Thursday, May 21, 2009

Through the Merit of Jerusalem I am splitting the sea (Mechilta BeShalach3)

© Boris Ganzelevich,

In parshat BeChukotai it is written And I will remember my covenant with Yaakov and also my covenant with Yitzchak, and also My covenant with Ya'akov, and I will remember the Land (Vayikra 26:42). Rashi comments:

Why were the Patriarchs listed in reverse order? it is to tell us: Ya'akov, the youngest is worthy of this (to bring about redemption); and if he is not sufficiently worthy, behold Yitzhak is with him; and if he is not sufficiently worthy, behold Avraham is with him

We can now take this one step further. Even if all of them are not worthy (in the eventuality that the merit of the patriarchs has run out), still I will remember the Land. That is that the merit of Eretz Yisrael will deliver us from distress (a concept that the Baal Ha Tanya spoke of). thus we have a pure source that the merit of Eretz Yisrael stands above all other merits. It is even greater than the merit of our forefathers...

The Mechilta comments of the verse Why are you crying out to me? Speak to the Children of Israel that they should travel (Shemot 14:150) "R. Yishmael says , "Through the merit of Jerusalem I am splitting the sea" (Mechilta BeShalach 3) This seems incomprehensible! What is the connection between Jerusalem and the splitting of the sea? The mreit of Eretz Yisrael is always by our side in times of need to deliver us from distress. Chazal tell us that Eretz Yisrael is occasionally referred to as Jerusalem, since Jerusalem is its center (Esther Rabbah 1:9). The Zohar similarly points out that all of Eretz Yisrael is included in Jerusalem (1:114a)

Source Eim Habanim Semeichah Harav Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal p 34-35

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