Parsha Pearls: Parshas Tzav

Eretz Yisroel is a Dangerous Place

If he brings the offering for thanksgiving… (7:12)

Rashi says that this thanksgiving is for a miracle performed for the person, in which he was saved from a dangerous situation, for example, one who returns from a sea voyage, a desert trek, one who was released from jail, or one who recovered from an illness. Nowadays we have no thank-offerings, but Chazal instituted the blessing “Hagomel” for these same situations. The Shulchan Aruch (219:9) says that these four cases are only examples, and one should say the blessing after being saved from any dangerous situation.

We have already mentioned once (Toldos, p. ??) the Satmar Rav’s statement that the danger in Eretz Yisroel is so great that one living there should say the blessing “Hagomel” every morning to thank Hashem that he woke up alive and did not see the fulfillment of the terrifying punishment for the violation of the Three Oaths (see below). Now we will take this opportunity to quote some of the predictions of Torah scholars of past generations regarding Eretz Yisroel in the era just prior to the coming of Moshiach.

The Abarbanel writes, “Hashem will put into the hearts of the nations of Edom to conquer the lands of Yishmael, and in particular the Land of the Deer (i.e. Eretz Yisroel), for all of them long for that land since the grave of Oso Ho’ish is there. And especially when they see Jews gathered there, their anger will burn and they will conquer those lands, and they will smite the descendants of Yishmael with the sword and killing and destruction, and the descendants of Yishmael will gather and go to war against them in Jerusalem, and they will kill them and destroy them.” (Mayanei Hayeshua 11:8)

Rabbi Shaul Brach of Kasho quotes this Abarbanel, and then comments, “And it was regarding this war that Bilam said, ‘Woe, who can survive this, G-d (alef lamed)?’ (Bamidbar 24:23) – referring to the coming of the nations that have the Divine Name alef-lamed as part of their name (i.e. Yishmael). And there will be no natural way to escape alive from this war, and only those as holy as the angels will be left. Regarding them Yishaya said (4:3), ‘Anyone who is left in Zion and Jerusalem will be called holy, all who are written for life in Jerusalem.’ Who can be sure of himself that he will be among those holy ones who will survive?” (Introduction to Avos Al Banim)

Rabbi Menachem Azariah of Fano (d. 1620) quotes the above verse in Yishaya, and then explains, “The number of these people who will be called ‘holy’ is seven thousand, as we find that the word ‘left over’ is used in another place in Tanach (Melachim I 19:18) in reference to seven thousand.” (Maamar Tzevaos Hashem 3:9)

Rabbi Avraham Azulai (d. 1643) also gives this number: “Know that we have a tradition in our hands that on that day when the king Moshiach will come to Eretz Yisroel with the ingathered exiles, he will find there in Eretz Yisroel seven thousand Jews.” (Chesed L’Avraham 3:22). (It is said that whenever the Satmar Rav quoted this statement of the Chesed L’Avraham, he would tremble.)

Let us conclude with a prayer that these predictions be fulfilled in a peaceful way!