Study and Theory/
Purim

Yitzhak Baer

Exile

The Maharal of Prague (died 1609) commented in the preface to his book on the redemption, Netzach Yisrael (The Eternity of Israel), that the substance of redemption may be learned from its diametrical opposite, exile. The very fact of the exile serves as a decisive example for the long awaited redemption. This is because exile is a deviation from the natural order that G-d established in the world. To each nation, G-d has designated a homeland; for the Jewish People it is the Land of Israel, its natural place. Exile means being uprooted from its environment, and anything severed from its natural place loses its natural hold, until returning to it. Dispersion of the Jews among the nation was thus unnatural to the natural order of things. Since the Jews are one national unit, on a higher spiritual level than the other nations, it is imperative that they reunite as a whole people together. Moreover, “the enslavement of one nation by another is incompatible with the appropriate order of the world, because every nation should be free.” Being as it is a deviation from the natural order, the exile cannot be sustained forever.

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