Weekly Inspiration

The Quiet of the Night
August 10th, 2023
The Quiet of the Night

Last Shabbos we opened a bottle of wine from the Israeli winery called Har Bracha, which is located on Har Gerizim in the Judean Hills. We obtained this wine from our dear friend, Reb Yaakov Pinto, who seems to know all the great wineries in Israel. 

I have heard that Israeli wines win prizes at all the competitions. You would think it would be the opposite, because there is so much hatred of Israel in the world today, but apparently the judges are blindfolded and do not know they are giving prizes to Jewish wine! 

This is a “foretaste” (not a bad pun, actually) of the future, when all the nations will admit to the majesty and sanctity of the Holy Nation and the Holy Land. 

“For thus said My Lord, Hashem/Elokim: behold, I will raise My hand toward the nations and I will hoist my banner to the peoples, and they shall bring your sons in their arms and your daughters shall be carried on [their] shoulder. Kings will be your nurturers and their princesses your nurses. With faces to the ground they will prostrate themselves to you and lick the dust of your feet, and you shall know that I am Hashem. Those who hope to Me shall not be ashamed.” (Haftaras Eikev, Yeshiah 49:22ff)

My wife and I believe that, if we ourselves were blindfolded, we could still identify wine from the Land of Israel, because one can taste the holiness of the Land in the wine. Last week, we were amazed, drinking the wine of “Har Bracha,” to realize that this week’s Parsha begins with the account of Har Gerizim, the actual place where the wine was made. 

“It shall be that, when Hashem … brings you to the Land … to possess it, then you shall deliver the blessing on Har Gerizim …. Are [these mountains] not on the other side of the Yarden … in the direction of the sunset, far from Gilgal?” (Dvarim 11:26ff) The blessing is said facing toward Har Gerizim, and the wine grown there is called “Har Bracha … the mountain of blessing!”

This week’s Parsha uses the following phrase to describe Yerushalayim: “The place that Hashem, your G-d, will choose … to place His Name….” Why doesn’t the Torah say directly the word “Yerushalayim?”

We can learn a world of meaning from here. 

The holiest things are private, between us and Hashem. We keep kedusha hidden away, but the nations of the world are constantly screaming. Harsh noises echo through the streets; empty words blare out from television screens. 

For us, it is the opposite. 

The precious jewels of Israel are hidden. The ultimate example is Hashem Himself, Who is by definition hidden. The holy women of Israel learn modesty from our Mother Sarah, who remained out of sight in her tent (Beraishis 18:9). Torah is hidden: Gemora is meant not even to be written but rather to be passed down by word of mouth from father to son. The Voice of Hashem is “a still, thin sound.” (I Melachim 19:11) for which one has to listen carefully. “Kumi, roni balayla … Arise! Cry out at night ….” (Eichah 2:19) Chazal tell us this possuk refers to Torah study, which is most precious in the stillness of the night, when the world is quiet. 

Moshiach is hidden. Yosef was in plain sight but hidden from his brothers until the moment of revelation. Moshiach is hidden until the revelation comes. Even Yerushalayim is hidden! The Torah does not say where it is until the moment of revelation! The Bais Hamikdosh is hidden, waiting for the moment when Hashem chooses to reveal it. 

The world is filled with meaningless noise, but we, who wait patiently for Moshiach ben Dovid know that the moment will come. “Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen and your soul will rejuvenate. I shall seal an eternal covenant with you …. Hashem, your G-d, the Holy One of Israel … has glorified you! (Haftaras Re’eh, Yeshiah 55:3)

It’s only a matter of time. If we tune out their noise, we will soon hear the Shofar Gadol and see the Geulah Shelemah!


Bais Hamikdosh: The Holy Temple
Geulah Shelemah: The Final Redemption
Shofar Gadol: The Great Shofar which will herald the coming of Moshiach

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