The Divrei Torah in this section have been translated by Rav Reuven Ungar, Director of Alumni Affairs
Horoscopes and Commentators
By: Rav Yechezkel Yakovson
Rosh Yeshivat Sha'alvim
"And He (Hashem) took him (Avraham) outside, and told him 'gaze towards the sky and count the stars, if you can count them'. And He told him, 'thus will be your offspring'" (Bereshit, 15:5).
What is implied by Hashem taking Avrahm outside? Rashi comments quotes the Midrash that Hashem instructed Avraham to abandon the astrological calculations that predicted that he would be childless. Avram and
Modern communications swamp us with abundant news items that occur in The Land of Israel and elsewhere. The press also provides us with numerous columns of analysts who comment upon the news and predict what will transpire next.
Unfortunately, due to the state of affairs (security, finance, demographics etc') in The Land (and in the press), the majority of the commentators deliver depressing predictions that generate feelings of concern and despair. According to the analysts, light is not to be found at the end of the tunnel.
Not long ago, a leading historian explained that there is no historical precedent for a nation in our condition to survive. Consequently, we must make the necessary conclusions...However, he neglected to mention that there is no historical precedent for the existence of the Jewish People, who have survived to this day!
The soothsayers and astrological prophets of old are the news analysts of today. They indeed follow the news and "know" what will come to pass. However, from the era of Avraham Avinu we know to "go outside". We realize that we are not bound to horoscopes and to human calculations. With trust in Hashem we view events from above.
"And he believed in Hashem and (Hashem) accepted (his belief) as tzedaka."
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