Parshat Breish’t 5778: How Our Torah Answers “The Big Lie” of the Nations Regarding Hashem’s Allotment of Eretz Yisrael to His Chosen Ones

Shalom Friends;

Our Parshat HaShevua, Breish’t is sponsored by Binyamin and Barbara Lemkin and family of Ramat Beit Shemesh who dedicate this vort for for the speedy aliya of Jonathan Pollard to Eretz Yisrael, mass aliya by American Jews and to the Jewish heroes who sacrifice themselves for the cause of Torah and Eretz Yisrael. To the Lemkin family, many thanks for your sponsorship and your continued kindnesses.

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Best Regards,

Moshe Burt
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Parshat Breish’t 5778: How Our Torah Answers “The Big Lie” of the Nations Regarding Hashem’s Allotment of Eretz Yisrael to His Chosen Ones

by Moshe Burt

The Torah cycle renews itself yet again with Parshat Breish’t 5778. As in previous years, this vort on Parshat Breish’t deals with the very first posuk of Torah, you know, the one; “In the Big Inning”, but with added emphasis in connection with our connection to Eretz Yisrael:

“Breish’t bora Keilokim eit HaShemayim V’eit HaAretz” (Sefer Breish’t, Perek 1, posuk 1)

“In the beginning of Hashem’s Creating the heavens and the earth” (Sefer Breish’t, Perek 1, posuk 1, as rendered to English in The Sapirstein Edition The Torah: with Rashi’s Commentary).

Rabbi Zelig Pliskin, in his Sefer “Growth Through Torah” (page 18) cites Rabbi Yeruchem Levovitz (Daas Torah: Breish’t , page 3) on Sefer Breish’t, Perek 1, posuk 1:

…You become aware that there is a Creator and Ruler of the universe. This first awareness already makes a major change in you for the rest of your life. You realize that there is a reason for everything. The world has meaning and purpose.

While it may not seem politically correct in our current world of oxymoronic Western “morality(sic)” mixed with both virulent and just-beneath-the-surface anti-semitism, The Sapirstein Edition The Torah: with Rashi’s Commentary explains this first posuk of our Torah (page 2):

[Rashi asks:] “What is the reason that it [Torah] began with Sefer Breish’t?”

It began thus because it wished to convey the message… “The power of His acts He told to His people, in order to give them the estate of the nations.” So that if the nations of the world will say to Israel, “You are bandits, for you conquered the lands of the seven nations who inhabited the Land of Canaan,” [Israel] will say to them, “The whole earth belongs to the Holy One, Blessed be He. He Created it — and He Gave it to
the one found proper in His eyes. By His Wish He gave it to them, and by His Wish He Took it from them and Gave it to us.” It is to be understood as the Rabbis of blessed memory expounded it: For the Torah which is called “the beginning of His way,” and for Israel who are called, “the first of His crop.”

Rav Shimshon Rafael Hirsch, z”l, In the new Hirsch Chumash then comments (New Hirsch Chumash, pages 1-2):

Our verse, then means: “In the beginning of all existence, it was Hashem who Created”; or if we add to the predicate the two objects that follow: “From the very beginning Hashem Created the heaven and the earth.”

…”Breish’t” proclaims that nothing existed prior to Hashem’s Act of Creation, and that heaven and earth were created only through Hashem’s Word. Scripture thus teaches… that the world was brought into existence from nonexistence. This constitutes the basis of the conviction that Torah seeks to instill within us.

The opposite notion is the belief in the eternity of the world, which is the cornerstone of pagan belief until this very day. This belief is not only a metaphysical falsehood, a misrepresentation of the origin of the universe, but… it undermines all morality, and denies all freedom in both Hashem and man. If matter had antedated creation, then the Creator of the universe would have been able to fashion from the material given him NOT a world that was absolutely good, but only the best world possible within the limitations of the material…. All evil — natural and moral — would have been due to the inherent faultiness of the material, and not even Hashem would be able to save the world from evil, natural or moral. Hashem would not be master over the material of the world, and man would not be master over his body. Freedom would vanish, and the whole world, including its G’d and the men who live in it, would be propelled by a blind, immutable fate.

This bleak conception is dispelled by the light of the Torah with its very first words: “Breish’t bora Keilokim”! Everything — the matter and form of all that exists — was Created by a Free, Almighty Creator… [Who] still rules freely over the matter and form of every existing thing [meaning animate, inanimate and living, including man], over the forces that act upon matter, over the laws by which these forces operate, and over the resulting forms.

The world that was Created “Breish’t”…. — with all its seeming flaws — corresponds with the wise plan of the Creator: He could have created a different world, had such a world corresponded with His Will.

If we and, in fact, the world, are to correctly understand this last paragraph of the aforementioned citing, that “vast eternal plan” (quote from “Fiddler on the Roof”) — the wise plan of the Creator — then His original allotment of The Land was to nations who proved themselves unworthy, and so He took The Land from them and gave it to us, to Am Yisrael — His Chosen people. As such, our mission is to show how a holy nation acts in its’ land, as distinguished from the hypocritical and abominable ways and actions of the nations, to be a light unto the nations, a paradigm of Hashem’s blueprint of what the Jews are to represent — Hashem’s Kohanim — His Priestly People to the other nations of Mankind.

Rabbi Mordechai Katz in his sefer, “Lilmod U’Lamed” (page 16) cites a posuk from Iyov and comments:

“From my body, I deduce the existence of Hashem” (Iyov 19)

The question has to be; how could it be that the universe, with its myriads on myriads of systems, sub-systems and intricacies, could just be there, could just eternally exist without having been brought into existence by a Creator? How could it be that a universe which just eternally exists, without a Creator, could have within it a part, a parcel of land — Eretz Yisrael — which only flourishes when one certain nation and people inhabits it, and lays totally fallow when any and all other entities occupy it? And how could it be that this one certain nation and people — the Jewish nation which had been persecuted, pillaged, murdered, mass-murdered or expelled by every other nation and “civilization” throughout the history of man would have survived and outlived them all and returned to that one parcel of land which only flourishes in their presence? Torah teaches us that all of everything is created and re-created by Hashem in the minutest, fractions of mili-seconds.

And so this author returns to a previous Rosh Hashanah Vort where Rabbi Asher Baruch Wegbreit, in his sefer “The Power of Aleinu” (pages 35-36), cites Rav Chaim Friedlander, Sifsei Chaim on ”Aleinu” and the Malbim:

…The World generally doesn’t apply the term “great” where it truly belongs — with Hashem.

Their reasoning begins with a flawed… assumption that the Creator of the Universe Who is lofty enough to create the universe would never “lower Himself” to become involved with the lower world that He made….

They don’t feel that the Creator relates to his creations.

We [the Jewish people] know that the Creator does relate to his creations (Rav Chaim Friedlander, Sifsei Chaim,”Aleinu.”) This recognition makes the Jewish people unique and obligates us “to ascribe greatness to the One Who formed Creation.” (Malbim on Tehillim 34:4)

The point here is that while Hashem relates to, and with each of us and with all of His Creations, we are still finite, whereas Hashem and His Torah are infinite.

And so, to understand correctly, the Obamator, or the Alt-Left or Alt-Right, the fake media, or the US state department, the UN, UNESCO, etc. can act, vote and pass whatever resolutions against us that they may wish, but they are all meaningless, powerless as nothing before the Will of Hashem, so long as we, and our national leaders strive to emulate His Way, to truly be the cream, “the first of His crop.”

We hope and pray for ultimate Ge’ula Shlaima, where our lives may no longer be finite. But in our current finite state, what we do here on earth is critical, for when we are no longer here, our Mitzvot, our kindnesses that we do, because they are needed, whether for family or for the Kehal — they live on, attached to the collective memory of the do’er by his/her friends, family, the Kehal and beyond.

May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them and that the expelled families of Amona be restored to their rebuilt homes, at government expense; both due to alt-leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized Yassamnik gunpoint. May our dear brother Jonathan Pollard be liberated and truly free — only upon his return home to Israel, and that Sholom Rubashkin, as well as the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem, as should the remains of the two chayalim from the Gaza War of three years ago. May we have the courage and strength to stand up and physically prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and prevent Chas V’Challila the handing of Jewish land over to anyone, let alone to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem Al’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bimhayrah b’yamainu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!

Good Shabbos!!
Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.

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