai. The passage is usually interpreted to mean that the gentiles are somehow jealous of us.

However, the verse seems to suggest the nations were happy specifically because God Himself caused our destruction. oweverHPerhaps then the meaning is as follows: Had Israel merely been the victim of an unfortunate accident, like a plague or an earthquake, the nations would not have rejoiced so over Israel’s downfall for they might appreciate the fact that the same thing could happen to them. They might also attribute it to an act of nature. (Still an act of God, but less apparent). What caused them to rejoice was that this was manifestly an act of God! The nations were thus able to expose the Jews as the true hypocrites they were, and ask them, where was their God now? This was a validation for their own failure to accept the yoke of the Torah, or at the very least, their failure to recognize Judaism properly.

Thousands of years later, the Nazis too, would ask this question of the martyrs –“Where is your God now?” Rav Gifter (z’l) tells of what his great Rebbi responded moments before he was murdered, when his Nazi executioner mocked him by asking him this very question: “He is not only my God, He is your God also, and the whole world will yet find this out.”

8 comments:

Avromi said...

Just checking if it works

ben said...

nice idea. Not trying to be controversial, but this story with Rav Gifter zt"l saying over what his father-in-law Rav Avraham Yitzchak Bloch hy"d said, is supposedly not an authentic story.

David said...

I never heard that it was inauthentic, but I always did wonder how Rav Gifter could have known what his Rebbi said before he was killed.

At any rate, the story was just illustrating the idea.

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Anonymous said...

Rav Gifter said it. an eye witness saw it.I think it was rebbetzin Ausband