ArticlesFaith and Ethics

An Eternal Covenant

This week’s Haftarah describes the stages of the consolation of Zion in a very clear way (Isaiah 54:11-55:5). Zion is depicted as a poor woman with a tempestuous soul who will not be consoled until all the goals of redemption have been achieved. The consolation takes place gradually, corresponding in a remarkable way to the events of our era:

– First of all, the destruction of the land must be reversed and its dust and stones must become precious: “I will set your floors with gems and your foundations with sapphires” [54:11]. This has been true since the beginning of the establishment of the early settlements.

– The land will return to being desired in terms of its economy and its general beauty: “And I will make your windows of rubies and your gates of carbuncle stones, and all your boundaries will be marked with jewels” [54:12]. Today Israel is at the very top of world economics.

– The center of Torah will be transferred to Zion: “And all your sons will study G-d and there will be great peace among your sons” [54:13]. This has been true in the days since the Holocaust.

– A society will be created which rests on foundations of social justice: “Establish yourself through justice, stay away from oppression” [54:14]. This is what those who established the country tried to do.

– The return of military deterrence: “They may try to gather against you, but not without my support” [54:15].

– Removal of a threat of attack by an enemy with dangerous weapons, and his destruction: “I have created the smith who will make destructive weapons… But every weapon turned against you will not succeed” [54:16-17]. This could be taken straight from current events.

– An attack against our nation using the tools of justice and moral values: “You will condemn any tongues turned against you in judgement” [54:17]. This is true of all of our wars and struggles.

– Those who oppose us will be defeated by the forces of the community which serves G-d: “This is the heritage of G-d’s servants. Their righteousness stems from me, says G-d.” [54:17]. This is the goal of those who study and support the Torah of G-d.

– The renewal of the thirst for spiritual enlightenment, and the revelation of the innermost secrets of the Torah: “Let all those who are thirsty go to the water… Listen carefully to me, and you will eat well and your souls will enjoy nourishment.” [55:1-2]. This is plain for all to see.

And all of this leads us to our mission for the future:

– A renewal of the Words of G-d: “Bend your ears and come to me, listen and your souls will live” [55:3].

– The return of the Kingdom of David: “And I will make with you an eternal covenant, through the faithful kindness of David” [55:3].

– The mission of the political leadership is to teach new stages of morality to all humanity: “Behold, I have made him into a witness to the nations, a prince who commands the nations” [55:4].

All of these elements taken together form the basis for a new status of the world. The complaint of the other nations against Israel is that their covenant with G-d ignores the rest of humanity. But look what is starting to happen: The more distant nations of the world – not only those who have been in historical and cultural contact with us throughout the years – are coming to stand in the shadow of the G-d of Israel and to accept His guidance: “Behold, you will call out to nations which did not know you, and nations which did not know you will run to you, for the sake of your G-d and for the sake of the holy one of Israel, who glorified you” [55:5].

In the end only this is what can console the “poor tempestuous woman” – nothing less than transmitting the universal message of the people of Israel.

Source: “AS SHABBAT APPROACHES” – a biweekly column in Shabbat B’Shabbato (Zomet Institute) See: – Re’eih 5775, issue 1587.

Rabbi Oury Cherki

Rav Oury Cherki was born in Algeria in 1959 and grew up in France, and he made Aliyah in 1972. He studied at Merkaz Harav Yeshiva, which was founded by Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook. He performed his military service in the artillery branch of the IDF. He studied with Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook, Rav Yehuda Leon Ashkenazi (Manitou), Rav Shlomo Binyamin and Achlag. Rav Cherki heads the Israeli department of Machon Meir, and he is the Director of Brit Olam - the Noahide World Center. He teaches in many places throughout Israel. Rav Cherki is the spiritual leader of the "Beth Yehuda" community in Kiryat Moshe (Jerusalem). He has written many books on Jewish thought and philosophy.

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