Our Secret Weapon

Regarding our father, Jacob, it is written: "The voice is the voice of Jacob" (Genesis 27:22). The Midrash Rabbah comments:
"The voice is the voice of Jacob" - Jacob only rules with his voice.
The Etz Yosef commentary explains that this is referring to the voice of prayer and the voice that speaks words of Torah.
Dear Friends,
We were enslaved in Egypt, a mighty empire and center of world civilization. There was therefore a great shock to the prevailing world order when we were miraculously liberated from the bondage of Egypt and the mighty Egyptian army was destroyed when the sea split for us and then covered the Egyptians. As the Torah states, "Peoples heard and trembled" (Exodus 15:14).

The rulers of the pagan nations felt particularly threatened by the idea of the Liberating One Whom all nations and rulers must serve. In fact, the most powerful of these rulers viewed themselves as gods; thus, the universal vision of the One God which our people represented was viewed as a threat to their own power.


We officially assumed the role of the "outsider" when we stood at Mount Sinai and received the Torah - the Divine Teaching which proclaims the message of the Liberating One. According to Jewish tradition, the hatred of the other nations towards our nation began when we received the Torah at Mount Sinai. In fact, the Talmud teaches that the name "Sinai" alludes to "sinah" - hatred, for when the Torah was given, the nations - with the exception of the righteous among them - began to hate the People of Israel. (Shabbos 89a - See the commentary of "Iyun Yaacov")


The Midrash Rabbah tells the following story concerning the pagan nations of that era: Representatives from all these nations approached a leading philosopher of that era, Avnimus, and asked him whether it was possible for them to harm the new nation of Israel which was threatening the pagan world order. He advised them to pass by the dwellings where the People of Israel gather for prayer, as well as the dwellings where they gather to study their Torah. He told them that if they find there young children who are praying and studying with their voices, they wil not be able to harm this nation, for their father, Isaac, promised them and said to them, "The voice is the voice of Jacob."  As long as the voice of Jacob  was heard through these children, this people could not be harmed. (Genesis Rabbah 65:20)


The philosopher, Avnimus, understood that the "voice" was the "secret weapon" of the People of Israel especially when this voice was found among the young children - the future generation.


The messianic age of universal enlightenment and shalom has not yet arrived; thus, even when we are forced to go into battle against those who are attacking us, we need to remember the real source of our strength. For example, King David needed to go into battle, but unlike the sovereigns of his era, he did not put his trust in military might. He therefore proclaimed to our people the following message: "Some with chariots, and some with horses, but we, in heName of the Compassionate One, our God, call out!" (Psalm 20:8)

Hazon - Our Universal Vision