Friday, July 30, 2010

Eikev 5632 Second Ma'amar

כִּי תֹאמַר בִּלְבָבְךָ רַבִּים הַגּוֹיִם הָאֵלֶּה מִמֶּנִּי אֵיכָה אוּכָל לְהוֹרִישָׁם׃ לֹא תִירָא מֵהֶם זָכֹר תִּזְכֹּר אֵת אֲשֶׁר־עָשָׂה ה׳ אֱ־לֹהֶיךָ לְפַרְעֹה וּלְכָל־מִצְרָיִם׃/If you say in your heart, ‘These nations are more numerous than I, so how can I dispossess them?’  Do not fear them!  You shall certainly remember what God your Lord did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt.” (Devarim 7:17)

It was obvious to the nation of Israel and probably to any impartial observer that the indigenous nations of the land of Canaan were stronger more populous and better prepared that the nation of Israel.  We had good reason to wonder how we would be able to oust the nations from the land.  In answer to this question, God reminds us of the situation before we left Egypt.  Chazal tell us that until the nation of Israel left Egypt, no slave had ever escaped Egypt.  There was very little chance of Israel leaving Egypt.  And yet, not only did the nation leave Egypt, we left amidst divine signs and wonders.  We saw God’s mighty hand and outstretched arm.  The inevitable conclusion is that just as God destroyed Egypt, He could destroy the nation of Canaan.

The Chiddushei HaRim explains that this lesson applies to each of us on a personal level as well.  In every bleak looking circumstance that we may find ourselves, in which we do not see any possibility of resolution, and we are fearful of what the future holds, we can find our way out by strengthening our trust in God and realizing that God can certainly bring about a resolution.

The Sfas Emes elaborates on these pesukim.  כִּי תֹאמַר ...” can be translated as, “When you say …”  Relying on our own strength we should fear.  Left to our own devices we must know that we do not have the necessary merit to overcome adversaries and issues that are more powerful than we are.  Realizing this leads us to realize further that we should not fear because we can turn to God for His help.

The source of the question “How can we dispossess them?” is reliance on ourselves.  Instead, we need to remember what God did to the Egyptians and turn to Him to help us as well.  Once we’ve done this and have utter faith in Him we need not and should not fear.

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