Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Ki Savo

A Message for the Generations

One of the most bitter curses that the Torah describes in the tochacha that forms such a major portion of this parsha itself is that one’s labor and efforts, even all of one’s life struggles and sacrifices, will turn out to be empty, fruitless, of no purpose or benefit. We all work in life to achieve certain goals – financial, personal fulfillment, family serenity, and the wish to be remembered and appreciated. There is therefore perhaps nothing in the tochacha that is as deflating and saddening as the statement that all of our efforts will be for naught, all of our ambitions, ideas and struggles ultimately pointless and of no lasting value.

It is clear to most of us, not particularly blessed with enormous wealth or unique creative genius, that there are relatively few ways that we can make our mark on the world and our lives purposeful. One of those ways however is in building family ties and harmony. People are able to see their accomplishments in the accomplishments of others if those others are their offspring or close relatives.

That is the reason that family relations, especially parent-child relationships, are so delicate and emotional. For even if one feels that one’s efforts in life have been successful, we feel that the verdict on our achievements is yet to be rendered and that it depends upon the continuing success of our future generations as well. And therefore the words of the tochacha are truly frightening for it portends that the future generations can undo all previous achievements of their predecessors. We are all too bitterly aware that this is true especially in our generatrions.

This inconsonance between generations is emphasized further in the tochacha when the Torah describes “that your children shall be given to another nation and that you will be powerless to prevent it.” The Torah refers here not only to actual enslavement and imprisonment of one’s children but it also implies being given to a foreign, non-Jewish culture and way of life. The effects of the secularization of the youthful generations of Eastern European Jewry and of American and Israeli Jewry are so serious as to be almost catastrophic.

Our generation and times are left to pay the bill for those previous defections from Jewish life. And, what the appeal of false ideals that overwhelmed the Jewish street then did not destroy, the Holocaust - described in minute detail in the tochacha – completed. If it were not for God’s promise that ends the tochacha, that Israel will survive and rejuvenate itself, we would almost be without hope or comfort. But it is the sad fact that the tochacha, in all of its awful prophecies and events, has literally taken place before our eyes. And, this paradoxically gives us the hope and promise for the better times that God’s promise extends to us.

As we contemplate the shambles of the tochacha that surround us currently, we may take hope in the future- that the times of peace, spiritual accomplishment and serenity of soul will also be literally fulfilled in the great and good year that is about to dawn upon us and all of Israel.

Shabat shalom.

Rabbi Berel Wein


Rabbi Berel Wein- Jewish historian, author and international lecturer offers a complete selection of CDs, audio tapes, video tapes, DVDs, and books on Jewish history at www.rabbiwein.com

Text Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Berel Wein and Torah.org


 


ARTICLES ON VAYIGASH AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

Feel My Pain
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

Bonding Time
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5760

Rabbi Frand on Parshas Vayigash
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770

> Kingship = Responsibility
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5764

Yehuda, Yosef and Chanukah
Shlomo Katz - 5763

Number One Priority
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766

ArtScroll

The Eventual Good
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

The Right Size Portion
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Yosef and Chanukah
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5757

Looking for a Chavrusah?

First Things First
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5769

Uneasy Questions
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

How Extrordinary The Result
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5761

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Strong and the Weak
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

Build with Your Dreams
Shlomo Katz - 5772

Light From Darkness, Take Two
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

From the Mouth of a "Turned Off" Student
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5759



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information