15 January 2021

Reb Neuberger: Vaeira – The Code Word

THE CODE WORD 

By Roy S. Neuberger

 

 

“I shall harden Paro’s heart and I shall multiply My signs and My wonders in the Land of Egypt. Paro will not heed you, and I shall put My hand upon Egypt, and I shall take out My legions – My people, the Children of Israel – from the land of Egypt with great judgments. And Egypt shall know that I am Hashem….” (Shemos 7:3-5)

 

My friends, this is what we can expect to see in the near future, in our own days. The events narrated in our current Parshios are the blueprint for our own period in history, as we near the end of our own long Golus.

 

A new president is coming to the United States. For all his histrionics, Donald Trump was a friend of Israel. Now he is departing, and the sky is darkening. The point is not to make predictions, but we learn from our current parshios that a “new Paro” forgot Yosef. It is possible that similar things may happen in our own days.

 

Whatever happens, it is clear that world events are nearing a climax. The current plague is disrupting life as we know it and is proving extremely difficult to control. Just as the vaccine appears, so does a new strain of Corona. Military and political tensions in the Middle East are dangerously high, and Europe is legislating anti-Torah decrees. The world is closing in on the Children of Israel, just as it closed around us in Mitzraim.

 

We must observe coming events closely; we will very likely see great upheavals. Unless our viewpoint is firmly rooted in the events narrated by the Torah, we will not be able to understand them. But if we learn from the Torah, we will know that upheavals are the prelude to Redemption.

 

It has taken almost two thousand years of Exile to reach this point. The Satan, our accuser, has unveiled his mightiest weapons to prevent our Redemption. In ancient Egypt, we were tempted to assimilate into the foreign lifestyle; many disappeared into the morass of idolatry and disappeared with the demise of Mitzraim. In Biblical times, our enemies drowned before our eyes and those of us who clung to Moshe Rabbeinu’s holy mission were saved. They made it to Har Sinai and became the Eternal Torah Nation. They praised G-d, saying, “I shall sing to Hashem for He is exalted above the arrogant, having hurled horse with its rider into the sea….” (Shemos 15:1)

 

Here is prophesy concerning the future of Mitzraim, once the mightiest of nations:

 

“They shall be a lowly kingdom… Among the kingdoms it shall be the lowest, and it shall no more exalt itself above the nations, and I shall diminish them they shall not rule over the nations….” (Yechezkel 29:15, the Haftara for this week’s Parsha)

 

And here is a prophesy concerning the future of Israel:

 

“So said my L-rd Hashem/Elokim. ‘When I gather in the House of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and I shall be sanctified by them in the eyes of the nations, and they shall dwell on their land that I gave to My servant … Yaakov, they shall dwell upon it securely and build houses and plant vineyards …. when I execute judgments upon all who disdain them … then they shall know that I am Hashem, their

G-d.’” (ibid 28:25-26)

 

Moshe Rabbeinu was given a sign when he came to Mitzraim. He used a doubled code word, “Pokad pochad’ti … I shall remember… I shall remember them.” This was an expression we have heard before. Yaakov Avinu (according to Rashi) used it to reassure his sons of the future redemption, and Yosef in turn reassured his brothers with this double expression. (Rashi on Shemos 3:18) When the Elders of Israel heard Moshe Rabbeinu say these words, they knew the redeemer had come.

 

“Ma’ase avos siman l’banim … what happened to the fathers is a sign for the children.” Our Father in Heaven has given us signs for the Final Redemption. When we see the mighty nations crumble; when we see that the “New Paro” does not “know Yosef,” then we are to remember the events in Mitzraim. “Pokad pokad’ti….” He will surely remember us.

 

“On that day, I will cause the strength of the House of Israel to flower.…” (ibid 29:21)

 

May we see it soon in our days!

 

Glossary

Golus: Exile

Har Sinai: Mount Sinai

Mitzraim: Biblical Egypt

Moshe Rabbeinu: Moses

Paro: Pharaoh, King of Egypt

Parshios: Weekly Torah portions

Shemos: The Biblical Book of Exodus

 


Morse Code Machine


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