10 May 2018

Parashat Be’chu’kotei – Yom Yerushalayim 5778

BS”D 
Parashat Be’chu’kotei – Yom Yerushalayim 5778
Rabbi Nachman Kahana

Avraham established Yerushalayim as the Eternal Capital of the Jewish nation

(James Tissot, Brooklyn Museum via Wikimedia). Ancient Israel


Following are verses from the ordeal that Avraham and Yitzchak had to endure in the episode of Akeidat Yitzchak – “The Binding of Yitzchak” (Bereishiet chapter 22):

HaShem commands Avraham saying:

ויאמר קח נא את בנך את יחידך אשר אהבת את יצחק ולך לך אל ארץ המריה והעלהו שם לעלה על אחד ההרים אשר אמר אליך:

Please take your son, your only son, the one whom you love – Yitzchak – and offer him up for a burnt sacrifice on one of the mountains which I will show you”.

Avraham binds Yitzchak and places him on the altar he built on the present site of the Temple Mount.
At the last second, when Avraham is about to place the knife on his son’s throat, an angel calls out to him to cease and not to cause any harm to Yitzchak, for they both have passed the test of faith in HaShem.

Avraham then notices a ram caught up in a nearby thicket and offers it for a burnt offering instead of his son.

foundation stone beneath Dome of the Rock


At this point, the Torah informs us:

ויקרא אברהם שם המקום ההוא ה’ יִרְאֶה אשר יֵאמר היום בהר ה’ יֵרָאֶה:

Avraham called the place where it all occurred “the place which HaShem sees (beholds)
The place which is called today the “mount where HaShem is seen” (meaning the Temple Mount where we are commanded to appear at least three times a year at Pesach, Shavuot and Succot to see HaShem’s glory in the Bet Hamikdash).

Immediately after Avraham defines the Mount as the place where HaShem is “seen” in this world, an angel appears again to Avraham saying:

(טז) ויאמר בי נשבעתי נאם ה’ כי יען אשר עשית את הדבר הזה ולא חשכת את בנך את יחידך:
(יז) כי ברך אברכך והרבה ארבה את זרעך ככוכבי השמים וכחול אשר על שפת הים וירש זרעך את שער איביו:
(יח) והתברכו בזרעך כל גויי הארץ עקב אשר שמעת בקלי:

I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son….

And HaShem continues to promise Avraham and the Jewish nation a great destiny.

The word AND in the verse “because you have done this and have not withheld your son…” implies that Avraham performed two things: 1- “because you have done this,” 2- “AND have not withheld your son”.

That Avraham did not withhold his son, is apparent, but what is the first thing he did as stated by the angel “because you have done this”?

For this we have to return to the previous verse where Avraham declares regarding the Mount: “The place where HaShem sees (beholds)”, which is known today as the Mount where “HaShem is seen.”
At that moment, Avraham declares that Yerushalayim will be the eternal capital of Am Yisrael and eventually of the world, and the Temple Mount as HaShem’s embassy to humanity.

The life events of our forefathers and mothers as recorded in the Torah are the “constitutional conventions” of the Jewish nation. That what transpired in their private lives is played out in the future on a national scale until the end of time.

Avraham established Yerushalayim as the eternal capital of the Jewish nation and the Temple Mount as HaShem’s eternal embassy, from where HaShem manifests Himself to the world.

HaShem’s Embassy

Next week, we shall see an event similar to Avraham’s declaration. Although not as breathtaking, it will be more widely witnessed.

The United States, the world’s major power, will open its embassy in Yerushalayim – an event that will be followed by many other nations of the world, as the forerunner of Yerushalayim’s Temple Mount as the future embassy of HaShem to the world. What Avraham decreed 3500 years ago will be re-enacted on an international scale with far-reaching political and religious implications.

And just as Avraham was blessed by the angel of HaShem, so too will Medinat Yisrael be the vehicle to bring forth all of HaShem’s blessings – material and spiritual – with the nations of the world becoming, one by one, cognizant of the unique spiritual nature of our nation as the Creator’s chosen people:

(יז) כי ברך אברכך והרבה ארבה את זרעך ככוכבי השמים וכחול אשר על שפת הים וירש זרעך את שער איביו:
(יח) והתברכו בזרעך כל גויי הארץ עקב אשר שמעת בקלי

“I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring, all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

No one can know what the current American President will do or the concessions he might demand of the State of Israel. However, that is immaterial. The reality is that the civilized nations of the world will have to reconcile with the Jewish State as an indelible fact and the 3000-year city of Yerushalayim as our capital. It will not be long before the Jewish people establishes HaShem’s “embassy” on the Temple Mount.

Shabbat Shalom – Yom Yerushalayim Samayach,
Nachman Kahana
Copyright © 5778/2018 Nachman Kahana

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