Delving into well hidden factors in the Scriptures which can positively advance the Drive towards Reconciliation and hence Geulah – if we only would care to confront it rather than sweep it under the carpet
#3 – Based on Parashat Re-eh
(Deuteronomy 11:26 – 16:17; Haftarah – Isaiah 66:1-24, 23)
Our Parashah opens with a counselling statement by Moses. This counsel to the nation remained throughout; it was the Gate Posts of Mt Eval and Har Bracha when they entered the Land at Shechem and it was the foundational conditions which resulted in the exile of both Houses of Israel at various times throughout history. As this Parashah will also confirm, it remains the Gate posts of the Promised Land at their Return from Exile in the Times of Consolation which we are approaching now. As such it directs the Way to Return – also and especially to the House of 10-Israel who lost their Israel Torah identity and thus escaped persecution in exile, unlike the House of Judah. Their part of the Curse of banning from the Land will only be felt at the Time of Restoration when, due to their loss of Torah Identity, they have caused the Gates of Return to be shut on them. The Times of Consolation (founded on HaShem’s Promise of Return) not only welcomes and strengthens Judah at their Return, but are also meant for the House of Israel at their reawakening. To both Houses however, it is still subject to Moses’ Counsel featured in this Parashah and throughout Scripture.
|כו רְאֵה, אָנֹכִי נֹתֵן לִפְנֵיכֶם–הַיּוֹם: בְּרָכָה, וּקְלָלָה.||26 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse:|
ַקְּלָלָה – Klallah – Curse, Syn. Damnation, denunciation, scorn, disdain, disrespect (Opp. of admiration); utter offensive words against someone or something in anger or annoyance.
We have noted the serious consequences of the Divine Reprimand for those who bad-mouth and disrespect Jews In a more definitive analysis of Gen. 12:3, (ref. “I will Bless those who bless you, Israel and curse (arirah) those who scorn (mekalel) you …”. In Gen. 12:3 the word קְּלָלָה Klallah is also used but with a wider meaning than ‘curse’ – ארירה – arirah. Few anti-Semites curse Jews, but bad-mouthing and disdain for Jews are common place, even amongst reawakening Ephraimites (10-Israel coming to life amongst non-Jews). So, Gen. 12:3 uses mekalel (derived from the same root and serving as an alternative to the word ‘Curse’ arirah which will befall those who bad-mouth and disrespect Jews and the Rabbinic leadership of Judah (who is destined to guide returning 10-Israel and the exiles Home and back to Torah).
If we now follow the same interpretative analysis of Parashat Re’eh (Deut. 11:26) to this statement in our opening text by applying the wider meaning of Kallah – ‘Curse’ to the exiles, then we realize why Jews were so despised during their 2000 years exile. Under King David and Solomon, Israel was a Blessed Nation leading the World as a mighty Super Empire that stretched to the Euphrates River – the Kingdom of Israel.
The question now arises about the exiled Northern 10-Tribed House of Israel: How does this Klallah apply to them? Having lost entirely their Israel Identity (contrary to the House of Judah who always retained it), they were not exposed to the scorn and the disrespect and persecution by the nations. They were exiled and rejected by HaShem because of the rejection by their forefathers of Judah’s Torah guidance. However, today, as the Skeleton (revived Israel) is receiving Life (Ezek. 37), they are now becoming the scorn of the nations. They are rejected by the religious sectors of the nations as ‘Jews;’ while the Jews reject them as ‘strangers’ (Goyim, pagans or more specifically, ‘Gerim’). They are drawn back to Torah and their heritage in the Land of Israel by HaShem, but many, due to the culture they grew up in during exile, oppose this direction back Home because they still share the Klallah rejection of Judah by the nations. Inadvertently therefore, they receive the Divine Klallah from HaShem for having rejected and disrespected Jewish Torah Israel. Even if they turn around and now bless Israel, the Klallah turns in reverse upon them where they themselves now, like Judah, become the target of the nations to receive “scorn, disdain, disrespect (Opp. of admiration); utter offensive words against them in anger or annoyance” from the nations and from Judah. ‘From Judah also’, because after 3500 years, the Gates for Return which are still controlled by Judah (because Judah was never de-covenanted from HaShem like 10-Israel), are almost locked to them. And from HaShem: “Just as these have chosen their ways and enjoy their disgusting practices, 4 so I will enjoy making fools of them, and bring on them the very things they fear.” (Isa. 66:3,4).
“Moreover, I have made you despised and humiliated in the view of all the people, since none of you keep my ways or show respect for Instruction.” (Mal. 2:9 CEB with regard to rejecting the Mechoqeck Mandate of Judah).
This, all in fulfillment of the Divine Reprimand of “Blessing and Curse.”
Judah, rather than welcoming back their ‘brothers in captivity’, keep them away from the Torah with involved theologies of Noahide Laws (7 only) or with a “2nd Class association as Gerim – (strangers). The Divine Order of ONE Restored reunited Nation of Israel has been moved to the back burner; the predictions of our Jewish Sages and Biblical Prophets forgotten and shelved.
Our Parashah Re-eh inspires and advises us (both Houses) how to overcome the ravages of exile by establishing reconciliation and restoration with pro-active measures of accepting each other as members of the same Family.
This Shabbat is the third of seven Shabbatot of consolation which follow Tisha b’Av. It provides consolation and revived hope to the returning exiles for building a renewed Land and nation.
This re-comforting passage prophesies the reestablishment of the ideal Davidic kingship along with the centrality of the re-established nation on the world scene. This Kingdom nation is destined to be formed by the restoration of the 12-Tribed kingdom of Israel. It cannot be established by the House of Judah (2 Tribes) alone. These consoling promises of Isaiah 40 to 66, which underlie the seven Sabbaths of consolation between Tisha B’Av and the 7th month Feast Days, ensure greatness and prominence to a beleaguered nation who will return from exile to their national Land. These writings of consolation were meant to raise the morale of a people who had only recently come home to a land which they had lost due to their failure to comply with the Covenant with the God of Israel. It established an ideal and allowed them to reclaim their faith in God.
The prophecies of Jeremiah, the prophet of the destruction of Judea and the First Temple, are contrasted with those found in this second section of the book of Isaiah.: “Isaiah healed that which [Jeremiah] and others cursed: Jeremiah said: ‘How she has become as a widow’ (Lamentations 1:1); Isaiah retorted: ‘as a bridegroom rejoices over a bride’ (Isaiah 62:5).
One Prophet offered a message meant to deal with forewarning the nation of tragedy to follow their non-compliance with the Covenant requirements – while the other Prophet redirected their goals and gave them hope when they needed to rebuild their lives for the Ingathering of the exiles and rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Land. The Prophet’s God-given role was to assess the needs of his nation and lead them along God’s path to Restoration and Redemption.
This same role and pro-active promotion should be maintained today by the spiritual leaders on both sides (i.e. Judah and re-identifying 10-Israel).