Monday, November 14, 2016

A Torah Message that Isn’t Really There

This appeared in the weekly Torah Tidbits, published by the Orthodox Union in Jerusalem (some modification from me):

Parshat Lech Lecha has an interesting gap that represents 13 years. It teaches us something important. Notice the two consecutive verses (Genesis 16:16 and 17:1), which mention Avra(ha)m's being 86 and then 99. In the tiny space between these two verses (the space of a single letter in a Torah), 13 years pass. This 13-year gap is not per se important, but the lesson we can learn from it is. What happened during those 13 years?

NOTHING! Well not really nothing, but nothing of any significance for us. Avra(ha)m and Sara(i) lived their lives as individuals - not as the father and mother of the future Jewish Nation.

The Torah is not a full history nor a diary of the lives of the Fathers, Mothers, Tribes, Moshe and Aharon, etc.

We are not told about those 13 years (and all the other gaps throughout the Torah) because we have nothing to learn from whatever happened.

By inference – and this is the important message of the gap – we must know that everything that the Torah does and tells us is important to us. Much of what the Torah tells us involves the Mitzvot that Hashem commands us to follow.

Some of what the Torah tells us is meant to teach us what to do and what not to do as people and as Jews.

Case in point: LECH LECHA, Avraham grew up in an idolatrous pagan society. He rediscovered the One G-d on his own. He shared that fact and belief with many others – at great risk to himself. Very praiseworthy and meritorious behavior, yet it is specifically when G-d tells him to go the Eretz Yisroel that Avraham is to be a B'RACHA (blessing) for all.

Avraham Avinu is not the only person that G-d tells to leave his homeland and go to Eretz Yisroel. With the words LECH LECHA, G-d is commanding each and every Jew to follow in Avraham's footsteps.

A Jew can follow many of the Torah's mitzvot wherever he lives in the world. He can spread belief in G-d and observance of Torah and Mitzvot to his fellow Jews wherever he lives.

But the Jew is meant to live his Torah life in Eretz Yisroel. This is not just the lesson of Lech Lecha, but B'chukotai says it and many other places in the Torah echo the same point.

Hundreds of years before telling Moshe Rabeinu that He is taking the people out of Egypt to bring them to the Promised Land, he told the same thing about Eretz Yisroel to our forefathers and mothers. And through the Torah, G-d continues to tell generation after generation of Jews: Lech Lecha. It is a mitzvah, it facilitates other mitzvot, and it is R'TZON HASHEM (the will of Hashem) for us.
Note: Lech Lecha translates as “Go, for yourself.” The message is that the act of going to Israel is for your own good, truly in your best interest. It is a command from Hashem, but it is also excellent advice for the Jewish soul to be in the best and holiest place to thrive. All our discussion recently has been about being physically comfortable, and that it can be anywhere in the world (as long as that place still exists). But, do we ever ask where is the best place for the spiritual “me,” the most comfortable place to reach a much higher level of Tikun that will last me for eternity? Once again, Hashem’s advice is far above the advice of any human being, no matter how great or how observant he or she is.
I just noticed that there were 69 earthquakes in the world over 2.5 in intensity in the past 24 hours (it is 11:15 Israel time as I write this).  This includes a 7.8 earthquake in New Zealand (plus 8 aftershocks of over 5 and 6 in intensity), along with many other earthquakes over 5 in intensity.  Since one of the indications that I have been watching of Nibiru's approach has been world disruptions and calamities, I look at this as another sign from Hashem that we are close to Hashem's great day of awe (end of Malachi) and the worldwide redemption (the Star of Jacob).


  1. Rav,
    Shauva Tov..

    what you say is so so true..

    I am not a Jew...

    If i were.. i would have tried my utmost to go.. no matter who said or agreed or not to what, or where or why, ..
    I wish each and all of you.. Jews, the best.

    Just say once again, Rav Menachem, that good non- Jews will be saved where ever they be.

    We need to have that re-assurance too...
    I need to hear it just once again from you.
    I know you have said that.. not too many Jews have said that.. some have.. yes.. and thank you Rav Menachem.

    1. The most important thing to remember is that 2.5 billion people will be saved and go on to enjoy the time of Moshiach and the worldwide redemption (Zechariah 13:8). With about 14 million Jews in the world, that means that over 2 billion non-Jews, or people who don't know they are Jewish, will thrive and see salvation.

      Also, be aware that we do not really know who are the true Jews in the world. History has confounded the true origin of many. Since the 10 lost tribes will also return, and that there is a good possibility that those tribes are the over 2 billion non-Jews, I believe all monotheists who love Hashem, love the Torah and crave Israel will be here soon.

      Only Hashem knows for sure about each and every individual, but He has certainly given enough hints in recent years for all righteous people on Earth to have a very positive attitude about their near future and eternities.

  2. No one can disagree with this. The best place for the spiritual "me" is Eretz Yisroel and my neshama longs for home. Hashem put us in this world with a mission and it is always a balancing act to nourish ourselves spiritually and physically. I have to put food on the table for my kids and i. When our families depend on us for their needs, i am afraid that this becomes a priority and we need to plan things really well to allow us to also have a spiritual life. By Hashem's grace, our needs are always met and i am very grateful. Maybe i can still hope and dream that in due time i will merit to live in Yerushalaim. Ms. AP

    1. You and your family will be here much sooner than you think.

      The most important attitude for you to have and display to Hashem is your complete desire to come home, and be with your people. The world is corrupt and full of bad influence. Israel has its share of corruption also, but it is isolated. One can live here now, and feel completely free of the world's craziness and filth (they just have to avoid looking at the media).

      There are many frum communities in Israel that feel like the time of Geula has already come. I lived in the states in the most frum community in the world, outside of Israel. Lakewood, a city of about 85 thousand people was about 65 thousand frum. The best Torah living possible was in Lakewood outside of Israel. But, I was still reminded every day of the horrible world of hate and corruption. We could not leave any items outside, such as a bike or toys without loosing them to low class ignoramuses who walked through our completely frum development. The number of houses that were robbed, and the number of observant Jews that were physically abused let us know constantly that we were still in Galus. I do not have any of that now.

      All I am asking is that all Jews realize that it is much, much better here, and that each of you and your loved ones should crave your move to Israel, which will be soon. That is what Hashem tells us in the Tenach and that is the attitude Hashem wants to witness from us every day.

      Jews constantly justifying and looking for excuses to ignore Hashem's instructions is not helpful for the Jew or for the loved ones who depend on them for guidance. Positive attitude is the best Teshuvah available in this situation.

      I, and definitely my readers, don't need to hear the excuses about living in the wrong place. I lived in the wrong places for 58 years and I could probably write a longer and more convincing list than anyone. It is not what Hashem wants from me or any of my readers, and I wish to comply with His will -- it is my life's guidance.

      Hashem's will is what is best for all of us, let's live it together.

  3. בס״ד

    Thank you!

    Orna Nitzevet

  4. The zohar speaks of messiah ben Yosef appearing in the year 66. Thats 66 years after the state of israel. 2014. Then he shall be revealed to the people in 6.5 years from 66 which is 5780 at pesach. The year 72 from the state of Israel which is 2020 pesach. Any thoughts?

    1. Your comment is a very big oversimplification of the Zohar. Where is it written that the 66 years is after the state of Israel? The other calculations of 5780 is also unsubstantiated. The Zohar is so mysterious, simple interpretations are misleading and incorrect (even in Hebrew).

      Moshiach ben Yosef, like Moshiach ben David, is here already and working hard to bring about the Geula. I know this from sources I cannot disclose at this time.

  5. Thank you Rav for your words of encouragement. I have a strong desire to be with my people and have been very inspired in the last few days. Too many of us are stuck outside our homeland for now and need hope and encouragement to keep our goal alive: future aliyah. To this end, i will be starting a blog full of resources and utilize my work experience supporting caregivers, clients and volunteers to support olim in waiting. Stay tunned. May Hashem bless us all and continue to guide me. Ms. AP

    1. Please share your blog link as soon as possible
      Thank you
      Hatzlacha rabba

  6. A message to all non-Jews as long as you take part in blessing The Jewish people And The land of Israel you have nothing to worry about. This is written in The Torah parashat Lech Lecha. So non-Jews don't worry. Blessing means with thought, speech And action.

  7. Every day I crave to get out of here and live in Eretz Yisroel but it is not within my power to do so, I need Hashem to rescue us and take us there. Ironically my daughter who is in shidduchim would like to meet a yeshiva bachur from Lakewood, as that is her favorite place to be until Hashem takes us to EY. But the longer we are here, as much as you tell us to remain positive, the harder it is to do so. I cry because my soul yearns to be in EY. Please daven for me, Chaya Rochel bas Shulamis, that my whole family makes it there soon. When I hear ridiculous comments like the one above making predictions that are several years away, I just want to go back to bed and bury my head under the covers. Please give us more hints as to how soon you think we are getting out of this predicament?

  8. Rachel, the comment from that Anonymous stating it may be 2020 is not to be taken seriously. Rav and others are so right...all signs point that it will be soon. You have my email now (thanks Rav) and i want to offer my support. Emailed you today already. Please do not lose hope. Ms. AP