Beit Midrash

  • Shabbat and Holidays
  • The Month of Elul
To dedicate this lesson

Two Brothers Who Were Painters


Rabbi Haggai Lundin

Elul 10 5782
Today, on 9 Elul, 755 years ago, Nachmonides (Rabbi Moses ben Nachman) immigrated to the Land of Israel. He described his feelings upon seeing the destruction of the land, to his son: "And what shall I tell you regarding the land that is so abandoned and the desolation is great". In all of Jerusalem, Nachmonides found only two (!) Jews – "two brothers who were painters". He founded a synagogue, brought a minyan of Jews; and the rest is history. Today, around 600,000 Jews live in Jerusalem.

The next time we are stuck in traffic jams in Jerusalem or on the Ayalon highway; that we hear terrible news about terrorist attacks; traffic accidents; and violent political discourse – it is important to remember: 755 years ago, there were only two brothers here – and today, a whole world.

Sometimes, on the personal level, we find in our hearts only "two brothers who were painters", it seems to us that we are drowning in sins and failures, and the good in us is few and hopeless. The month of Elul is a good time to remember - in the end, the two brothers who painted became a metropolis; the good prevails, even if it takes time.

The bad will pass.
The good will prevail.
With God's help.
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