Israel Forever

For the week ending 16 October 2010 / 7 Heshvan 5771

The Patriarchal Preview

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

"Whatever happened with the Patriarchs is a sign of what will happen with their descendants."

This is the historical perspective that our Talmudic Sages use in explaining the relationship between events recorded in the Torah and those which took place in the later history of our People.

In his commentary on the Torah portion which will be read this week in synagogues throughout the world, Ramban points out how Avraham's flight to Egypt from famine-stricken Eretz Yisrael and his troubles there were previews of what would happen to later generations.

We might suggest another message based on this concept. Avraham was promised the gift of Eretz Yisrael only after he had abandoned "his land and his birthplace." May this not be a hint that Avraham's descendants would gain uncontested possession of this land only by abandoning the influence of the nations of the world to which they were exposed and to dedicate themselves solely to the service of G-d? Only then will they truly gain "the land which I will show you" with no need for futile negotiations.

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