Ancient Paganism / Creation / Generation of the Flood / Rabbi Joseph Dov Soloveitchik / World

The Importance of learning from the Past

“Remember the days of yore, understand the years of generation after generation.”
(Deuteronomy / Sefer Devarim 32:7, Parashat Ha’azinu)
Moshe urges the Jews to reflect upon the past, to inquire of people who remember and understand history, who know how G – d regulated the course of the world according to the needs of the Jewish people (Ramban).
Most people refuse to believe that the past is relevant to them, and they suffer for the foolish myopia.
Rashi comments:
REMEMBER what G – d did in the days of Enosh.
The oceans swallowed one – third of the land. The former land became sea (see Sefer Seder HaDorot and Rabbeinu Bachya).
This was a G – dly punishment because people were starting to worship idols. In the days of Enosh people used to think that G – d had abandoned His Creation and thus started worshiping the sun.
When one – third of the existing land was swallowed and the land became sea, not too many people were bothered by that. On the contrary, as they continued doing whatever they wanted. Instead of thinking that something was wrong, they didn’t learn anything and, later on, the Flood (Mabul) came.
This is what the verse in Ha’azinu is teaching us here: We have to learn from the past but, unfortunately, the Jewish people always make the same mistakes over and over again. And as Esser Agaroth writes: Obama and Iran and not the real enemy of the Jews but the Jews themselves.
Instead of sticking together and fight the world’s anti – Semitism, everyone is just picking on each other. And there are even those Jews whose goal it is to destroy Judaism and G – d. But, as Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik states, man is vulnerable because he is mortal. Getting rid of Torah and G – d won’t make us immortal. Man’s greatest fear is and always will be DEATH.

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