web analytics
January 31, 2015 / 11 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Bamidbar: A Unique Awareness Of Hashem

Miller-Rabbi-Avigdor

The Generation of the Wilderness was unique in the history of Israel, as Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, explains concerning the first verse of Bamidbar. Israel was slated for a special mission in the world, and this mission was begun with a special forty-year inauguration in which Israel gained an intense and unmatched closeness to Hashem.

“In the wilderness” (1:1). This subject cannot be properly understood without recognizing clearly the following guidelines:

A) Never again in the history of the holy nation was the Presence of Hashem among our people demonstrated as strongly and as clearly as in the wilderness. The Mishkan was the most holy sanctuary we ever possessed and Hashem was recognized by the Wilderness Generation in a manner far beyond any other genration or period in history.

B) Never again was our nation concentrated together in one area as they were in the wilderness. Such total national unity was never repeated.

C) Never again did our nation possess a leader who even partially approached the greatness of Moshe.

D) Never again did our entire nation have such a protracted era of leisure to study the Torah.

E) Never again was the nation isolated from the influence of the nations of the world as totally as in the wilderness. When Moshe blessed Israel and prayed for the nation’s optimum happiness, he said: “And lsrael dwelt in security, alone is the fountain of Jacob” (Devarim 33:28).

He thereby enunciated the two chief purposes for which the nation had spent 40 years in the wilderness: 1) betoch (security of trust in Hashem alone) and 2) badad (isolation). By living in an environment where a multitude could not survive, they gained the awareness that Hashem is the sole source of our sustenance. By clustering around the Mishkan; by the powerful influence of Moshe; by the clouds of glory; and by the daily mann, lsrael learned the awareness of Hashem in all aspects of l. Here they gained the attitude of total isolation from the nations and their ways. Thus the wilderness was the grand preparation for lsrael’s future history.

In addition, the period of the wilderness was the model of the great test of this world: the test to recognize Hashem and His kindliness.

“And you shall remember all the way which Hashem your G-d has led you these 40 years in the wilderness, in order to afflict you, to test you, to know what is in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. And He afflicted you, and He caused you to hunger, and He fed you the mann which neither you or your fathers knew, in order to make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but by all that comes from the mouth of Hashem does a man live. Your garment did not become worn out upon you, and your foot did not swell, these 40 years. And you should know in your heart that as a man chastises his son, so Hashem your G-d chastises you” (Devarim 8:2-7).

“For Hashem your G-d has blessed you in all the work of your hand; He has known your walking in this great wilderness; these 40 years Hashem your G-d has been with you; you have lacked nothing” (ibid. 2:7).

These verses seem contradictory; if they lacked nothing, how can it be said that “He afflicted you and He caused you to hunger” and that “Hashem your G-d chastises you?” But this was part of the test in the wilderness, and it serves as a model for the test of all mankind in every generation. Actually, they lacked nothing essential; and even when their circumstances seemed hopeless, Hashem was waiting in concealment to test them, but the help was prepared for them and was sure to come. The wilderness period supplied episodes of apparent crisis and seeming disaster or what appeared to be great discomfort and privation. But it was all a phantom, planned for the purpose of testing the people; Hashem was always nearby to succor them that they should survive. And all that happened was done solely “to do benefit to you in your end” (Devarim 8:16).

Compiled for The Jewish Press by the Rabbi Avigdor Miller Simchas Hachaim Foundation, a project of Yeshiva Gedolah Bais Yisroel, which Rabbi Miller, zt”l, founded and authorized to disseminate his work. Subscribe to the Foundation’s free e-mail newsletters on marriage, personal growth, and more at www.SimchasHachaim.com.
For more information, or to sponsor a Simchas Hachaim Foundation program, call 718-258-7400 or e-mail info@SimchasHachaim.com.

About the Author: The Rabbi Avigdor Miller Simchas Hachaim Foundation, a project of Yeshiva Gedolah Bais Yisroel, was founded and authorized by Rabbi Miller to disseminate his work. Subscribe to the Foundation’s free e-mail newsletters on marriage, personal growth, and more at www.SimchasHachaim.com. For more information, or to sponsor a Simchas Hachaim Foundation program, call 718-258-7400 or e-mail info@SimchasHachaim.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Bamidbar: A Unique Awareness Of Hashem”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Jeremy Bird, working for Israeli campaign outfit V15, shown at Ted Talk, May 20, 2014.
V15 US Political Operative Marinated in Hate-Israel Activism
Latest Judaism Stories
Staum-013015

People often think that all they are missing is “just a little more” and then they can be truly happy.

Torah-Hakehillah-121914

The Midrash is teaching a fundamental message of what it means to be a religious person.

Rabbi Sacks

Torah opposes slavery; G-d desires the free worship of free human beings, yet slavery’s permitted-?!

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

France allowed Islamists to flourish despite their loyalty to Islamic sharia law not French values

Approximately 18 years ago, my uncle called me into his office saying he had an urgent matter to discuss. I didn’t know what he had in mind.

“Where is God?” asked the Kotzker Rebbe “God is not everywhere but only where you let Him enter”

An Explosion In The Trench
‘With A Glowing Hot Knife’
(Yevamos 120b)

Her first tactic was tefillah; she immediately began to recite one perek after another of Tehillim.

When a miracle occurs that transcends nature, Hashem has broken the laws of nature to create the miracle.

“How could you have expected my glasses to be there?” argued Mr. Weiss. “You shouldn’t have to pay.”

Rather than submit to this fate and suffer torture and humiliation, Shaul decided to fall on his sword.

How can the Da’as Zekeinim say this was Hashem’s plan to allow them to become the Torah Nation? We know it was actually a punishment.

A strange midrash of fruit trees surrounding the Nation of Israel as they walked to freedom

Leading by example must be visible, regarding where, when and how-like Nachshon entering the Red Sea

Rabbi Yaakov Nagen, a Ram at Yeshivat Otniel, notes that the verse is suggesting that retelling the story of the Exodus is so important that Hashem is performing ever-greater miracles specifically so that parents can tell their stories to future generations.

More Articles from Rabbi Avigdor Miller
Miller-Rabbi-Avigdor

“When I proclaim the name of Hashem, give greatness to our G-d (32:3). When we hear a berachah, it is proper to exclaim “Baruch Hu u’Baruch Shemo” (“He is blessed and His name is blessed”) when Hashem’s name is pronounced. But much more is intended. The mention of that most important word (in any language) should evoke the greatest reverence and love and devotion. How much should we exert ourselves in this function?

Miller-Rabbi-Avigdor

We live in an age of conveniences – and dangers. Our affluence presents dangers to our quest for spiritual perfection, which the Torah cautions against and which Rabbi Avigdor Miller elaborates on in Parshas Vayelech.

“The life and the death I have given before you…in order that you should live, you and your seed.… And you shall choose life” (30:19). “Choosing life” is one of the highest accomplishments (Shaare Teshuvah III:17). This means that not only does Hashem allow us the free will to choose (a principle that materialist psychologists deny), He also gives us the information that we possess free will.

Many passages in the Torah appear at first glance to be repetitious. Often, each iteration has a unique and deep message. Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, finds such a case (in the passage of the Blessings and Curses) in the Torah’s instruction to keep Hashem’s commandments and walk in His ways.
Also in the passage of the Blessings and Curses, Rabbi Miller highlights the great blessing of a long life.

The Talmud asserts that the rebellious son of the verse below never existed and never will. Nonetheless, the Torah relates this law to advise parents in the most difficult of issues – raising children. To Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, the law and its lessons help reveal Israel’s greatness.

Moshe’s blessing to the nation of Israel is interesting in that a similar blessing, which Hashem had given Avraham and Yizchak, had already been fulfilled. Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, observes that among the greastest blessings is abundant offspring, and therefore this blessing was particularly auspicious – even the third time around.

In the confrontation between Israel and Midian, the Torah reveals the great void of virtue that separated the two nations. While Israel had fallen to great depths in the challenge of the Peor, Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, points out that it had risen again to great heights in the ensuing battle against a nation steeped in immorality.

“Pinchas Ben Elazar Ben Aharon the kohen turned away my wrath from upon the sons of Israel by his zeal for my sake in their midst; and I did not bring destruction upon the sons of Israel because of my jealousy. Therefore, say, behold, I give to him my covenant of peace” (25:11-2). This is a special proclamation of acclaim. Though Moshe certainly approved of Pinchas, Hashem here teaches the necessity to render public recognition to the righteous.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/bamidbar-a-unique-awareness-of-hashem/2012/05/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: