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Scattered and Few

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The LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the LORD will drive you. — Deuteronomy 4:27

The Torah portion for this week is Va’etchanan, which means “I pleaded,” from Deuteronomy 3:23–7:11, and the Haftorah is from Isaiah 40:1–26.

When Fredrick the Great asked his trusted advisor for the single, strongest piece of evidence that proved the existence of God, the advisor answered him, “The Jews, sir, the Jews.” How is it that the Jewish people are a living testimony to the existence of God?

The answer is that the Jewish people, according to all reason and logic, should no longer be around. It is statistically impossible for such a small nation, persecuted and kicked out of land after land, to still exist. Even more unbelievable is the fact that they have returned to their homeland. There is no natural explanation for the existence of Israel today, only a supernatural one. There is only one possible explanation for the survival and revival of the Jews: God.

If the Jews exist today, it is only because God exists eternally.

If the Jews were a large and mighty nation, we may have been able to attribute their perseverance to their significant numbers or military prowess. If the Jews had remained in their homeland since its inception over 3,000 years ago, we might have been able to credit their existence today with the stability that they enjoyed throughout history. However, the Jews have enjoyed none of these advantages. They have been a small nation, less than one percent of all humanity, with neither a military nor a homeland until recent times. Under these circumstances, no nation could possibly survive.

Even more startling is that the Bible predicts these dire circumstances: “The LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the LORD will drive you.” God promised that the Jewish people would be few in numbers and scattered throughout the world – but that they would survive. Who could make such an outrageous claim other than the Master of the Universe? Only God could predict and arrange such events!

In his brilliant work, “Kol Dodi Dofek: Listen, My Beloved Knocks,” Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik lists the “six knocks of God” on our doors in these times. Among the six modern miracles he lists regarding the Jews include their return to the land of Israel, the miracles of the Israeli army, and the establishment of the State of Israel. These supernatural events predicted in the Bible, said Rabbi Soloveitchik, are God knocking on our door and asking us to wake up and let Him in.

We are living in wondrous times. The promises of the Bible are being fulfilled today. Let us be inspired by the miracles unfolding before our very eyes. Let us reaffirm our faith and renew our commitments to God. God is eternally faithful; may we be faithful to Him for all eternity.

With prayers for shalom, peace,

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President

Hebrew Word of the Day
August 1, 2017
Theme: Tisha B'Av

Tesha —
Nine

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