Beit Midrash

  • Torah Portion and Tanach
  • Va'era
To dedicate this lesson

The Torah study is dedicated in the memory of

Hana Bat Haim

Parashat Vaera

The Grand Vision of the Geula


Rabbi Mordechai Spiegelman

Va'era 5763
The opening words of Parashat Va'eira relate to Moshe's complaint in the previous parashah concerning the disastrous consequences of Moshe's appearance before Pharaoh seeking the release of the Children of Israel. These opening words also address Moshe's question why he was sent in the first place.

According to Midrash Rabbah, when Moshe agreed to go to Pharaoh, he understood that the redemption of the Jewish slaves was imminent: Moshe would present God's demand for emancipation and the slaves would summarily be released. Were Pharaoh to refuse, Moshe expected God to immediately unleash the plagues, one after another, and bring Pharaoh to his knees. When this didn't happen, Moshe complained to God about Jewish suffering and questioned his own role as God’s messenger. In reply, God assured Moshe that the realization of the stated goal, i.e. redemption, would take place, but not with the immediacy that Moshe had envisioned. What was important was not to lose sight of the grand vision that God had promised to our forefathers--the emergence of a unique nation and its settlement in Eretz Yisrael.

Throughout the ages, Jews never lost sight of the ultimate reality of "Am Yisrael Be-Eretz Yisrael." No day passed without multiple mentioning of Jerusalem and "the land." The historic restoration of Zion was destined to be gradual rather than instantaneous.

This classic model found expression when Jews returned to Eretz Yisrael under the leadership of Ezra and Nechemiah to rebuild the Second Temple. They contended daily with severe challenges, starting with the painful fact that the majority of Jews at that time chose to remain in the Babylonian exile. But the promise to our forefathers was ever present in the consciousness of Ezra and Nechemiah, and the emergence of the glorious Second Commonwealth is testimony to their faith and commitment.

In modern times we witness the return of our people to the land which expresses itself in a steady march of new immigrants. At the same time we strive to inspire those who have not as yet made aliya and must still internalize the words of Parashat Va'eira, "And I will bring you unto the land concerning which I did swear to give to Avraham, Yitzchak and to Yaacov." May this come about speedily in our lifetime!

This is a weekly column contributed by Aloh Naaleh an organization devoted to motivating Jews to make Aliya.
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