Monday, September 10, 2007

A Muse: Haazinu 2007

The Bible credits three songs to Moses, two of which are in the Bible: Az Yashir delivered after the crossing of the Red Sea, the beginning of Israel’s long journey, and the other, Haazenu, at the end of the journey. It is a beautiful poem which warns, instructs and gives us hope. The poem has another feature, in which it serves as a vision far into the future, which foretells of the Zionist vision and the return to Israel.

The author of the Kli Yakar, Rashal, comments on the 32nd verse of chapter 39. where the verse repeats the word “ani” twice. The Rashal comments that it is in the same spirit of “nachamu nachamu” in Isaiah which refers to the redemption on a dual level: physical and spiritual. The physical redemption relates to an independent Jewish state where our destiny will be dependent on our own will and the spiritual redemption when the negative side of our inner core, the yetzer harah will be sublimated to the yetzer hatov. The two together will work in tandem in order for the redemption to become permanent.

Incidentally, the Rashal also interprets the concept of “Tichiyat Hameitim” within the context of this futuristic vision of redemption. In the Diaspora, the Kli Yakar maintains, we as a people are without vitality, the collective life force drained from us, as though dead. The redemption will breathe life back into the people. It happened twice in the past, he maintains, but those were but momentary pauses in our history. The third redemption, based upon Hosea will be the last and permanent redemption. Sounds like a chapter out of Leon Pinsker’s Auto-Emancipation.