Saturday, December 23, 2006

Oh, Beautiful...


BS"D

YESHIVAT HARA'AYON HAYEHUDI
Jerusalem, Israel
HaRav Yehuda Kroizer SHLIT"A, Rosh Yeshiva

PARSHAT MIKETZ/CHANUKA
2 Tevet 5767/22-23 December 2006


OH, BEAUTIFUL . . .

“Behold, out of the canal there emerged seven cows, of beautiful appearance and robust flesh, and they were grazing in the swamp.” Rashi comments that a beautiful appearance is a sign for the days of abundance, when people appear nice to one another, for when people are not miserly toward each other.

How true Rashi’s words should be ringing in our ears, as a warning for all of our Jewish brethren still living in the exile. In the years of plenty, while the seven fat cows are out grazing - all are happy, all is good. Note Rashi’s exact wording - that in the days of abundance, when people appear nice to one another - it is only an appearance that is taking place because of the good years. But know that, as soon as the seven good years have passed, all of this will fade away and their true feelings will show through.

How many times in Jewish history have we seen that the non-Jewish host is willing to put up with the Jew living in his country, as long as he has his steak dinner, but just take that away from him, and the appearance of his friendship also fades away fast. Rabbi Kahane, of blessed memory, would say time and time again, that if you really want to know the goy and what he is thinking, just go down to the local bar and have a drink with him, and as the liquor goes in - the secrets will come out.

Jew, do not delude yourselves for a moment, thinking that this place or another is different and that what was can never again come to pass, for this will only be true as long as the seven good years last. But as the other seven gaunt cows appear on the horizon - Beware, the tolerance that they have for you will also disappear! One does not have to be a rocket scientist to understand and see the future unfolding before us. The world today is so complex that any little jolt in the wrong direction could literally bring the house down.

For those familiar with the TV show "Ali-G", by the now-famous Sacha Baron Cohen ("Borat"), one scene stands out, not only for its humor, but also for a warning to all Jews in the USA. As Ali-G poses as a foreigner singing in a country bar somewhere in the South, and after singing a few verses he changes the lyrics to a catchy tune, singing: “In my country there’s a problem and the problem is the Jew - throw the Jew down the well. . . " Unbelievable as it sounds, at that point almost all of the hicks in the bar start to sing with him. Here, where just moments ago were your everyday locals, now all at once, when given the chance, the truth of what they really think comes out.

And for those who still hold on for dear life to the exile, saying that at least during the seven good years we will save for a rainy day, our parsha teaches us another very important lesson. Just as the seven lean years began, the Egyptians cried out to Pharaoh that they had come to Joseph for food, and he had decreed hash decrees for them to do before he would give them bread, such as to circumcize themselves. King Pharaoh asked them: Didn’t you save your food during the good years, for everyone knew that the lean years were coming? They replied to Pharaoh that they did, but all their food spoiled overnight, and even the bread on their tables went bad. Unbelievable as it sounds, literally overnight all their savings were lost. All of their rainy days went soggy.

Certainly something to think about, as we try to stay "dry" in this rainy season...

With love of Israel,
Levi Chazen

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