Bamidbar – There is Hope
1. And it will be that the number of Benie Yisrael will be like the sand by the see which can not be measured or counted, And it will be, instead of it being said to them ‘you are not my nation’ it will be said to them ‘children of the living G-d.’ 2. And Benie Yehudah and Benie Yisrael will come together and they will appoint one leader and they will come up from the land, because the day of Yizrael is great.
Ibn Ezra says against all other Commentators that the people of Israel are to many and have had too many children who are being brought up without the Torah. They say that they are the people of G-d but are not because they do not observe the Mitzvot. Yizrael refers to something negative.
All others say that this is not the case but that this prophercy forsees an incredible time. (see Hertz)
The day I left Israel for an extended journey to America was Jerusalem Day. I am not a very sentimental character. However I know that on the day a person leaves Israel he should feel terrible that he is leaving such a holy place with such holy people.
I went to the Kotel for Mincha. The Chazan was a middle aged Yemenite. He was wearing a black hat and black suit. Some hesder yeshivah students were a part of the Minyan. The Yemenite Chazan decided to say Tachanun after the Amidah. He believes that the day Jerusalem was miraculously given to the Jews was not reason to cancel Tachanun.
After unsuccessful attempts to force the Chazan to stop in the middle an equally self righteous hesder yeshiva guy decided to say Kadish Titkabal. Before saying the thirteen merciful attributes of G-d the Chazan said that what they did was theft. At this point I walked away as cynical as I was before I decided to feel bad about leaving the holy people.
Our very optimistic Haftarah discusses two of the major sins which led to the destruction of the first Beit Hamikdash. We all know that all of our problems stem from one sin which is more deadly than than idolatry and Adultury. This is causeless hatred which was clearly illustrated in my Jerusalem Day story.
Hoshea prophecies that a time will come that Benie Yisrael will throw away all of the idolatry which is inter-connected with liscentious behaviour. After this G-d will renew the marriage between G-d and Benie Yisrael. Hoshea was originally a real cynic. The Gemarah says about Hoshea:
The Holy one Blessed be he said to Hoshea. He should have said “They are your Children, the children of your favorites, the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Put your mercy on them. It is not enough that he did not say that. Instead he said, “the whole world is yours, change them for another nation. The Holy One Blessed be He said, “What should I do with this elder? I will tell him to marry a prostitute and to have children who will be the children of a prostitute. Afterwards I will tell him to divorce her. If he can divorce her then I will send away Benie Yisrael.
As it is said:
And Hashem spoke to Hoshea, go take a prostitute wife and prostitute children.
And then it said:
And he went and married Gomer Bat Develim.
After he had two sons and a daughter The Holy One Blessed be He said to Hoshea: Should you not have learnt from Moshe you Rabbi, Since I spoke to him he separated from his wife. You should also seperate from your wife. He answered: Master of the Universe, I have children from her and I can not get rid of her and can not divorce her. The Holy One Blessed be he said to him: And what with you that your wife is a prostitute and your children are a prostitutes children. You do not even know if they are yours or someone elses. So it is with Benie Yisrael who are my favorites the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob…. and you said that I should exchange them for another nation. Immediately he stood up to pray and saved Benie Yisrael.
After the small demonstration I gave you from my Jerusalem Day experience. We see that the Jews are entrenched in the sin of hatred against each other and heavily into certain other terrible sins. We need our Haftara to tell the cynics that if we make a small effort to change we will have the Blessing from last weeks Perasha of the presence of G-d in our midst.