After beginning with a very harsh rebuke and prophesy of terrible punishment, this week’s haftorah ends, “I will not cast away the descendants of Yaakov, and David my servant, from taking of their descendants to be rulers over the descendants of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov, for I will return their captivity to their land, and have mercy on them.”
Regardless of whether you think having people such as David Friedman, Nikki Haley, or Jared Kushner in major leadership positions is the best thing to have happened to the Jewish people or it’s the apocalypse, it isn’t the end game.
Our mission has always been a spiritual one, first in the Holy Land, eventually throughout the rest of the world. When we do a mitzvah, learn some Torah, or promote a G-dly moral code around us, we are drawing G-dliness into this world in a very real way. We don’t see it now but we will once our job in exile is done.
“The Torah has already promised that, ultimately, Israel will repent towards the end of her exile and, immediately, she will be redeemed.” (Rambam Hilchos Teshuvah 7:5)
The miraculous success and the terrible suffering of the Jewish people are connected to a bigger picture of a long road with spectacular ending – or more correctly, beginning!
“The sages of the previous generations have already informed us that man does not have the potential to appreciate the good of the world to come in a full sense nor can anyone know its greatness, beauty, and power except G-d… the good of the life of the world to come has no comparison or likeness, nor was it described by the prophets, lest with such a description, they diminish it.” (Rambam ibid 8:7)
So if you’re the category aghast by the election of the Trump administration, know that gam ze yaavor, this is part of the divine process which will hopefully be complete very soon. And if you’re ecstatic, and you think Mr. Trump is the greatest friend the Jewish people ever had, remember that he’s not the messiah and even if we were to grow and prosper like never before our sights are set on the real deal: the arrival of Moshiach ben David who will usher in a time when “the occupation of the entire world will be solely to know G-d.” (Rambam Hilchos Milachim 12:5)
Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos and joyous Chodesh Adar!
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