Parshas Devarim - Shabbos Chazon

AV, 5779

 Interpreting Artifacts

As in the gift of Manna, so it is in the memory of artifacts

After the exodus from Egypt, Hashem gifted the Jews with manna, ’heavenly bread’, to consume during their travels in the wilderness.

Hashem furthermore commanded Moshe:

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר משֶׁ֗ה זֶ֤ה הַדָּבָר֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר צִוָּ֣ה הֹ' מְלֹ֤א הָעֹ֨מֶר֙ מִמֶּ֔נּוּ לְמִשְׁמֶ֖רֶת לְדֹרֹֽתֵיכֶ֑ם לְמַ֣עַן יִרְא֣וּ אֶת־הַלֶּ֗חֶם אֲשֶׁ֨ר הֶֽאֱכַ֤לְתִּי אֶתְכֶם֙ בַּמִּדְבָּ֔ר בְּהֽוֹצִיאִ֥י אֶתְכֶ֖ם מֵאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם

“Moses said, This is the thing that the Lord commanded: Let one omerful of it be preserved for your generations, in order that they see the bread that I fed you in the desert when I took you out of the land of Egypt.”

Like the saved Manna, the Torah is providing us with a template to preserve the meaning of the Holocaust artifact.



Dear Friend,

Aish Kodesh was written by Rabbi Klonimos Kalman Shapira, the Piaseczna Rebbe, during the darkest years of the Warsaw Ghetto. Despite his own personal tragedies, Rabbi Shapira continued to be a bastion of faith and inspiration for his fellow Jews as the Nazi persecution ravaged the Ghetto population.


Chazon Yeshayahu ben Amotz  - “The vision of [the Navi] Yeshayahu"

This weekend is called Shabbos Chazon. What is the significance of this name? It cannot simply be due to the message of the Churban that is found in the haftara, because there are several such haftaras in the previous weeks, yet those Shabbosos are not named after them.

The Medrash (Shir HaShirim 3) tells us that from all the expressions used to describe prophecy, chazon, vision, is the harshest. The reason for this is that although hearing of tragedies is difficult, actually seeing and experiencing them is much more difficult. In the past, when we read of the Navi's predictions about the Churban, we thought that we had somewhat of an idea of what he meant. Yet, we now [in the throes of the Holocaust] understand that experiencing the tzaros is incomparable to hearing of them.

In Mitzrayim, too, Hashem told Moshe Rabeinu (Shemos 3:7), "For I have seen the affliction of My nation...for I have known its suffering." A father might know that his son's surgery is necessary, but he does not want to witness it, as his son is in pain. So too, once Hashem said that He has seen his children's pain, he instructs Moshe to "take My people the Children of Israel out of Mitzrayim (ibid. 10)."

Shabbos Chazon, which reflects the most difficult experience of our Galus, precedes Tisha B"Av as we beseech Hashem to see our suffering so that He can know our pain and bring our salvation. This is why the haftara opens with chazon, the vision, and concludes with the redemption.


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