Wednesday, May 16, 2007

28th Iyar

Not only is today Yom Yerusahalayim and also the yarzheit of Shmuel HaNavi (as per my last blog), but my brother also told me several interesting things about the date.
He claims that if you do the maths (and I'm not quite sure how to do it, but it certainly seems approximately correct) this is the anniversary of the first battle with Amalek in the desert (at Refidim). If you look at the end of parshat Beshalach you find the Israelites complaining about whether G-d is in their midst or not. Then the tribe of Amalek comes and attacks. Moshe tells Yehoshua to prepare an army, and the next day they wage proper war against Amalek (while Moshe stands on the top of the mountain, Aharon and Chur hold his hands up and as long as Moshe's hands are in the air, and the Israelites remember G-d they are victorious). So today is the anniversary of that first victory. The 'tomorrow' of the verse represents an ongoing war with Amalek for eternity (as the next verse says), and we have still not defeated Amalek (nor will we do so until the coming of the Mashiach). It is easy to point at current political trends or personalities and claim that they are the spiritual heirs of Amalek, but I'm never totally convinced. However, we can say that Yom Yerushalayim is certainly the date of a tremendous victory for Israel, which was clearly miraculous (as are all the wars, and even the existence of Israel, but I think the Six Day War was the most open and obvious miracle). May we see many more victories and always remember that G-d is amongst us at all times.
the other cute things about this date is the 'midah' of today (in sefirat haomer). The midah is chesed she'b'malchus. This is the giving aspect of kingship. Take this with a large dose of salt, because I don't actually think it is what the midah means, but it is a neat party trick.
The person who most clearly represented chesed was Avraham. His most positive interaction with kingship was with Malchitzedek. Malchitzedek (aka Shem the son of Noach) was king of Shalem. Shalem was given another name by Avraham - Yireh (G-d will see). The Midrash puts these two words together to make the final name of the city - Yireh + Shalem = Yerushalayim!
So this is the city of chesed and malchus.
Or not.

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