This week’s Torah portion, Devorim, is always read on the Shabbos immediately preceding the fast of Tisha B’Av. The holy Sheloh teaches that the weekly Torah portion is always connected to the time of the year it is read. Based on this, there must be a connection between Parshas Devorim and Tisha B’Av. We must understand the relationship between the Parshah of Devorim and our (all too) long exile.
Rashi tells us at the very beginning of our Torah portion that even at the same time that Hashem is rebuking the Jews, He is also concerned with their honor. Rashi cites the words from the first verse of our Parshah, “These are the words.” He comments, “these are words of rebuke, and Moshe lists all of the places where the Jews angered Hashem. Therefore, the Torah does not explicitly mention their transgressions. Rather, it alludes to their sins by mentioning the names of the places where they angered G-d. This is done out of respect for the Jews.”
Why is this concern for the Jews’ honor when He rebukes them? Because the goal of criticizing them is to elevate them, i.e., to add to their honor. This teaches us that even at the time of exile, the Jews’ glory is apparent. The reason for the exile and destruction commemorated on Tisha B’Av is the redemption that will ultimately be enjoyed. The exile itself is an expression of Geulah.
We find the same idea in the book of Eichoh, Lamentations. It begins with the words, “O, how has the city that was once so populous (Jerusalem) remained alone!” There is something very positive about “remaining alone.” We see this in the prophecy that the Jews are “a nation that will dwell alone and will not be reckoned among the nations.” Jerusalem “remained alone,” and the Jews “dwell alone” means that the Jews would not mix with idolaters. It is indicative of the time of redemption.
Even when things may not seem optimistic, we can be confident that all is well. Nothing negative descends from above, and the exile prepares us for a step toward redemption.
I wish one and all a good Shabbos! May we merit the time of the complete and true redemption now!
Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn
Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 14, Page 7
DEDICATED IN HONOR OF THE LUBAVITCHER REBBE
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
DR. MINDEL RIVKA (MURIEL) BAS REB MENACHEM MENDEL SHLOMO ע”ה STITT
PASSED AWAY ON SHABBAT PARSHAS LECH LECHA, 10 MAR-CHESHVAN, 5782
MAY HER SOUL BE BOUND IN THE ETERNAL BOND OF LIFE
IN HONOR OF
The Soldiers of Tzivos Hashem Chaim and Aiden Oded שיחיו Morris
DEDICATED BY THEIR PARENTS
Rabbi & Mrs. Menachem M. and Chaya Mushka שיחיו Morris
. Sheloh at the beginning of Parshas Vayeishev. See also Zohar volume 2 page 206, b.
. Parshas Devorim, Devorim 1:1.
. As implied by its name, this book of the Bible laments the destruction of the Holy Temple and the ensuing exile. It is read as part of the service on Tisha B’Av.
. Parshas Balak, Bamidbar 23:9.