“Who can believe what we have heard?"

By Rabbi Shlomo Nachman © March 22,2016 (last updated Febreuary 16, 2018)


Recorded Live on Facebook

Our Scriptures are very clear about what HaMashiach Ben Dovid (the Messiah) will achieve. Thus far no one met these requirements. When someone does, it will be abundantly clear to all. See my study on The Suffering Servant for more on Isaiah 53. The reference here is clearly to the Jewish people as a whole.


Verse 1. Who can believe what we have heard? Upon whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
Rashi: Who would have believed our report: So will the nations say to one another, Were we to hear from others what we see, it would be unbelievable.
the arm of the Lord: like this, with greatness and glory, to whom was it revealed until now?

Verse 2. For he has grown, by His favor, like a tree crown, Like a tree trunk out of arid ground. He had no form or beauty, that we should look at him: No charm, that we should find him pleasing.

Rashi: And he came up like a sapling before it: This people [i.e. the Israelites/Jews], before this greatness came to it, was a very humble people, and it came up by itself like a sapling of the saplings of the trees.
and like a root: he came up from dry land.
neither form: had he in the beginning, nor comeliness.
and we saw him that he had no appearance. Now shall we desire him?: And when we saw him from the beginning without an appearance, how could we desire him?
Now shall we desire him?: This is a question.

Verse 3. He was despised, shunned by men, A man of suffering, familiar with disease. As one who hid his face from us, He was despised, we held him of no account.

Rashi: Despised and rejected by men: was he. So is the custom of this prophet: he mentions all Israel as one man, e.g. (44:2), “Fear not, My servant Jacob” ; (44:1) “And now, hearken, Jacob, My servant.” Here too (52:13), “Behold My servant shall prosper,” he said concerning the house of Jacob. יַשְׂכִּיל is an expression of prosperity. Comp. (I Sam. 18:14) “And David was successful (מַשְׂכִּיל) in all his ways.”
and as one who hides his face from us: Because of their intense shame and humility, they were as one who hides his face from us, with their faces bound up in concealment, in order that we not see them, like a plagued man who hides his face and is afraid to look.

This is who this section is talking about. These verses have nothing to do with the HaMashiach. They are talking about the Jewish people collectively. Throughout Jewish history we have been hated, despised, and so on more than any other people and yet the final Redemption will come through Israel. Those who stand with Am Y'israel are on the right side hstory. Were are you standing?


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