Forethoughts and Afterthoughts.
Commentary on the weekly Torah reading.
In memory of Father, Yosef Ben Zelig.
March 25th 1911 - May 2nd 2008
In memory of Mother, Nechama Bas Tzvi Hirsh.
June 9th 1925 - April 16th 2003
In memory of Uncle, Moshe Binyamin Ben Tzvi Hirsh.
December 12 1929 - February 2nd 2010
In Loving Memory of Moreinu Horav Shmuel Yaakov Weinberg, Rosh HaYeshiva Ner Yisroel
Chukas (Numbers 19-22)
Massay (Numbers 30-32)
Massay (Numbers 33-36)
33:1 These are the journeys of the Children of Israel …
The Chamudei Tzvi commentary says that a number of commentaries view this verse as a hint that the Jewish people will eventually go into exile.
It provides the following explanation.
Commentaries also provide the following teaching:
The Jewish people sinned with the word "these" (… these are your gods, Israel, who brought you up from Egypt - Exodus 32:4); they were punished with the word "these (… our eyes darkened from these [events] - Eicha 5:17); and they will be consoled with the word "these" (… who are these who soar like the clouds - Yeshiah / Isiah 60:8).
We are taught that idol worship was a factor in G-D's decision to destroy the first temple and that the second temple was destroyed because of strife and discord. And both destructions led to exile.
The verse in Exodus is part of a snapshot of the sin of the Golden Calf.
The link between idolatry and exile is obvious.
The Chamudei Tzvi says that the verse also reflects strife. He does this by citing a teaching that understands it to mean that the Jewish people wanted many gods (Talmud Sanhedrin 63a).
There was not just a single break-away group that wanted to worship idols.
Rather, there were a number of factions, each one promoting their own solution to Moshe's (Moses') replacement, each one pushing different gods, each one saying "These should be your gods."
The winner was the group that imposed their opinion the hardest, the ones that used the most force. Aharon cooperated only after they murdered his nephew Chur (Exodus 32:5, Rashi).
Now, clouds consist of tiny individual droplets. They coalesce together, float around together, merge with other clouds, and even disappear together, all following natural laws.
We need to do a better job of uniting ourselves around the laws of the Torah, as they truly are, not as we want them to be. And we need to stop shopping around for opinions that match personal preferences or opinions.
The more we inject our individuality and impose personal preferences in how we practice Torah and deal with others, the more we are at risk to argue.
The more we desist, the closer will the end of the exile be in sight. And then we will soar like the clouds.
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