The Heavens and the Earth Bear Witness
By: Rav Yuval Cherlow
Rav Chrelow writes a short Dvar Torah for Parsht Ha´azinu. Shabat Shalom!
2. Indeed, this is how Rashi (France, 11th century) explains it: “…so that, if they so merit, the witnesses may come and reward them – ‘The grapevine shall give forth its fruit, the Earth give forth its produce, and the Heavens give forth their dew’ (Zechariah 8:12). But if they are blameworthy, the hand of the witnesses will afflict them first – ‘He shall curb the Heavens, so that there will be no rain, and the Earth shall not give forth its produce.’ (Deut. 11:17)”
|3||The Ramban comments: “ [the commentary of the Ibn Ezra] ‘.. and it seems true to me that it is mainly due to their eternal existence.’ … [explaining it] by way of the truth (the Kabbalah) [that] these are the first Heaven and Earth mentioned in Bereshit, for they will come into a covenant with Israel.”
That is to say, this is a metaphor for the meaning of the world’s existence and the purpose of its creation. Moses speaks to the Jewish people and not to Heaven and Earth, and explains to them that the existence of creation is conditional upon their listening to the words of admonition in the song of Ha’azinu, for if not, there would be no real purpose to the existence of creation, and it would indeed be unable to survive.
|4||The multiplicity of commentaries allows for additional suggestions to be made, in the spirit of the Rashbam’s words regarding “the ever-increasing number of fresh p’shatim” (see his commentary to Bereshit 37:1). It is precisely the world’s advancement, and the discovery of new areas of life, that allow us to look into the eternal Torah and to expand its meanings.|
|7||The song of Ha’azinu teaches us the spiritual significance of this attitude – the Creator speaks of how He nursed the nation with honey from a rock. This nursing represents the entering into an eternal covenant between the Creator and the Jewish people, with the purpose of realizing the unique vision of the nation of Israel. The Nation did not rise to this challenge, and this failure received expression throughout an entire pyramid of reality – from the real world as it appears to us, to the very highest spiritual vision.|
|8||One of the psychological methods for dealing with crisis situations is called the “drawers method” (see “A top-drawer therapy,” Tamar Rotem, Haaretz, 10-4-05,).The basic idea underlying this theory is that when a person designs their close surroundings in a certain way, this design serves as an anchor for their spiritual image and for their ability to organize the other areas of their lives. It is not a direct connection, since there are many people whose internal worlds are organized, while their drawers are messy, and of course, the opposite exists as well – those whose excessive strictness with regards to organization and discipline is the very thing that makes their lives intolerable. Nevertheless, it is true to say that there is a certain connection between the world surrounding an individual and the world that is internal to them, and that the same principle from the world of drawers can also be applied to the entire surrounding world. Caring for the Earth achieves the same effect in general society as the drawers principle creates in the private individual. The reverse is also true – the environment can bear witness to the quality of the society that inhabits it.|
|9||Accoding to the US National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center, "The ozone hold has steadily grown in size (up to 27 million square KM) and the length of existence (frm August through early December) over the past two decades." Reports and charts on the ozone hole are available online|