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3 Questions

Rabbi David SperlingElul 25, 5772
142
Question
1. Exo. 19:1 On the first day of the third month after the Israelites left Egypt — on that very day — they came to the Desert of Sinai. • Initially, wasn’t it only supposed to take the Israelites • just 2-3 weeks to arrive in Canaan (Promised Land), • but due to their sins it took them 40 years? 2. Gen. 41:51-52 Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” • Looking at this statement from a midrash point-of-view • ... all that Joseph experienced .. had to cause emotional & psychological trauma • ... Just as it would to ... Absalom’s sister, Tamar • ... Even Isaac, when Abraham raised up that knife • ... Not to forget, Jephthah’s daughter who was sacrificed to a life of (a nun, so-to-speak) • ... Dinah ... especially since her father didn’t stand up to Shechum’s father and tell him that his son could NOT marry her (although he raped her) • ... David’s wife ... Michal .. and what must have seem like (hell) that she went through .... all of these individuals were "victims." • What remedy would heal them from re-occuring nightmares, • ... the re-living of those incidents • ... Post-traumatic stress • ... initiated by the ... perpetrator / offenders • ... and … the unwise? 3. Do any of the Branches of Judaism: • ... believe there will be an end-time apocalypse, eschatology; • … the Millenium, a new heaven & earth, • … the end-of-the-world and last judgment? Shalom!
Answer
Shalom, Thank you for your questions. 1. Even before Israel sinned with the golden calf, it was clear that they would need to spend 7 weeks in the desert to prepare spiritually for the receiving of the Torah. After receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai, the original plan was to travel directly to the Land of Israel in a short time, as you wrote. These 7 weeks are recalled in the Counting of the Omer mitzvah we perform each year during the 7 weeks between the Passover festival and the festival of Shavu'ot, the receiving of the Torah. 2. I am not a psychologist, but it would seem that there is such a thing as a G-dly blessing of healing for all those who have suffered as victims. We see remarkable people who have suffered as victims and yet with extreme faith in G-d, and much hard work, they manage to overcome their suffering and live full and healed lives. Of course this does not mean that all those who suffered are granted such a blessing, and all of us are obligated to help in any way we can to those still suffering - whether it be with professional help, or through our outpouring of love to all. 3. It is not totally clear exactly what you have in mind when you use terms such as "end-of-the-world and last judgment" which clearly have certain connotations for you that perhaps I do not share - so I answer with caution. I can clearly state that Judaism believes in the concept of a Messianic future that involves all of humanity rising up to G-dliness, and a world alight with holiness and closeness to G-d. In fact, historically, the Jews gave the world this concept. Blessings.
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