of Parshat Ki
Tavo - 5760
its Time, I Will Hasten It"
of Parshat Ki Tavo is the sixth of the "Haftarot of Consolation,"
in the series of seven such Haftarot. Both
communities take this Haftarah from the Book of Yeshayahu,
beginning with "Perek"/Chapter 60, "Passuk"/Verse 1,
through (and including) the last "Passuk" in the "Perek,"
In the conversation that Avudraham constructs from these Haftarot, the "Shiva D'Nechemta," among HaShem, His Prophets and the People of Israel, this is the one in which the theme of the Haftarah is the return of the People of Israel in the Time of the Mashiach, from Exile. None of the commentators; that is, neither RASHI, RADAK nor Metzudat David, extend this idea of "Return" to "Techiyat HaMetim," the Resuscitation of the Dead, and their Return to the Jewish People, though that idea is fundamental in the faith of Judaism.
particular, Master of the Commentators, lived at the time of the First
Crusade, when the Holy Land was
a prize contested by the Christians and the Muslims, while the Jewish People
were about as far as possible from having dominance in the Land of
Israel. Whereas, in our
own time, when G-d for His own reasons has been good to us, and we are in
possession of major portions of the Land of Israel (unless we give it
back), we can very well think of and act upon the idea of
"Kibbutz Galuyot," Ingathering of the Exiles.
We can also imagine the Coming of the "Mashiach," and how
that transcendent event would
affect us. "Techiyat
HaMetim," though very hard to imagine, is not totally beyond us,
because it is associated with the "Mashiach," that is the
traditional understanding of the Thirteenth Principle of the RAMBAM.
writes, in the thirteenth of the "Ani Ma'amin's," the following:
"I believe with complete faith that there will be a
Resuscitation of the Dead whenever the "Ratzon," the
"Will," emanates from the Creator, Blessed is His Name, forever
One of the
indications that "Techiyat HaMetim" might be part of the theme of
the Haftarah is that its time
period is clearly the time of the "Mashiach," because references
are made to the Holy Temple, which is to be rebuilt by the "Mashiach"
and, as mentioned above, that
is the time period in which we believe that the Resuscitation of the Dead
indication is that there are two references in the Haftarah to the "Ratzon,"
the Will, of HaShem, that the RAMBAM mentions as a pre-requisite for the
occurrence of that great and mysterious, frightening but much hoped-for
Translation and Commentary on the Haftarah
and shine, for your light is come,
The City of
Jerusalem is illuminated with a great light, representing happiness. (RADAK)
is the "light" that was "ganuz," hidden and set aside
for the Righteous (Bereshit Rabbah 3:6), after the original Creation of
behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
will be full of troubles. But
the Divine Presence will rest upon you.
nations shall walk by your light,
learn the Ways of HaShem from you. (Metzudat David)
up your eyes round-about and see:
reference to "daughters," in the context of "Techiyat HaMetim,"
may refer to such incidents as mentioned in the Talmud,
where an incident is recounted that a boatload of young, female Jewish
captives were being transported by the Romans for immoral purposes.
They asked the wisest among them, "Will HaShem bring us back for
"Olam HaBa," the World-to-Come, if we jump overboard and drown
ourselves?" They were
answered, HaShem says "I will bring them back from Bashan, I will bring
them back from the depths of the sea," that HaShem will retrieve Jews
from anywhere, even from the
crematoria of Auschwitz.
you will see and be radiant,
It is well
known that when someone experiences great happiness, a strain is placed on
the heart. We see this from the
Bible, where Yosef is returned to Yaakov after a long absence, the "Passuk"
says "And his heart grew faint." (Bereshit 45:26)
certainly be true if the Dead were brought back to life.
load of a caravan of camels will overwhelm you;
expressions "caravan of camels," "first-born,"
"camels of Midian," are all possible allusions to the Biblical
account of Yosef, who was sold into slavery by his jealous
brothers over a conflict that could be described as "Who is the
first-born?" and was returned
to his father after an absence of twenty two years.
This could be an allusion to people returning from Exile, and
certainly, again, to beloved individuals being brought back from the dead.
the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together for you,
The sheep of
Kedar are the best within the family of sheep.
The People of Israel, the "Chosen People," is often
pictured as a "flock of sheep."
Likewise are the rams of Nevayot the best within the species of rams.
The reference to "sheep and rams," being brought "willingly
upon the altar" seem to point to our forefather Yitzchak who allowed
himself to be placed upon the altar by his father Avraham at the Akeidah.
In the end, a ram was substituted for him, but the Midrash says that
Yitzchak died from fear, and was brought back to life by G-d.
explains that the clouds refer to the communities of Israel returning from
the Exile in the time of the "Mashiach."
On the Yamim
Noraim, Rosh HaShanah and Yom
Kippur, we compare human life, in its fleeting aspect, to a cloud, and
the Community of Israel is often likened to a dove.
How beautiful a metaphor it would be for the souls of the Jewish
People returning to their bodies to picture them as clouds and as doves!
the residents of the islands hope in me,
reference to Tarshiah may be an allusion to Yonah, who attempted to flee
from before G-d to Tarshish. Swallowed
by a great fish, bigger than a "Great White Shark," and as good as
dead, he was nevertheless retrieved by HaShem after he did "Teshuvah,"
Repentance, from the belly of
the fish, to perform his function of Prophecy.
strangers shall build up your walls,
Third Temple is built by the "Mashiach," it will be a spiritual
center for all of humanity. And
the Holy City of Jerusalem where it will stand, will be built up with the
full cooperation and participation by the nations of the world and their
For it was
with only a momentary flash of anger, relatively speaking, that I punished
you. But it is with My
full will, which we have posited may relate, in addition to defeat of
your enemies and in-gathering of the Exiles in the traditional sense, also
to Resurrection of the Dead,
that I will show the Ultimate Mercy upon My People, by
bringing the beloved of all their generations back to life.
Such that the reunion of the People of Israel will be not only across
space, but across all of time, as well.
gates will be perpetually open,
be no need to shut your gates, even by night, for there will be peace in the
procession" - Kings of nations shall appear before the "Mashiach,"
as servants before their master.
expression "chayl goyim," the wealth of the nations, may also
refer to the "nitzotzot," the sparks of good contained within all
nations, that it is the destiny of Israel to bring to the fore.
the nation and the Kingdom
of Israel will be recognized as HaShem's standard-bearers throughout
history, and the Torah will be recognized as the Word of G-d.
The glory of
Lebanon will come to you,
Footstool" - Since the Holy temple is situated in Jerusalem
"opposite" the Heavenly Temple in the Heavenly Jerusalem, it is
called the "Footstool of G-d."
the sons of those that afflicted you,
will be turned "upside down," with Israel on top of all the
nations of the world.
of your being abandoned and hated,
for your being avoided such that no one would even greet you, I will raise
you, says HaShem, to the position of rule forever and of being a delight for
all future generations.
In line with
the inclusion of "Techiyat HaMetim" in the Prophecy of Yeshayahu,
the expression "Geon Olam,"
eternal excellence and "Dor
VaDor," "all generations," take on new meaning, where
"eternal" is as the word says, and "all generations" may
mean for all past generations and for all future generations.
will nurse from the milk of the nations,
The face of
Yaakov is inscribed eternally on the "Throne of HaShem."
The "Mighty One of Jacob," your Eternal Redeemer, will
bring back the Children of Yaakov to partake in this aspect of Yaakov's
copper I will bring gold,
will be upgraded to a higher moral and physical level.
In return for the copper that was stolen from you, they will return
gold. Where you were once
taxed, officers will visit you only to inquire after your welfare.
Where you were once oppressed, there will now be gifts of peace. (RADAK
and Metzudat David)
longer will violence be heard abroad on your land,
have no need for physical protection in the future; your protecting
"walls" are the "Salvation" of G-d, and your
"gates," negative forces that kept people out, will be replaced by
the beautiful sound of the "Praise of HaShem," drawing people in.
sun will no longer provide your light by day,
You will not
need the physical light of the sun and the moon; you will be provided with
"spiritual" light by HaShem.
your sun nor your moon will set,
your nation shall be composed entirely of the Righteous,
The first Mishnah
in Pirkei Avot
is based on the above verse, wherein the assumption is stated that all Jews
have a potential share in Eternal Life in "Olam HaBa," the
World-to-Come ( as do Righteous Gentiles).
smallest shall become a thousand,
In the time
of the "Mashiach," there will occur a transition. The People of Israel will go from being the "smallest of
the nations" to a "mighty nation."
Now it will literally be true that Avraham will be unable to count
the billions of his descendants. This
is certainly easiest to understand if it is "Techiyat HaMetim"
that is accounting for this transition.
HaShem" - Who has the ability to do anything (Metzudat David)
time, I will hasten it" - CHAZAL
resolve the contradiction between "in its time" and "I will
hasten it" by saying, "If they merit it, I will hasten it (the
Redemption); otherwise, it will come "in its time."
Rabbi Pinchas Frankel
Rabbi Frankel is an Educational Coordinator at the OU