"Egypt" Loses Its Power Over Israel on the 15th of Nissan

"...and on the 15th of Nisan they will in the future be redeemed from subjugation to exile.” (Tanhuma, Bo 9)

07 March 2011

FYI --- For Your Interest

1 Adar II 5771

The Torah tells us about a prophet named Bilaam whom the King of Moav bribed to curse Am Yisrael. Chazal agreed that he was no tzadik. He wasn't even a Jew, yet HKB"H saw fit to bestow prophecy upon him. Whatever he was and whatever he did does not detract from the truthfulness of his message as testified by the fact that Chazal included his prophetic words in the daily prayers.

(And this despite it having a single "date" in it. Out of all the books of "prophecy" in our Tanach, I wonder how many actually name a date. Hmmm.)

Bilaam is famous for the scene depicted above, in which he beat his donkey for veering off the path he was traveling. The donkey was trying to avoid an angel which she saw standing in the path ready to destroy Bilaam if he persisted in trying to curse Am Yisrael.

Someone else in our tradition is famous for riding a donkey---MASHIACH! Why "humble and riding a donkey" (Zech. 9.9) instead of on a white horse like a conquering hero? Chazal tell us that this is the way Mashiach will come if we are unworthy. In today's language, you might say... riding a farm tractor rather than in a Rolls Royce Limousine.

Hashem can and will do things that seem to us strange and unexpected, like choosing David ben Yishai to be King of Israel. Even the prophet Shmuel was surprised. But, we have to keep reminding ourselves that it's His show, not ours, and His thoughts and His ways are far, far above our own.

Time will prove what is emet and what is sheker. Meantime, we have to cling to HKB"H and pray that we will not be mislead, while keeping our eyes and ears and minds open to Hashem's Truth in whatever form He might choose to clothe it.

Hamavin yavin.

I'll close this subject with a quote from The Essential Writings of Abraham Isaac Kook, p. 5:

"...In one of his most seminal essays, 'The Road to Renewal,' Rabbi Kook had posited that there were two paths to religious truth: the study of classic texts, and an ongoing spiritual illumination which is experienced by sensitive spirits - a mystical experience, as we generally call it - through whom God continues to reveal ever newer dimensions of truth. But the latter, Rabbi Kook warned us, to be efficacious must be subjected to moral and rational refinement in the person through whom it is channeled, or the message will be distorted and become a source of stumbling."

Chodesh tov!

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you 100 percent.
    Just because Rav Ben Artzi used to ride a farm tractor or just because he does not have semicha does not give people the right to badmouth him. I think he is a great man. A lot of things he has said have already come true. In addition, Rav Shmuel Eliyahu has testified as to Rav Ben Artzi's authenticity. We should at least give Rav Ben Artzi a chance, instead of dismissing him right off the bat.
    Also there is a great deal of mystery surrounding his life, such as his disappearance for three years, that indicate that he is no ordinary man.