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What We Are Doing Here

In Parshas Haazinu there is a scary idea. It says [Chapter 32, Psukim 26-27] that Hashem would destroy the Jewish people if not for the fact that the Gentiles would misinterpret and think that it wasn't the hand of Hashem. Thus, He is compelled to save us. It seems to be saying that the only reason we are here is because of the wickedness of the Gentiles and not because of our specialness.

However a deeper look indicates that the pasuk is really revealing to us how special we are. The purpose of the Jewish People is to remind the world of G-d's existence. If we are not here - He is not here [kiviyachol]! The pasuk says "Atem aidai vi'ani kel" - You are my witnesses and I am G-d. Chazal explain that the pasuk means that if we are G-d's witness only then He is G-d, but if we don't testify to His existence then ... Can't say it. [See Ramban there and Pachad Yitzchak Rosh Hashana Maamar 12].

Sweetest friends, we have a big job.

A gitten kvittel to all!!

Some non-Jewish thinkers have touched on this point as well:

Kaiser asks Bismarck, "Can you prove the existence of God?" Bismarck replies, "The Jews, your majesty. The Jews."

"The preservation of the Jews is really one of the most signal and illustrious acts of divine Providence... and what but a supernatural power could have preserved them in such a manner as none other nation upon earth hath been preserved. Nor is the providence of God less remarkable in the destruction of their enemies, than in their preservation... We see that the great empires, which in their turn subdued and oppressed the people of God, are all come to ruin... And if such hath been the fatal end of the enemies and oppressors of the Jews, let it serve as a warning to all those, who at any time or upon any occasion are for raising a clamor and persecution against them."

- Thomas Newton - British Clergyman: Bishop of Bristol (1704-1782)

If only we could remind ourselves on our own

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I agree, if there were no Jews, then there's no learning and therefore no world because the world stands on Torah, avodah, and gamillas chassadim

However G-d remains, it's just that his presence wouldn't be here anymore, G-d forbid

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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