Admas Bnai Chaim
July 23rd, 2020
Back to previous page
Please read the following words carefully.
During the Evening Prayer recently, I suddenly stopped on three words: “b’admas bnai Cham.” What do those words mean?
This is the section following the Shema when we are speaking about the countless instances throughout history in which Hashem has saved us against all odds
Exactly what does “admas bnai Cham” mean?
Here is the entire sentence:
“[Hashem] wrought for us miracles and vengeance upon Pharaoh, signs and wonders … b’admas bnai Cham … in the land of the offspring of Cham.”
“The Land of the offspring of Cham” is Mitzraim, Ancient Egypt.
And who is “Cham?”
Cham is Noah’s son, as the Torah says, “Noah begot Shem, Cham and Yafes.”
Cham is the son who reacted with “scorn and laughter concerning his father’s nakedness.” Cham performed an abominable act upon his father during the time when Noah was drunk. As a result of this, Noah said, “Cursed is Canaan. A slave of slaves shall he be to his brothers.”
One of Cham’s children was Mitzraim, forefather of the Egyptian Nation. Pharaoh and all the Egyptians, who tried to destroy Israel, were descendants of Cham.
The Chofetz Chaim has said, “We can learn about the end of our current exile from the events at the end of our exile in Mitzraim/Egypt.” This insight allows us to understand today’s world. The Biblical Egyptian Exile is a pattern for the events which are playing out in front of our eyes today.
Just before the Egyptian Exile ended, Pharaoh increased the burdens upon the Jewish people. They groaned and cried out to Hashem to save them.
“How did the Children of Israel get out of the Egyptian Exile? … ‘They cried out.’ They really wanted to leave Egypt. Rashi tells us that four-fifths of the Jewish People died in the Plague of Darkness and never went out of Mitzraim. What did they do wrong? They were guilty of only one sin: they did not want to go. They liked living in Egypt and felt no need to leave…. And there they stayed. The same is true with our present exile. We will merit Redemption only by wanting it. When we really want to leave Golus, Hashem will take us out….”
We are now clearly near the end of our 2000-year exile. Burdens are increasing heavily upon us, new burdens we have not known before. In the United States, there is a new political reality which considers the Jewish People a threat and an enemy, as in Ancient Egypt, where “a new king arose … who did not know Yosef.”
America reached its greatest strength after the European Gadolim arrived and built mighty institutions of Torah. This was the blessing upon America, comparable to the generation of Yosef and his brothers in Ancient Egypt, when the Children of Israel were honored and venerated. Yosef saved Egypt and became Viceroy.
Then “(Yosef and his brothers) died” and a “new king … who did not know Yosef” became Pharaoh. At that moment, the Egyptians began to enslave our fathers and conducted a war to eliminate them, at which time the people cried to Hashem to send a Redeemer.
A similar occurrence is overtaking us in America, as the reincarnation of “Bnai Cham” arise against us. In Ancient Egypt, our forefathers groaned and cried out to Hashem. Hashem replied to Moshe, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh….” Then the Ten Plagues began and Egypt crumbled under the Hand of G-d.
The Redeemer will come to us, just as he came to Mitzraim, to liberate Am Yisroel from Bnai Cham. We now stand in the Nine Days, in the countdown to the catastrophic events of Tisha B’Av. In order to survive and greet Moshiach, we need to remember that Hashem continuously saves us from stronger adversaries.
In the darkness of our long Golus, we cry out and beg Hashem to save us from Bnai Cham and send the Redeemer soon in our days. May He speedily bring all His Children Home to the rebuilt Bais Hamikdosh in the Holy City of Yerushalayim!