Divrei Torah

The Divrei Torah in this section have been translated by Rav Reuven Ungar, Director of Alumni Affairs

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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 Sarai were  not destined to have children; Avraham and Sarah would. A change of mazal  (fortune) would accompany the change of name. Rashi quotes an additional  explanation of Chazal- Hashem raised Avraham over the universeand enabled  Avraham to gaze downwards towards the stars.

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."


Categorized under: 1: Parshat Shavua > Lech Lecha
Uploaded: 11/7/2005 8:39:06 AM