Monday, December 6, 2010

Carmel Fire, Haftarah of Shabbat Chanukah, End to Drought

From today's Hakhel email: - I added the hyperlink to Reb Lazer's page as referenced below if anyone wants to see it. BTW if anyone can expound on what the Shir HaShirim Rabbah passage means please elucidate for us!

Thank you and hopefully we will see the Geulah quite soon!
Esther Asna

Special Note One: Now that the unprecedented tragic fire on Har HaCarmel is “under control”, we reflect upon its non-coincidental message of wild fire unleashed in the Festival of Neiros, and in a time when it is not fire--but water--which is so desperately needed in Eretz Yisroel. By now, many have seen the reference to Shir Hashirim Rabbah (on the Pasuk of KeShoshana Bein Hachochim; 2:5) brought by Rabbi Lazer Brody (translator of The Garden of Emunah) which Rabbi Brody suggests points directly to the fire and its meaning. We would like to provide the following message. The Pesikta teaches (we do not follow this Pesikta LeHalacha) that the Haftarah for Shabbos Chanukah is the Haftarah of Eliyahu on Har HaCarmel against the Neviei Haba’al--in which a fire came down Min HaShamayim and consumed the Korban of Eliyahu--upon which the people spontaneously proclaimed Hashem Hu HaElokim! Hashem Hu HaElokim! The essence of Chanukah and the essence of the lesson from Eliyahu Hanavi on the very same Har HaCarmel is Hashem Hu HaElokim--whether it be the miracle of the wars, the miracle of the oil, the quashing of Greece as a world power, the resurgence of the Bais Hamikdash--it was all by the hand of Hashem.

Esther Asna's note: Here is the URL to a blog post that explains the Haftorah in more detail:

As the Artscroll Siddur beautifully pits it in a brief explanatory note in Al Hanissim on the words ‘VeAchar Kein Ba’u Vonecha’: “By their [immediate] actions after the success of the revolt, the Jews proved that they were interested not in military victory nor in political power, but in undisturbed service of Hashem (Chofetz Chaim).” Our Emunah must take us to recognize the absolute and uncompromising reality of Hashem in all happenings, circumstances and events. We have had a reinforcement of this lesson this Chanukah. We hope that a new reality will emerge from these serious events--for almost immediately after the people unanimously exclaimed Hashem Hu HaElokim (Melochim I 18:39) at Har HaCarmel--the Pasuk teaches that the drought in the land miraculously ended with Achav’s sighting of a small cloud in the distance which quickly became a ‘geshem gadol.’ The lesson had been learned then and the people were saved--hopefully we too have sufficiently taken Hashem Hu HaElokim to heart now as well. Practical Actions: 1.We emphasize in Al HaNissim that the Chanukah miracles were undertaken by Hashem “Berachamecha HaRabbim”. Let us find where we use this exact phrase or language very similar to it in the course of our tefillos, and have Kavana to be saved, spared and redeemed again--for Hashem Hu HaElokim! 2. The bracha in Shemone Esrei of Re’eh (Na) VeAnyeinu is a bracha in which we request Hashem’s salvation from difficult situations and peoples--and in which we ask Hashem to ‘wage our wars’ on our behalf just as he did for the Maccabim. It is certainly an auspicious time, and a display of belief in the Chanukah Miracles--if we put extra Kavana into our pleas for contemporary salvations from the Sonei Yisroel and their inventions in the hidden and not so hidden locations all around us--for Hashem Hu HaElokim!

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