- All the Questions
What is the prophet talking about in Yesha’Yahu 8:17-18? Why does he say Hashem is hiding his face from the house of Ya’akov? Does this mean all the tribes of Yisrael?
The Torah tells us that at certain times in Jewish history, G-d may "hide His face", as a logical and educational outcome (natural punishment): if people think that they or nature run the world alone, and ignore G-d, than G-d will do just that, and temporarily apparently leave Israel to be under the laws of nature with little intervention. "You want to manage alone, I'll let you!" (see Dvarim 31, 17). Hiding one's face infers that he is temporarily unidentifiable, but nevertheless is always "peeking". Nevertheless, Yishayahu immediately adds there, that despite the fact that these laws of nature insure the disappearance of Israel (as all nations eventually come to an end), Hashem will never really forsake Israel, as proven by Yishayahu's children's names (dictated by G-d), that the redemption is definite, and in the end, G-d will reveal Himself once again. This is exactly what happened in the 5708/1948 miraculous Israeli War of Independence, just 3 years after the most extreme "face-hiding" (the Holocaust), G-d revealed Himself in the most obvious way in 2,000 years, helping a nation of disorganized, under-armed and frightened “surviving” skeletons, successfully defend themselves from 7 invading Arab armies, and even broadened her defensible borders.