Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Parshas Shoftim 5770 - Yeshaya 51:12-52:12

I, only I, am He who comforts you -Only I can provide actual comfort to you- Who are you that you -the child of the righteous like you, filled with merit why- should -you- be afraid of mortal humans or from men who will be made -as- grass?

You have forgotten Hashem, your Maker- and you are not relying on Him. Since He created the world, you should realize that He also has the power to save you- Who spreads out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, and you are continually in fear all day because of the oppressor’s -the leaders of the nations who enslaved you- anger when he prepares to destroy -he may plan to destroy, but he will not succeed- but where is the oppressor? -tomorrow comes and the oppressor is no more-

The wanderer -Israel who has been exiled among the nations, wandering from place to place- will be released soon -from exile, and so there is no need to fear the oppressor- and he will not die in the pit -exile is like being in a grave. Israel will not die in this grave- nor will he be lacking bread -while they are captives in exile, Hashem will provide their sustenance. When they leave exile, they will not starve on the way out-

-Why would you not rely on Me?- [And] I am Hashem, your Al-Mighty, Who stirs up the sea and its waves rage -certainly I have the power to lash out against the nations who hold you captive- Whose Name is Hashem, Master of Legions.

And I have placed My words in your mouth -the words of Torah so that you may speak them- and I have covered you in the shade of My hand -in the merit of the Torah, I have protected you from your enemies- to plant the heavens -to fulfill the promise that you would multiply like the stars in the sky- and set a foundation for the earth -to fulfill the promise that you would increase like the dirt of the ground- and to say to Zion, “You are My people!”

Awaken yourself! Awaken yourself! Arise Yerushalayim, you who have drunk from the hand of Hashem the cup of His fury -to cleanse you from sin- and you have drunk from and drained the sediments of the cup of poison -all the evils what were destined to befall you in exile are over. It is time to get up from exile and leave-

There is no leader for her from among all the children she has borne -while she is in exile, they could not lead each other- From among all the children she has raised, there is no one that can hold her hand -they cannot help each other since they are all equally devastated-

There are two -tragedies- that have happened to you. Who will cry for you? -the two tragedies are- The destruction and the calamity -which are- [and] the hunger and the sword. With whom shall I comfort you? -who can I use as an example to say, ‘this other nation has been stricken like you’-

Your children are exhausted -weakened and unable to feel- They lie at the head of all the streets like a wild ox trapped in a net -like an animal with no master would fall into a trap and cannot move- filled with Hashem’s fury, with the rebuke of your Al-Mighty.

Therefore, hear this now afflicted one, drunk but not from wine - rather from all the tragedy that has befallen you-

So says your Master, Hashem, and your Al-Mighty Who will fight -on behalf of- His nation -to take revenge against those who would do evil against them- Behold, I have taken the cup of poison from your hand -no longer will tragedy be visited against you- from the sediments of the cup of My wrath shall you drink no further.

And I will put [it] -the cup of poison- in the hand of your tormentors -and they will receive their due punishments- who have said to your soul, ‘Prostrate yourself -bend towards the ground- so that we may pass over you,’ for whom you have made your body like the ground -like something that everyone walk over- and like a street for passersby -and you did this out of love for Me-

Awaken, awaken -from your slumber of pain- Don your strength -that which has been stripped away from you, wear it once again. Your inner strength is represented by the Stronghold of- Zion -where stood the Beis HaMikdash, the Kohanim, the Sanhedrin, and the kings-. Don your garments of splendor -let there be rejoicing- Yerushalayim, the holy city, for no longer will the uncircumcised and ritually impure enter you.

Shake the dust from yourself -in exile you were like one who was lying in the dirt- Arise -from the ground, from exile- and sit -on the throne of glory- Yerushalayim. Undo the binds of your neck -the ropes that were tied on you during the Babylonian exile- captive daughter of Zion.

For so says Hashem, you were sold for nothing -for the sins you committed because of the Yetzer Hora, for which you do not benefit- and you will be redeemed without money -rather, through repentance-

So says Hashem, your Al-Mighty: Egypt, My nation went down first to journey there -although Egypt enslaved them for many years, initially they provided them a place to live and they sustained them. The slavery there was a partial repayment of that debt, albeit more than was warranted- but Assyria -Sancheriv and Nevuchadnezzar, leaders in Babylonia- oppressed them for no reason -Israel owed them nothing.

And now, why should I remain here? -Why should I let Myself stay here and My children?- says Hashem, for My nation was taken for no reason. Their rulers glorify themselves -saying ‘We are the most powerful’- says Hashem, and constantly all day My Name is cursed -profaned and treated disrespectfully in their eyes.-

Therefore, My nation will know My Name -when I redeem them, they will recognize that My name implies Master, Leader, and Ruler- Therefore, on that day -of their redemption, they will understand that I am the One Who speaks, that it is I Who speaks, here I am -I exist!-

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