One of the loneliest and most rejected figures in his own time had to be the prophet Jeremiah; tomorrow, Sara will chant a selection from Jeremiah for her Haftarah.
Jeremiah preached in the period of time that led up to the destruction of the 1st Holy Temple by the Babylonians invading from the north in 586 BCE. He railed against the prevalent idolatry of the Israelites in the Northern Kingdom, and decried the alliance that the Israelite nation forged with Egypt in the pending war against the Babylonians. He preached how they dare trust in their historical enemy Egypt; the Babylonians were at least the lesser of the 2 evils!
After the destruction of the Temple, he fled to Egypt with other refugees and was eventually assassinated by fellow Israelites; a sad end to a voice that spoke the truth that no one wanted to hear. What was that truth?, summed up in 2 verses from tomorrow’s Haftarah:
ה כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה, אָרוּר הַגֶּבֶר אֲשֶׁר יִבְטַח בָּאָדָם,
|5 Thus says Ahdonai: Cursed is the man that trusts in man|
ז בָּרוּךְ הַגֶּבֶר, אֲשֶׁר יִבְטַח בַּיהוָה; וְהָיָה יְהוָה, מִבְטַחוֹ.
|7 Blessed is the man that trusts in the Ahdonai, and whose trust is Ahdonai alone.|
Yes, Jeremiah, lonely, ignored and betrayed, yet truly prophetic. Today, Israel lies once again in the cross-roads and cross-hairs of threats from the north and the south.
From the north, it is not just a nearly nuclear ready Iran, but just last week Hezbollah in Lebanon announced that they have rockets that can reach pinpointed targets in every part of Israel.
And, from the south, Israel’s peace partner, Egypt? The next phase of their presidential election will take place next week, and in a television interview last Saturday, Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh, “a leading Islamist candidate in Egypt’s presidential election has branded Israel a “racist state” and said that the 1979 peace treaty was “a national security threat,” and “it must be revised.”Abul Fotouh in a previous “televised debate with his main contender, former foreign minister and Arab League chief Amr Mussa.,” labeled Israel an “enemy.”
Apparently, words spoken 2600 years ago by the Jeremiah still ring true today:
ה אָרוּר הַגֶּבֶר אֲשֶׁר יִבְטַח בָּאָדָם,
|5 Cursed is the man that trusts in man|
So then, who can be trusted to bring peace to Israel and the Middle East? The futility inherent in the question leads to the same answer that concludes tomorrow’s Haftorah:
יד רְפָאֵנִי יְהוָה וְאֵרָפֵא, הוֹשִׁיעֵנִי וְאִוָּשֵׁעָה:
|14 Heal me, Ahdonai, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved|
Kain y`hee ratzon – may it only be — ALUASA