The Noise of Geula Approaching

Man, can those Egyptians scream...!

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Before the B’nai Yisrael left Mitzrayim, they tied the gawd of their Egyptian oppressor (a lamb) to their bedposts, thereby proving their complete faith in Hashem and earning — as a side dish — three days of non-stop abuse from their Hamito-Anubian captors.

The Egyptians cursed, spat, yelled and otherwise vilified the Hebrew upstarts, but tachlis, they could do no harm to us, for the exodus from that land had already been decreed.

That yelling — which must have been intimidating in the extreme — was likely similar in nature to what Yehoshua and Moshe heard as they made their way down the mountain to witness the sin of the Golden Calf, about which we just read in parashat Ki-Tissa.

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Their puzzlement over the yelling is recorded in the Mikra as follows —

:יז וַיִּשְׁמַ֧ע יְהוֹשֻׁ֛עַ אֶת־ק֥וֹל הָעָ֖ם בְּרֵעֹ֑ה וַיֹּ֨אמֶר֙ אֶל־משֶׁ֔ה ק֥וֹל מִלְחָמָ֖ה בַּמַּֽחֲנֶֽה

:יח וַיֹּ֗אמֶר אֵ֥ין קוֹל֙ עֲנ֣וֹת גְּבוּרָ֔ה וְאֵ֥ין ק֖וֹל עֲנ֣וֹת חֲלוּשָׁ֑ה ק֣וֹל עַנּ֔וֹת אָֽנֹכִ֖י שֹׁמֵֽעַ

When Joshua heard the voice of the people in their shouting [lashon TERUAH], he said to Moses: "There is a voice of battle in the camp!" 

But [Moses] said: "[It is] neither a voice shouting victory, nor a voice shouting defeat; a voice of blasphemy I hear."

Some commentators understand Moshe’s words as a veiled rebuke of Yehoshua, implying that as a leader he had better understand the tone of the people, lest he err in his dealings with them.

But there’s more here.

The Erev Rav, who stood behind the creation of the Golden Calf, were the one’s doing the yelling, and as Rashi explains, the voice in the camp was a קול חרופין וגדופין — a voice of blasphemy and cursing that distresses the soul of those who hear [it].”

As in Mitzrayim, screaming Egyptians were aggrieving the Children of Israel.

Turning up the volume…

Indeed, noise and yelling may be among the Erev Rav’s greatest weapons against us.

It intimidates even as it draws the weakest of Jewish souls toward it. Their desire to avoid being on the receiving end of the bullying and invective will often move lesser neshamot to side with their Erev Rav tormentors.

But we needn’t fear.

Nor need we respond when they yell at us for

  • not vaccinating, or

  • not quarantining or masking, or

  • not voting, or

  • not enlisting in their anti-Jewish army, and, in general,

  • not doing all those things that give them legitimacy and authority over us.

Ignore it. It’s just noise.

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They can jump and scream and threaten and curse all they want.

But they can’t hurt us

Because we’re killing their gawd — their holy state, that from its outset was meant to serve only their interests.

And whose time has now come.

But a few weeks remain to cleanse ourselves of chometz, friends, and to place ourselves and our trust in the hands of the Holy One, the Al-mighty Creator of the Universe.

Use them well.

And get a set of earplugs, if you need.

For the wicked will be littered on the streets on that great and glorious day of Hashem.

May it come speedily.

And none too noisily.

Dean Maughvet