יום ראשון ב' בתשרי תשפ"א 20/09/2020
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  • The Mission Continues

    As in the past so it remains today - we were and still are under the selfsame commitment to adhere to the directions of the Gedolei Yisrael, who stand guard against breaches of purity threatening our camp. When we were required to ask – we asked. When we were instructed to depart – we left. The moment we are summoned back to raise the flag, every other consideration is pushed to the side and we answer: We are ready!

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בראי היום

  • Harav Yisrael Friedman zy”a, the Rebbe of Husyatin

    מוטי, ויקיפדיה העברית

    The ancestral chain of Harav Yisrael Friedman, the founder of the Husyatin chassidic court, originates with the holy Baal Shem Tov. The Husyatin chassidus has its roots in Galicia and eventually came to Tel Aviv, during the turbulent years between the two World Wars.

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  • Maccabi'im Gravesite

    In honour of Chanukah, we will discuss a fascinating, ongoing investigation attempting to establish the place of burial of Mattisyahu Kohen Gadol and his family.

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In Weekly Parsha

A WISE, UNDERSTANDING PEOPLE

“We will do and we will hear” - makes Am Israel worthy of being considered as a particularly wise and understanding people among all the nations of the world.

Menachem Ginosar 26/07/2009 14:26
“Behold, I have taught you laws and statutes, as HaShem Elokai commanded me, so that [you] may do accordingly in the midst of the Land to which are are coming to inherit. And you will guard and you will do [according to them], because [these laws and statutes] are your wisdom and your understanding in the eyes of the peoples who will hear all of those statutes, and they will say, “Surely, this great people is wise and understanding.’” (Devarim 4:6).

To what does this wonderful compliment, -- the referral to the People Israel as “a wise and understanding people” --  refer?  Is this phrase meant to compliment the laws and statutes that the people had been commanded to observe? Does it, rather, refer to the fact that the people “will guard and will do” according to the command of HaShem? Which aspect graces “this great people” with the praiseworthy “wisdom and understanding”?

From the simple reading of the text, it seems that the compliment refers to the Holy Torah itself, and to the system of laws and statutes given to Israel, that is, that the laws and statutes constitute their wisdom and understanding. When we delve into the works of  Chazal,  our Sages of blessed memory, however, we find that they frequently praise the people for proudly carrying the yoke of Torah and mitzvos. From their words, perhaps we may assume that for this alone, the Jewish People is worthy of praise as a wise and understanding nation. The will and the readiness to listen, to obey and to carry out the mitzvos as they were given constitute the special wisdom and understanding.

Another famous commentary on this verse appears in the Gemara (Shabbos 75a): “What [are] wisdom and understanding in the eyes of the peoples? The ability to determine seasons and constellations.” The Sages of Israel have always been remarkable in their understanding of astronomy. By authority of their wide knowledge in this wisdom, they were able to compute the Hebrew calendar according to the appearance of the new moon each month, for all the years to come. In spite of this, during the days of the First and Second Temples, they held to the mitzva of Sanctifying the Month (Kiddush HaChodesh) according to the sighting of the new moon, and did not rely on their personal forecasts.

This fact strengthens the above compliment regarding the virtue of the people. Despite being graced with personal wisdom, the Jewish People acted according to the “we will do and we will hear” aspect of the commandments they received. This sublime virtue makes Am Israel worthy of being considered as a particularly wise and understanding people among all the nations of the world.