Friday, August 30, 2013

A Matter of Desire

A Torah Thought for Parashat Netzavim

By Rav Mordechai Rabinovitch 

"Hashem your God will return your captivity and have compassion upon you; and will return and gather you from all the nations, to which Hashem your God has scattered you" (Devarim 30:3). Rashi explains that the Torah teaches here that Hashem, as it were, is also in exile, and will return with the Jews to Israel. But how can the apparently superfluous repetition of the verb "will return" be understood?
In the first half of the verse, the Torah speaks of the Diaspora Jews as in "captivity". R. Meir Simchah of Dvinsk explains that this refers to a Jew who yearns to return to the Holy Land and regards his presence in foreign lands as a form of captivity. This type of Jew is the first to return home.
There is another type of Jew who feels perfectly comfortable in foreign lands, and has lost any desire to return to Israel. This type is the subject of the second half of the verse (which makes no mention of captivity). This type of Jew will eventually be returned – but later on (Meshech Chochmah).

Today, a Jew who merely wants to can return home. What about you??

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