Rabbi Yechiel Perr commented on Bechukosai - ShortVort.com: “And those of you who survive, will be eroded for their sin in the lands of your enemies; and also for the sin of their fathers which they carry with them, will they be eroded” [Vayikra 26:39].

It is safe to say that no other subject has absorbed the attention of Klal Yisroel as has the golus. How long will it last? What are its exact causes? How can they be overcome?

Over our history every possible strategy has been pursued in overcoming the golus. Attempts were made to overcome the golus by scattering Jews to every possible country. Also, by gathering Jews back to our land. Also, by spreading Torah. Also, by spreading Kabbalah. Also, by spreading Chasidus. Also, by assimilation. Also, by shmad, r.l. Also, by getting Yidden to stop machelokes; and to stop lashon horah. And “just keep one Shabbos and we’ll all be free” the song tells us. And yet nevertheless – the golus persists


Among the many troubling questions about golus, there is one which the pasuk quoted above seems to address, by speaking of their sin and their father’s sin. The question is: isn’t it counterproductive to place us into the golus to expiate our aveiros since being in golus itself causes even more aveiros?

It occurs to me that a common and humble device contains the potential for an insight into this cosmic question. When shirts go into a washing machine, it’s true they need a wash, but they’re nowhere near as bad looking as they are a short time later, when having been washed, they come out of the machine wrinkled and crushed in every possible way. It is only when they are dried and touched up with an iron and hanging on hangers that we see the improvement which has been brought to them.

The golus is a cleansing process, and although golus brings it’s own problems, and major problems they are, from anti-Semitic Jews on the left, to the chai roitel superstitions on the right, never the less the problems created by the golus are not nearly as toxic as the ones for which we were put into golus.

It is therefore possible that the aveiros caused by the golus may be treated differently than those aveiros which caused the golus. The aveiros that brought about the golus must be expiated. The aveiros which were caused by the golus do not need a further golus to expiate them. And they will be cleansed by Hash-m. Perhaps it is about these golus aveiros that the Novi Yecheskiel says (36:25) “And I will throw upon you clean water and you will be cleaned; from all your un-cleanliness and all your idolatries I will cleanse you.”

Thus the tochacha here speaks of two sorts of aveiros. The aveirah “in the land of their enemies,” are aveiros caused by the golus. They need no further golus. And the aveiros of “their fathers with them.” These are the aveiros which caused the golus, and only the golus can cleanse them.

May we be zoiche to a geulah sheleimah b’karov.

A good Shabbos.

Rabbi Yechiel Yitzchok Perr




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