web analytics
August 31, 2015 / 16 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Shabbos Chol HaMoed Pesach: The Dry Bones Prophecy

Leff-041814

Does the name Yaakov Kirschen mean anything to you?

Mr. Kirschen is the American-Israeli author of the famous political “Dry Bones” comic strip. He says that the goal of the series, which has run in newspapers since 1973, is to fight the false image that many have of Jews. He says, “History is being rewritten to portray Jews as demonic, sub-human, and the enemy of mankind. Cartoons and books are important vehicles for these calls for violence and denial of history.” With his work, he tries to counteract these harmful voices. Mr. Kirschen says his cartoons are designed to make people laugh, which makes them drop their guard and see things the way he does. With his cartoons he attempts to “seduce rather than to offend.”

The fact that Mr. Kirschen called the comic strip, “Dry Bones” is very interesting and is based on the haftarah we are about to discuss. The inspiring message of the miraculous events in Yechezkel, where the dry bones come back to life, is that when we face situations which seem hopeless, we have to remember that there is always hope and renewal in store for the Jewish People.

Yechezkel (37:1-14) saw a valley full of dry bones of Jews who had been dead for a very long time. Hashem then brings them all back to life. The Tur (Siman 490) says that this is the haftarah of Shabbos Chol HaMoed Pesach because there is a tradition that techiyas hameism, the resurrection of the dead, will take place on Pesach. Rav Dovid Feinstein offers another reason. With the redemption of from Mitzrayim, we became revived and reborn as a nation. Klal Yisrael as a national entity had been dead while we were slaves to Pharaoh, and we experienced a resurrection as a nation with the redemption on Pesach.

 

Sanhedrin 92b says that the dry bones were of the thousands from Bnei Efraim who had made a wrong calculation and left Mitzrayim too early; the Mitzrim massacred them. Hashem did not help them because it was not time to leave.  Rav Dovid Feinstein explains that they had given up hope on Hashem redeeming them and felt they had to do it by themselves. However, even they will receive a tikun and rectification at the end of time when Hashem returns their neshamos to them in the future, on Pesach.  This is why we read this section of the haftarah on Pesach. Rav Yonasan Eibschitz in Ahavas Yonasan adds that Bnei Efraim did not get a chance to sing shira at the Yam Suf, but will be given the chance to do so after the revival of the dry bones.

 

Interestingly, the Gemara cites opinions that these bones were literally brought back to life and we are not discussing a mere vision of Yechezkel or some event that will take place some time in the future.  One of the tanaim, Rabi Yehuda ben Beseira, says that he is actually a descendant of one of the people whom Yechezkel resurrected.

 

In another approach, we can suggest that the dry bones symbolize those people who perform mitzvos dryly, without feeling and meaning. Such people view the Torah and mitzvos as necessary but they fail to make a spiritual connection. The Maharal in Tiferes Yisroel (Chapter 4) explains that there are 365 prohibitions corresponding to the human being’s 365 sinews and bones and 248 positive commands paralleling its 248 limbs. These limbs provide the very definition of a functioning, physical human life. The bones provide structure to the human body but it is the limbs that make the body function. Similarly, the lo saasehs provide the spiritual structure in which the soul can grow and develop, but the goal is to fulfill the asehs, the actions of spiritual acquisition.  Someone who focuses only on the bones of Torah makes his bones dry and passionless.

About the Author:


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.

One Response to “Shabbos Chol HaMoed Pesach: The Dry Bones Prophecy”

  1. Gary Harper says:

    The bones are like stones. Hashem can raise up children of Abraham from either. The question is, are you living, or are you already dead? Is your heart of stone, and are you already dry bones, or are you of flesh and blood? Hashem can save a repentant one even as he slips into death, provided it is a true repentance. I have personally seen this last instant repentance happen. That is what I get out of Ezekiel's vision.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Dr. Joe Uziel, codirector of the excavation from the Israel Antiquities Authority, sitting atop the stepped structure from the Second Temple period.
Second Temple-Era Podium May Be Discovery in City of David
Latest Judaism Stories
Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

The common translation of the opening words of this week’s parsha, Ki Seitzei, is: “When you go out to war against your enemy.” Actually the text reads “al oyvecha” upon your enemy. The Torah is saying that when Israel goes out to war, they will be over and above their enemy. The reason why Bnei […]

Rabbi Avi Weiss

The love between Gd & Israel is deeper than marriage; beyond the infinite love of parent for child

Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Since giving the machatzis hashekel will not change his financial situation, he is obligated to do so even though it is more than a fifth of his income.

Today, few people fast during the Days of Selichot, but the custom is to rise early to recite Selichot.

Each month is associated with a particular tribe. The month of Elul is matched up with Gad. What makes Gad unique?

Sanctions and indictment of the Jew, holding him to a higher standard, is as common and misplaced as ever.

To allow for free will, there are times when Hashem will allow a person the “opportunity to be the messenger.”

“There is a mitzvah to pay the worker on that day,” answered Mr. Lerner.

Be happy. Be grateful. God knows what he is doing. It is all happening for a reason.

We get so busy living our lives, handling our day-to-day little crises that we forget to go that one step deeper and appreciate our lives.

The promise for long life only comes from 2 commandments; What’s the connection between them?

Mighty Amalek deliberately attacked enemy’s weakest members, despicable even by ancient standards

If we parents fail to honor responsibilities then society’s children will pay the price for our sins

Consider how our Heavenly Father feels when He sees His children adopting all other parents but Him

More Articles from Rabbi Boruch Leff
Leff-081415

When we see the new moon at the start of each month, it is a sign from Hashem that we can renew ourselves spiritually.

Leff-071715

Feeling Hashem’s presence in our lives is the very purpose of the Beis HaMikdash.

Dovid’s musical Torah teachings were designed to penetrate the soul and the emotions.

There is a great debate as to whether this story actually took place or is simply a metaphor, a prophetic vision shown to Hoshea by Hashem.

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.

These four parshiyos are viewed as steps in a progression toward Pesach, the Yom Tov of teshuvah m’ahavah, of returning to Hashem out of love.

Just having basic emunah during these times of great spiritual challenges is inestimable in Hashem’s eyes.

In reality, there is no such thing as an unimportant detail, an unimportant mitzvah.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/shabbos-chol-hamoed-pesach-the-dry-bones-prophecy/2014/04/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: