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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Can We Be Redeemed from Democracies?

In the Sefer לא אמות כי אחיה, the author analyzes the juxtaposition of והיא שעמדה and צא ולמד in the Haggadah.  He asks what the connection is between the two paragraphs.  The following is how he answers the question:

Many say that the whole reason for mentioning Yetziat Mitzrayim is to strengthen our Emuna in the future redemption.  Some may, then, question how we learn a future redemption from Yetziat Mitzrayim if Mitzrayim had a king - and Hashem controls the hearts of kings, whereas nowadays, we live in democracies which are controled by free choice, which is something with which Hashem chooses not to interfere.  However, this is not true - Hashem will still redeem us from democratic governments. 

The proof to this is from Lavan.  Hashem came to him in a dream and told him not to harm Yaakov Avinu.  Lavan later told Yaakov Avinu, "I have the power to do bad things to you, but Hashem warned me not to do so."  He said that he had the power to do bad things to Yaakov Avinu since he had free choice, which is the hands of man.  Nevertheless, he made the choice not to because Hashem warned him not to do so.  Lavan was not a king and had his free-will intact, but still, Hashem found ways to redeem Yaakov Avinu from him.

So, in והיא שעמדה, where it says שלא אחד בלבד עמד עלינו לכלתינו, the "אחד" refers to a king, as it says by Avimelech "כמעט שכב אחד העם את אשתך".  This means that not just the King Par'oh stood up against us to destroy us, but in every generation, even those who were not kings stand up against us to destroy us, but Hashem saves us from their hands.  This means that even in democracies, where there are no kings, Hashem will save us.  However, where do we know this from?  צא ולמד - the proof is from Lavan, who is not a king, and is a man of free choice, and still Hashem prevented him from harming Yaakov Avinu.  Similarly, will Hashem save us and redeem us Bimheira Veyameinu, Amen.

(I'll just add that now that we seem to be on the eve of the first ever democratic government of Egypt's long history, and it too seems to be a nation that wants to destroy us, this teaching comes full-circle.  The שלא אחד בלבד and the שבכל דור ודור עומדים עלינו לכלתינו could be referring to the same country.)


At Tue Feb 08, 09:15:00 PM 2011, Blogger Leah said...

......let us pray Egypt DOES elect a more democratic ruler...Muslim Brotherhood is not democratc..... so, I don;t know that it has come full circle yet or if it will. Muslim Brotherhood is organized and strong.... I pray of course for the MB not to get in....

At Wed Feb 09, 05:11:00 AM 2011, Anonymous Aboutboul said...

Leah, don't forget that we have Barak Obama in the White House. Whenever something like this happens, and a Democrat is in the White House, we all know what to expect. Remember Jimmy Carter's Iranian Revolution. Well this will soon be called Barak Obama's Muslim Revolution. Very soon Israel will be surrounded by fanatic, Islamist nations the likes of Iran and Lebanon. There is nothing we can do about it. It's all according to Murphy's Law. But, we should also look on the bright side of things. In this kind of environment, there will never be a Palestinian state within Israel's borders.

At Wed Feb 09, 12:17:00 PM 2011, Anonymous neshama said...

Oh, Chicago, are you ever going to get out from under the snow, wind, freezing temps? The groundhog didn't see his shadow! Spring is on the way ... is it going to skip Chicago? :-)


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