Rabbi Krakowski: Parshas Bereishis


The Haftorah we read this Shabbos is a Nevuah from Yishayahu regarding the Geula Asida (Final Redemption). As a general rule the Haftorah is supposed to reflect the Parsha on some level (unless it is a Haftorah for a particular Yom Tov or the like, which is then supposed to reflect the current Yom-Tov). Many of the standard Chumashim contain the explanation (in the name of the Levush and the Avudraham) that the reason this Haftorah is read is because it commences with Hashem declaring that He created the entire world; this idea reflects the Sedra’s discussion of Maaseh Bereishis (Hashem’s Creation of the world).

Such an explanation, however reasonable still leaves us with a very simple and basic question: why specifically this passage? Is this the first or only time in Navi in which mention is made of Hashem creating the universe?

If we glance over the Haftorah there are two obvious observations to be made: 1) that it doesn’t merely mention the fact that Hashem created the world. It is a constant theme throughout the portion we read; 2) the entire section in effect consists of the Navi telling us that there will be a Geula Asida. What is the direct correlation between the Geula Asida and Maaseh Bereishis?

This week I was Zoche to take my Rebbe HoRav Belsky Shlita to the Kossel. Rabbi Belsky recited a number of Tehillim lamenting over the Galus, as well as Tehilim that request the redemption. As Rabbi Belsky finished reciting Kapitel 49 he showed us a Rashi that explains the Pessukim there in the following manner: the Pessukim are telling us, Rashi says, that Bizman the Geula many Judean cities will be built. This is an act of Hashem’s Beginning to redeem Eretz-Yisroel. Rashi explains that while Hashem is remembering the Land and the Land is being rebuilt and ressetled Dovid Hamelech (Mashiach) will be crying out to Hashem to remember his malchus as well and to allow him to come and complete the redemption. Rabbi Belsky explained that we are currently witnessing the cities being rebuilt and being built. He explained that it is obvious that Dovid Hamelech is crying out that he (a descendant who will be Mashiach) should be remembered and Hashem should allow for the redemption to be completed.

The Radak explains that the reason Yishayahu is compelled to mention the fact that Hashem created the world is because in the times of Yishayahu many people denied the fact that Hashem created the world and (even more so) that Hashem had any continued involvement in the world. Thus Yishayahu repeatedly came back to the mention of the creation of the world.

The rebuilding of Eretz-Yisroel, and the return to Eretz-Yisroel, that we are now witnessing is being interpreted by many as a natural historical phenomenon. What the Navi is really telling us is: no! The Geula will happen, but it will happen because it is Hashem’s Divine Will that we should be redeemed. The Navi is driving home that the Geula is something that has been in store since Hashem created the world as a most crucial element to Hashem’s Divine Plan.

A very warm Good Shabbos, Rabbi Y. Dov Krakowski