web analytics
April 25, 2015 / 6 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

In Times Of Danger, Run To – Rather Than From – Israel

Rabbi Avi Weiss

Rabbi Avi Weiss
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

In this week’s parshah, the tribes of Reuven, Gad, and half of Menasheh request to remain on the eastern side of the Jordan. A cursory review of their request gives us insight into why these particular tribes tried to remain outside Israel.

Reuven was, of course, the first son of Yaakov. When the brothers returned from Egypt and told their father that the viceroy (who was really Joseph) insisted they bring brother Binyamin to Egypt before they would be given more food, Reuven steps forward. Turning to his father he declares: “If I do not bring Binyamin back you can kill my two sons.” Yaakov rejects Reuven’s overture (Genesis 42:37-38).

Only after Yehudah comes forward saying he would be a surety for Binyamin does Yaakov relent.

The difference between Yehudah and Reuven is obvious. Yehudah assumes responsibility. He expresses a total commitment to Binyamin and is ready to put himself on the line if he fails. Not so Reuven. He guarantees Binyamin’s safety by using his children as collateral rather than himself.

Not surprisingly the children of Reuven who don’t understand the message of areivut, of caring for others, bear children and a tribe that prefers to remain apart from Israel.

Gad is one of the children of Zilpah, Leah’s handmaid. He is described as being very strong. In the words of Yaakov’s blessing as explicated by Rashi: Troops (armies) shall be found of Gad (Genesis 49:19). Still, when Joseph is sold Gad does not come forward to protect him. Here again, it is understandable that Gad becomes a tribe that asks to live outside Israel.

Menasheh is the eldest son of Joseph. When he is born Joseph calls him Menasheh, “For God has made me forget (nashani, the root of Menasheh) all my toil and all my father’s house” (Genesis 42:51). Here is a description of one who breaks with his home. Not coincidentally, Menasheh’s children wish to separate from Israel.

Moshe tells the two and a half tribes that they may live outside Israel but only after they first help conquer and settle the land. Here Moshe teaches the message of areivut to those who come from a tribe where the sense of caring is missing. And these tribes get the message. They lead the way in helping liberate the land. They were able to turn around the lack of areivut in their family history into a sense of real commitment to the Jewish people.

An important message, especially now, for Jews in the Diaspora – in times of need we should, like the two and a half tribes, run to Israel rather than from Israel.

About the Author: Rabbi Avi Weiss is founder and president of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and senior rabbi of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale.


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.

4 Responses to “In Times Of Danger, Run To – Rather Than From – Israel”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Israeli Air Force  planes reportedly bombed Hezbollah targets deep inside Syria.
Israeli Air Force Reportedly Bombed Missiles Site Deep inside Syria
Latest Judaism Stories
Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

In her diary, Anne Frank wrote words that provided hope for a humanity faced with suffering.

Leff-042415

The Arizal taught this same approach, making the point that the Torah would never mention wicked people and their sins if there was not great depth involved from which we are to learn from.

Staum-042415

Humility is not achieved when all is well and life is peachy but rather when times are trying and challenging.

In order to be free of the negative consequences of violating a shvu’ah or a neder, the shvu’ah or neder themselves must be annulled.

“I accept the ruling,” said Mr. Broyer, “but would like to understand the reasoning.”

He feared the people would have a change of heart and support Rechavam.

Ramifications Of A Printers Error
‘The Note Holder’s Burden of Proof’
(Kesubos 83b)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

In this case one could reason that by applying halach achar harov we could permit the forbidden bird as well.

“What a way to spend a Sunday afternoon,” my husband remarked. “Well, baruch Hashem we are safe, there was no accident, and I’m sure there is a good reason for everything that happened to us,” I mused.

The answer to this question is based on one of the greatest shortcomings of man – self-limiting beliefs.

Myth that niddah=dirty stopped many women from accepting laws of family purity and must be shattered

In every generation is the challenge to purge the culture of our exile from our minds and our hearts

Rabbi Fohrman connects the metzora purification process with the korban pesach.

The day after Israel was declared a State, everyone recited Hallel and people danced in the streets.

More Articles from Rabbi Avi Weiss
Rabbi Avi Weiss

Myth that niddah=dirty stopped many women from accepting laws of family purity and must be shattered

Rabbi Moshe Weiss

Poland’s great Jewish cities where Jewish life had once flourished and thrived, were now desolate

Kashrut reminds us that in the end, God is the arbiter of right and wrong.

Unless ritual is introduced, the Shoah will be remembered as a footnote in history in 100 years

Dayenu is not a song of complaint; it is rather a song of thanksgiving to God.

Often people in important positions separate from everyday people & tasks-NOT the Kohen Gadol

“Adam” speaks to the universal dimension of the Temple. He is the parent of all humankind.

Perhaps the greatest manifestation of human creativity in the Torah is the building of the Mishkan

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/in-times-of-danger-run-to-rather-than-from-israel/2014/07/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: