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B’Ohel Haneviyim: Parshas Nitzavim-Vayelech 5773

This week’s Haftorah is the last of the שבע דנחמתא. It is once again (like all of the שבע דנחמתא) a Nevuah of Yishayohu. The Haftorah is extremely interesting by its character. Unlike the rest of the Shiva Denechemta, it doesn’t only focus on our being redeemed from exile. In addition, our Haftorah centers on Hashem cleansing Am-Yisroel from the Umos HaOlam. The Navi tells us that the Goyim will not drink our wine anymore. Rather, we – the ones who will have been gathered in – will be the ones to drink it.

Why does the Navi state that we will be the ones to harvest our wine? The Torah tells us that when we do Retzon Hashem the Goyim will do our work for us. When the Geula comes the world will be Utopia realized; the entire world will recognize Hashem as Omnipotent, and will recognize Am-Yisroel as the “Am-Hanivchar”. It therefore stands to reason that after the Geula we will be able to focus on Talmud Torah and that the Umos-HaOlam will tend to our needs. The Navi in various places (including some of the other Haftoros of (נחמה tell us clearly that the Nations of the world will serve us and do our work for us. The Navi even tells us that their princes, princesses, and officers will be simple servants. All this strengthens the question: why does the Haftorah imply that we will harvest our own grapes?

While there is a lot of anti-Jewish behavior in the world, by-en-large we are a well-treated people. This is because most of the Jews in the Diaspora live in the United States and the USA is a Medina Shel Chesed. America for the most part takes good care of its Jews. In Eretz-Yisroel we too receive significant financial assistance from the USA. Additionally, in Israel there is a growing element of so called ‘Israel friendly christians’ who are pumping money into all sorts of projects to ‘help’ Israel, and also often come as volunteers, etc. While all these things help us live well, they are in reality keeping, or actually making us dependent on them, thereby allowing us to fall prey Chas-VeShalom to them. In fact it is quite clear that this is the intent of ‘Israel Friendly Christians’. They believe that their יש”ו is going to come again and that his ‘coming’ will be the end of us ‘non-believers’.

Sometimes the helper is essentially making the one being helped dependent. Sometimes the one being helped is really allowing the one helping to be productive.

The Haftorah is bringing out a very important point. The Navi has told us over and over again that one day all the nations of the world will want to help us. However our Haftorah is telling us that we won’t be at all dependent on the Goyim. The Navi is telling us that we will not need to give the Goyim our wine because we will completely own it. We will have true independence and will own our land and our wine.

Real freedom is independence.

A very warm Good Shabbos, Rabbi Y. Dov Krakowski

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