Revach L'Neshama RSS feed for - Section: TANACH Category:YIRMIYAHU Copyright 2007, Revach L'Neshama en-US Revach L'Neshama Logo 144 31 Wed, 01 Dec 2021 03:00:00 +0000 240 Yirmiyahu Part 6: Yirmiyahu Is Attacked And Sent To Jail Yirmiyahu was sent by Hashem to the city of Tophes to prophesize on the horrifying punishments the residents of Tophes will receive for their aveiros of murder and avodah zara, including the Baal.  The city will be devastated, hunger will ravage the people until they succumb to eating their own children and their friends.  Death will strike at every corner until there is no more room in the city to bury the vast amount of dead bodies.   

Yirmiyahu then returned from Tophes and stood in the azara of the Beis Hamikdash and said his nevuah to all the people gathered there.  Pashchur ben Emar the Kohen heard Yirmiyahu reciting the nevuah.  Pashchur was the Kohen Gadol’s assistant and was responsible for all the kohanim in the Beis Hamikdash.  When Pashchur heard Yirmiyahu’s predictions of doom, he went out and hit Yirmiyahu and put him in jail.  The next day, Pashchur released him.

When Pashchur released him from jail, Yirmiyahu said to him, “Not Pashchur did Hashem call your name, but Magor MiSaviv.”  Pashchur falsely presented himself as a navi and used to say that Hashem had told him that there would be peace.  Therefore, Yirmiyahu told him that he had prophesized falsely.  “You say that Hashem called your name and spoke with you.  Hashem didn’t call you Pashchur but Magor MiSaviv.  You won’t be secure as you say, but your surrounding will be filled with fear, and it will be fitting to call you Magor since you will experience terror.”   

Yirmiyahu then told Pashchur that Hashem has said that He will make you a terror to yourself and all your friends.  They will fall by the sword of their enemies, and all of Yehudah will be given into the hand of the king of Bavel, who will exile them to Bavel and hit them with the sword.  And you Pashchur, all those who dwell in your houses shall go into captivity and you shall come to Bavel and there you shall die, and there you shall be buried, you and all your friends to whom you have prophesized falsely.

Sun, 22 Mar 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Yirmiyahu Part 5: Shabbos Is Up There With The Rest In the midst of numerous nevuos rebuking Bnei Yisrael for severe sins such as murder, adultery, and sacrificing their children to the Baal, Yirmiyahu rebukes Yisrael for their lack of shemiras Shabbos.  Yirmiyahu warns Bnei Yisrael to be stringent in observing Shabbos properly, and emphasizes the prohibition of carrying loads into the city.  The carrying of loads inside the city itself was not mentioned since the gates of Yerushalayim were locked at night, and therefore was considered a reshus hayachid (private domain), in which carrying is permitted.  Yerushalayim was a large city so people customarily brought in produce and grain in from the surrounding villages, which is why carrying into the gates was emphasized, rather than out of the gates.

Why did Yirmiyahu warn Bnei Yisrael specifically about shemiras Shabbos when they were committing so many other serious aveiros?  Shemiras Shabbos is a fundamental axiom in emunas Hashem, the creation of the world, and the observance of the entire Torah.  It was the first mitzvah which was commanded to Yisrael before Matan Torah.  One who properly observes Shabbos will not easily transgress other commandments, and  Chazal tell us that anyone who keeps Shabbos properly is forgiven for his sins, even if he worships avodah zara like the generation of Enosh.
“And if you will not listen to me to sanctify the Shabbos day and not to carry loads and to enter the gates of Yerushalayim on the day of Shabbos, I will kindle a fire in her gates, and it will ravage the palaces of Yerushalayim and it will not be quelled.”  Chazal tell us that fires only break out in houses where chillul Shabbos is present.  Additionally, the fire will break out at a time when there is no one present to extinguish it.  Shemiras Shabbos is so vital that Yirmiyahu emphasizes that the churban Yerushalayim is dependent on Shabbos.

Wed, 18 Mar 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Yirmiyahu Part 4: The Enigma Of King Menashe “And Hashem said to me, ‘If Moshe and Shmuel stand before Me, I have no desire for this people.”  Even if Moshe and Shmuel would beg and daven that Hashem would save Yisrael, He will not relent.  Instead Bnei Yisrael will be punished and some will be sent to death, some to the sword, some to famine, and some to captivity.  Their punishment will be so severe that the other nations of the world will tremble when they hear what has befallen the Jews.

“And I will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth due to Menashe the son of Chizkiyahu, the king of Yehudah on all that he has done in Yerushalayim." Menashe did not follow in his father’s righteous ways.  He even had his own grandfather, Yeshayahu Hanavi, killed.  His behavior was so evil that the destruction of Yerushalayim is mainly attributed to him, as he caused the worship of avodah zara to spread throughout Yisrael.  Menashe actually did teshuvah in the later years of his life, and his teshuvah was accepted by Hashem, which was an incredible testimony to the power of teshuvah.  A man who had spent most of his life rebelling against Hashem, committing the most grievous of sins, and causing his nation to sin, was welcomed by the Heavenly throne.  Hashem Himself had to circumvent the malachim, who did not want to accept the teshuvah of such a sinful person, and closed all the gates of Shamayim to his tefillah.  Unfortunately however, Bnei Yisrael did not follow his example of teshuvah, and continued to serve avodah zara.

It is beyond our grasp to understand the incredible pull of avodah zara in those days.  The Gemara tells a story about Rav Ashi, who told his student that, “Tomorrow we will learn about our colleague, Menashe.”  That night Menashe appeared to Rav Ashi in a dream, and asked him a difficult question in halacha.  Rav Ashi did not know the answer.  Menashe revealed the answer and then admonished Rav Ashi for referring to him as a colleague.  Rav Ashi then asked Menashe why he had served avodah zara so fervently if he was so learned in Torah.  Menashe answered him, “If you would have been there, you would have lifted up your coat to run and serve avodah zara”  The next day, when R’ Ashi was teaching his students, he referred to Menashe as, “Our teacher.”

Sun, 15 Mar 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Yirmiyahu Part 3 - Will The Bais HaMikdash Save Them Or Will They Destroy It? In retrospect, Bnei Yisrael’s refusal to believe Yirmiyahu’s constant warning of impending punishment and doom seems hard to believe.  Did they think that their severe transgressions would go unpunished?

Ironically, one of the reasons that Bnei Yisrael felt secure and confident that Hashem would refrain from punishing them was the Beis Hamikdash in their midst.  They believed that the avodas Beis Hamikdash would expiate their sins.  They had the chutzpah to publicly commit serious sins, and would then enter the Beis Hamikdash to serve Hashem, confident that Hashem would forgive them.  The Beis Hamikdash actually became the vehicle for their lack of hesitance to sin. Of course, Hashem regarded this behavior as utter rebellion.  “Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, offer up to Baal, and follow other gods… and stand before Me in this House, and say, ‘We are saved?’”

Yirmiyahu says that Bnei Yisrael should not make the mistake of thinking that Hashem will refrain from punishing them due to the presence of the Beis Hamikdash.  They should learn a lesson from the destruction in Shiloh where Hashem’s Shechinah originally rested.  Hashem did not refrain from destroying the mishkan there, and He will not refrain from destroying the Beis Hamikdash either.  Additionally, Bnei Yisrael had now committed aveiros which were not committed in Shiloh, such as theft and murder.

Another factor which contributed to Bnei Yisrael’s denial of reality was the proliferation of false prophets, who constantly reassured Bnei Yisrael that peace would prevail.  As the Bavlim were preparing their war strategies, the false prophets were still promising peace.

Thu, 12 Mar 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Yirmiyahu Part 2: A Competition Of Wickedness, Yisroel And Yehuda At this point in history, the ten shevatim of Yisrael had already been sent into galus. The ten shevatim, who had lived in the north of Eretz Yisrael had seceded from the south, and had been ruled by a succession of evil kings, who encouraged them to serve avodah zara.  Hashem sent neviim to warn them, time after time, to improve their way, but to no avail.  Ultimately, Hashem sent Ashur (Assyria) to punish them, and the ten shevatim were sent into galus and lost until the end of days.

Unfortunately, the remaining shevatim were now following in the ways of the ten shevatim, and even exceeding their wickedness.  Hashem told Yirmiyahu, “Yisrael had committed adultery.  I sent her away and I gave her a bill of divorce, but treacherous Yehudah, her sister, did not fear, and she too went and played the harlot.”

The “divorce” of Hashem from the ten shevatim is referring to the fact that there will never again be a king from the ten shevatim.  During the times of Moshiach, the kings will all stem from Beis Dovid.  Therefore Hashem did not “divorce” Yehudah, but merely sent her away and will eventually “take her back” – when their kings rule over Yisrael once again during the time of Moshiach.

“Yisrael has proven herself more righteous than treacherous Yehudah.”  The Radak tells us that Yehudah engaged in so many sins that her sister Yisrael now appeared righteous in comparison.  Yehudah stooped to actually bringing their idols into the Beis Hamikdash and nullifying the avodas hamikdash.  King Achaz commissioned the construction of an altar, modeled on the altar in Damascus.  Under his rule, the lighting of the menorah and the burning of the ketores were halted, and Achaz himself passed his children through fire in his service of avodah zara.  King Menashe, who was even more wicked than the Amori, also passed his children through fire, and practiced all types of sorcery and other forbidden practices. His service of avodah zara caused Bnei Yisrael to sin as well. In addition, he murdered so many innocent people that he filled Yerushalayim from one end to another with their blood.

With kings so evil, it is not hard to understand why Yirmiyahu’s rebukes went unheeded.  These evil kings caused widespread sin and worship of avodah zara, which became firmly entrenched among Klal Yisrael, and made it very difficult them for to do complete teshuvah. 

Wed, 04 Mar 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Part 1 Yirmiyahu: Hashem Will Never Forget The Good Old Days So said Hashem:  I remember for you the chessed of your youth, the love of your bridal state…” These poignant words are the beginning of Yirmiyahu’ s nevuah to Bnei Yisrael at a time when their sins were so great that the final destruction was hovering in the background.  Radak explains that even as Hashem was planning Bnei Yisrael’s destruction, He reassures them that he will never destroy them completely, and will remember the love of their “bridal state,” which symbolizes Matan Torah. 

However, Bnei Yisrael has been unfaithful to her “wedding vows” and Yirmiyahu is charged with the mission to warn Bnei Yisrael to improve their ways before they are punished by “the bubbling pot, whose steam is toward the north.”  The pot symbolizes Yerushalayim,  and the Bavlim, who live northeast of Eretz Yisrael are the ones who will kindle the fire under the pot.  

The sins of that generation were so great that Hashem finds it necessary to reassure Yimiyahu before his mission that He will not allow Bnei Yisrael to kill him. “And they will fight against you, but they will not overcome you.” However, Hashem does not promise that Yirmiyahu will not be harmed. Bnei Yisrael will not accept Yimiyahu’s nevuohs with equanimity, and will resort to harming him to try to deny the veracity of his nevuah.

 In that generation, Bnei Yisrael abandoned Hashem and the Torah for useless idols, including the Baal. “They say to the wood, “You are my father,” and to the stone, “You bore us.” The Malbim says that they actually believed that the idols created them.  In addition, their worship of idols was rampant; each city had another god. 

Sun, 01 Mar 2009 03:00:00 +0000
Sefer Yirmiyahu - Introduction And Overview Was there ever a more tragic figure in the history of Klal Yisrael than Yirmiyahu Hanavi? Yirmiyahu was a navi burdened with the impossible mission of saving a nation bent on destruction. He was a navi who continuously warned Klal Yisrael of the terrible destruction they would face if they would not mend their ways. He was a man who loved Klal Yisrael with a fierce love, but was reviled in return for his constant rebuke. He was ignored, scorned, imprisoned, and starved. Yet his love for Klal Yisrael remained so strong that he insisted on accompanying his stubborn nation into exile, bound in chains. He was forced to witness the terrible suffering and exile of his beloved nation, and the violent destruction of the Beis Hamikdash and Yerushalayim.

The midrash says that Yirmiyahu cried out to Hashem, "Yirmiyahu said, ‘Master of the Universe, what sins have I done that in the days of all the neviim who preceded me and those who will follow me, you did not destroy your House, but only through me?' He answered, ‘Even before I created the world, you were prepared for this mission." (Pesichta Rabati 27.5)

Yirmiyahu gave over nevuah during the reigns of King Yoshiyahu, Yehoyachaz, Yehoyakim, Yehoyachin, and Tzidkiyahu, the last king of Yehudah. Tzidkiyahu was captured by the Bavlim, who destroyed the Beis Hamikdash and Yerushalayim.

Yirmiyahu warned Bnei Yisrael about the dire results of the terrible aveirohs they were committing during at that time. Indeed, Bnei Yisrael was involved in avodah zara, gilui arayos, shefichas damim and corruption. Many of the leaders of Bnei Yisrael and Kohanim were corrupt and had abandoned the Torah.

Yirmiyahu braved much suffering as a result of his nevuohs. He was called a traitor and a false navi. He was imprisoned by Tzidkiyahu Hamelech. He suffered starvation in a dungeon. He was thrown in a pit, and almost died there.

When Nevuchadnetzer exiled the remaining Jews in Eretz Yisrael after the Beis Hamikdash had been destroyed, Yirmiyahu planned to accompany them. However, Nevuzaradan removed his chains, and gave him the choice of remaining in Eretz Yisrael or being exiled Hashem instructed him to remain in Mitzpah with Gedaliah ben Achikam, who had been appointed as governor by Nevuchadnetzer over the remaining Jews in Eretz Yisrael.

Shortly later, Gedaliah was assassinated and Yirmiyahu conveyed Hashem's message to the small remnant of Bnei Yisrael that they should remain in Eretz Yisrael. However, instead they fled to Mitzrayim; Yirmiyahu went with them and eventually died there. Some say that the Jews stoned him to death when he warned them not to go to Mitzrayim. Others say that Nevuchadnetzer took Yirmiyahu to Bavel, where he eventually died. In either case, Yirmiyahu died in exile, after dedicating his life to conveying Hashem's message to a nation who refused to heed him.

Mon, 23 Feb 2009 03:00:00 +0000