By Rabbi Yisroel Chaim Blumenthal
“I have said: My strength is lost and my hope from Hashem… Hashem is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope to Him” (Eicha 3:18,24).
There are times when all seems lost. We sometimes wonder: What assurance do we have that we are on a path that ultimately leads to goodness and to light? How can we, Klal Yisroel, be comforted while we are still in exile from our land and the Bais Hamikdosh lies in ruins?
The novi took comfort in the fact that Hashem is his portion; that was his hope and assurance. The comfort and the assurance of Klal Yisroel is the fact that their portion is Hashem.
What does this mean? How is Hashem our “portion” and our “lot”?
We tend to think of our faith and belief in Hashem as coming from us toward Hashem, as if, so to speak, we are “giving something” to Hashem by believing in Him. But the facts are quite the opposite. Hashem went out of His way to bestow upon us the great gift of faith in Him. He performed all the great miracles of Yetzias Mitzrayim. He spoke to us from heaven so that the truth of His reality be seared into the core of our beings (Devorim 4:35). He sanctified us with His commandments, so that we may remain a unique nation to Him (Vayikra 20:26, Devorim 26:18). It is Hashem who put His faith into our hearts through the miracles of the exodus and the revelation at Sinai. It is He who preserves this faith in our midst by protecting us both physically and spiritually.
When Yirmiyahu sees the confusion that covers the nations, he exclaims, “This is not the portion of Yaakov!” (Yirmiyahu 10:16). The fact that Hashem grants us the clarity to know that all of creation is subject to Him and to Him alone is the greatest comfort and reassurance. All of the suffering that we have endured in this golus is worthwhile if that is the price of being witness to Hashem’s truth. The faith that Hashem poured into our hearts gave us the strength to look the Holocaust in the eye and thank Him that we are His people.
When all the troubles of the golus surround us, Moshe Rabbeinu encourages us to look at the miracles of Yetzias Mitzrayim and at the revelation at Sinai. These national experiences are unique in the history of mankind. Hashem did not plant His faith into the hearts of any other nation with such force and with such clarity. The fact that He has set us apart from every other nation in this way should encourage us that no matter what, Hashem is still with us (Devorim 4:31).
As Dovid Hamelech expressed this thought: “Even if I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil because You are with me” (Tehillim 23:4).
This is our comfort and our assurance.
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Rabbi Blumenthal is an author and educator. He can be reached at www.judaismresources.com.