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עשה תורתך קבע – אמור מעט ועשה הרבה

The Vision of Isaiah – and Two Videos to Watch #Torah #Hazon

Posted by rabbiart on July 21, 2009

This Shabbat we begin the book of Devarim, and we have the third and final warning haftorah before we commemorate the ninth of Av.  From the words of the prophet, this is known as Shabbat Chazon – the Shabbat of Vision – that Isaiah saw for Yehudah and Yerushalayim.

חֲזוֹן, יְשַׁעְיָהוּ בֶן-אָמוֹץ, אֲשֶׁר חָזָה, עַל-יְהוּדָה וִירוּשָׁלִָם–בִּימֵי עֻזִּיָּהוּ יוֹתָם אָחָז יְחִזְקִיָּהוּ, מַלְכֵי יְהוּדָה

Isiaiah’s vision is not a pretty picture. The land is desolate; cities burned and flooded. The people offer a multitude of sacrifices, which are rejected as having no valid purpose and which provide no delight to HaShem. The people have forgotten how to do justice and relieve the oppressed. Hence the KBH needed to send a prophet with a powerful message; a message filled with both warning and hope.

After the warnings come an offer and a call for action;to sit and reason together, and earn a chance of forgiveness.

אִם-יִהְיוּ חֲטָאֵיכֶם כַּשָּׁנִים כַּשֶּׁלֶג יַלְבִּינוּ, אִם-יַאְדִּימוּ כַתּוֹלָע כַּצֶּמֶר יִהְיוּ

Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow
though they be read like crimson, they shall be as [pure and white] wool

The Haftorah as we will chant it ends on a hopeful note; Zion redeemed by justice.

To this day in Israel there is a struggle over the vision of Zion. What is justice? Who shall be relieved from oppression?

Can everyone, in the words of the prophet, sit and reason together. Can all the peoples share a common vision?  Only if we are able to see the world as other see it, and not only as it appears in our eyes.

Try this vision experiment.  Watch these two videos, look at the comments  on youtube on each, and try to reconcile the various – and competing –  viewpoints.

Cellcom, an Israeli cellular provided, is running this television ad.

Here is how it looks from the other side of the boundary.

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