Saturday, May 21, 2011


The blessing of נחקתי seems to have a contradiction in it. The pasuk says (26:6)
ונתתי שלום בארץ ושכבתם ואין מחריד והשכתי חיה רעה מן הארץ וחרב לא תעבר בארצכם
ורדפתם את אויביכם ונפלו לפניכם לחרב
And I will give peace in the land, and lie down with nooned to make you afraid, and I will cause wild animals to be banished from the land and a sword will not cross your land.
You will pursue your enemies and they will fall before you by the sword.
This seems to say that peace will first be the blessing of peace, then the wild animals will be chased away, and then the sword will not "cross over" the land. Rashi says that this means that this means that even a "friendly" nation will not cross over Israel to attack an enemy on the other side. This is what happened with Pharoah Necho and King Yoshiah. The king thought that Israel was worthy of this blessing and tried to stop Pharoah from crossing to fight Babylonia. He was wrong and got killed for his trouble.

Only then does the bracha say that Israel will fight and defeat its enemies. How can this be? Wouldn't peace come about in the reverse order? First destroy the enemies, then have even "friendly" armies no longer use the land as a base, then not have to worry about wild animals, and only then full "peace"?

The meforshim say that the peace that occurs is actually an internal peace. A peace that is between the various groups of Jews and within each individual Jew. Only when this occurs, will criminals not longer be around to cause people to worry about being burglarized or mugged. Only thewill the wild animals withdraw from the land to no longer menace the nation and allow the Jews to live in safety. Once this happens, then armies will no longer fell free to march through the land even if their original intent is to just pass beyond to destroy their own enemies.

This is similar to the blessing of peace that Hashem gave Pinchas after he killed Zimri ben Salu and Kozbi bas Tzur. The medrash says that he was the kohen that went out witht the army to fight Midyan after the plague of Ba'al Pe'or. The medrash says that he was the one who killed Bil'am.

In actuality, we see that only when a person finds peace within himself and שלימות (wholeness) can the effect of this peace spread out into the world around him. A person who is at peace is then capable of making piece with its neighboring  communities. Only then will the blessing of the time of Adam be reinstated so that the wild animals will stay away.

Friendly nations will be affected so that they will not attempt to use Israel as a military base to attack others.

However, we see that the enemies of the Jews will still not learn the lesson that they should have and will still continue to attack us. This is like Amalek after the Exodus. In spite of all the miracles and the plagues, they still insisted on attacking. Later on, the only thing that they learned was to disguise themselves so that Bnei Yisrael could not pray by name to defeat them. They thought that if they disguised themselves so that Bnei Yisrael prayed using the wrong name, they could fool Hashem. They found out that they were wrong. This is why the bracha of chasing the enemies is the end of that sequence.

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