Maamar Shalosh Shevuos Siman 18

[In this siman the Rebbe will continue to bring proof from the words of Chazal that the oath against going up as a wall is not simply a prohibition on fighting the nations – and thus with their permission mass immigration would be allowed. Rather, the oath comes to enforce a Divine decree that we should be in exile until moshiach comes.]

And in the Gemara, Pesachim 87b, Rabbi Oshiya said: What is the meaning of the verse “the righteousness of His scatterings in Israel”? The Holy One, blessed is He, did kindness with the Jewish people when He scattered them among the nations.

[The Gemara continues with a story that illustrates why this is so. “Once a gentile said to Rabbi Chanina: We are better people than you. For in your days of power, King David’s general Yoav wiped out the Edomites. But now you are living under our empire for many years, and we have done nothing to harm you. Rabbi Chanina said: One of my students will give you a reply. Rabbi Oshiya told him: You want to kill us, but you don’t know how to do it. You can’t kill us all, because not all Jews live under your empire. And if you kill only the Jews in your domain, the rest will make you famous as a murderous kingdom. He said: By the wall of Rome, these are our thoughts always.”]

And the Gemara in Avodah Zarah 10b gives us another reason why Hashem wants the Jewish people scattered around the world. The prophet says, “For like the four directions of the world I have scattered you” (Zechariah 2:10). Seemingly, it should say “to the four directions of the earth I have scattered you” and not “like the four directions”. The Gemara answers that the word “direction” can also mean “wind” and the prophet was comparing the Jewish people to the wind: just as the world cannot exist without wind, so too it cannot exist without the Jewish people. The Maharsha explains that the world exists not just because the Jewish people are in the world somewhere, but because they are scattered around the world, making known the existence of Hashem and His Torah.

The same point is made by Rashi in Taanis 3b, where the same Gemara from Avodah Zarah 10b appears. On the words “the world cannot exist without the Jewish people” Rashi comments, “Because the world exists only for the sake of the Jewish people, and therefore Scripture says: Like the four winds of the sky – I have scattered to all sides of the world so that the world should continue to exist, as it says, “If not for my covenant day and night, I would not have put in place the laws of heaven and earth.”

We see from all these sources that Hashem’s will, for the good of the Jewish people and for the good of the world, is that during the era of exile the Jewish people should be scattered in the four directions of the world, and they should not all come up to Eretz Yisroel.

And the Tanna Devei Eliyahu, Seder Eliyahu Rabba Chapter 10, speaks about the reason why Hashem scattered the Jewish people [in order to protect them from nations who might want to kill them – like the Gemara in Pesachim 87b mentioned above]. The Tanna Devei Eliyahu expresses it as a proverb, “The Master of the house knows the best place to keep His tools. And when the Master returns to His house, He will take his tools with Him into the house.” We see, again, that only Hashem is the Master of the house, who knows the best places to scatter the Jewish people, as Scripture (Tehillim 37:23) says, “By Hashem, the footsteps of a man are arranged.” And when the time of redemption arrives, when He comes to His house and His sanctuary, then Hashem will gather them – He and no other.

And on the verse, “And He said to Avram, you shall surely know (literally know you shall know) that your descendents will be strangers in a land not theirs” (Bereishis 15:13) the Midrash Rabbah comments, “Know that I scatter them; you shall know that I gather them. Know that I pawn them; you shall know that I redeem them. Know that I enslave them; you shall know that I deliver them.” Note that the Torah says, “Know you shall know” – we must know this fact, that only Hashem is the Scatterer and the Gatherer, and no one else has permission to get involved in this area.

The Nezer Hakodesh commentary on the Midrash explains at length that although the Torah is talking about the redemption from Egypt, it is teaching us that the redemption from Egypt is the prototype and the pattern for the future redemption. Everything at that time will happen as it did in Egypt, as Scripture says (Micha 7:15), “Like the days when you went forth from Egypt I will show him wonders.”


Vayoel Moshe