When we were kids there was a Chumash Riddle going around, where do we find that no news was good news, an expression widely used today? Give up? The answer is when the dove that Noach sent out of the Ark did not return for that demonstrated that the waters of the flood had finally dried up. Today we depend upon the news for almost everything, weather conditions, traffic conditions, political conditions, health alerts, danger warnings, local and worldwide events, money markets, investments, sales and purchases, jobs, the housing market etc.  I have come to the conclusion that there are basically three types of news. They are real news, fake news and no news. Let me explain the first two categories with two interpretations of Rashi which seem to be contradictory.

In Parshas Chukas (20,29) when Ahron died on Hor Hahor and only Moshe and Eliazar descended, the people could not fathom that their beloved Ahron died. Rashi brings that Moshe davened to Hashem and angels displayed the form of Ahron lying on a bed and only then they believed. The question arises that Yisrael already got themselves into deep trouble with this “seeing is believing” concept, when Moshe according to their calculations was delayed at “Har Sinai” from returning to them to give the Luchos. Rashi writes (Shmos 32,1) that the Satan displayed a form of Moshe in the heavens lying dead in a bed and Yisrael believed. Their belief in Moshe’s demise caused them to build and worship an Aigel of which up until today we are still suffering from it (Shmos 32,34 Rashi). How then could they allow themselves to fall into the same trap of “seeing is believing” when the vision from shamayim could be absolutely false?

There is an obvious distinction between the two events. The appearance of Ahron being dead came about through the tefillah of the Gadol Hador Moshe Rabbeinu. He davened that the Yidden should believe in his words. What they saw was “real news” for its source came from the Torah and from those who are bonded with it. In contrast by the Aigel, the grumbling of the people was initiated and stirred by the Airev Rav those people who were not completely bought into the holy mission and mesorah of Am Yisrael. The news that they brought about was “Fake News”, Satanic, and a grand illusion, leaving it its aftermath both physical and spiritual devastation for the Jewish Nation. Technology has recently become the opium of the masses in the sense that through the manipulation of the facts and tampering with the reality with the use of photo shop, they unabashed lie and lie and fake photos and reporting just to get you to believe in their warped distortions. They have stripped the word honest from printing vocabulary.

Newspapers and the media reporting have been caught time and time again with such scenarios and have lost their credibility. Nevertheless, we still read their Satanic interpretations because we are brainwashed into believing their self proclaimed righteous banners of “we have all the news that is fit to print”. Did you ever go for a fitting? The original garment that is purchased does not end up in the original form it was manufactured. The tailor cuts here, tightens there, widens below, loosens on the side, moves the buttons, adds cuffs etc. The slogan of all news “fit to print” means it is fitted in order to print their slanted prejudice and distortion. The news slogan should rather be called all news “print to fit”.

Now let us continue to category three of “no news is good news”. If not for Parshas Balak revealed in the Torah, the entire episode of Bilam’s attempt to annihilate Yisrael with his curses would have remained no news. Klal Yisrael did not even have an inkling of awareness of the grave danger that was lurking before them. Would it not have been for the chesed of Hashem towards His people we would have been doomed. Referring to such unawareness from our part, Dovid Hamelech writes לעושה נפלאות גדולות לבדו (Tehillim 136,4) Hashem causes wondrous miracles by Himself. The words by himself, found in the passuk is not meant to be only understood that He has no joint partner in the venture. It also conveys that the miracles that He performs many times are exclusive in that He alone is aware of them, excluding the recipients who don’t possess even the slightest clue and cognizance that a miracle had just occurred.

In Chazal, Klal Yisrael are compared to the dove in many ways. Now we can add on one more characteristic. Just like the dove, Yisrael are the embodiment of “no news is good news”. Our entire existence day to day is a miracle and above the laws of nature. All the Nations of the world relentlessly seek to destroy and eradicate us from planet earth. Hashem’s love for us will not allow for nature to reign over us for He protects us constantly from annihilation.

The author of Aimek Beracha Rav Pargemantsky.ztl who perished in the Kovno Ghetto once saw a small young group of Gerer Chassidim who appeared down and depressed. He approached them and asked why they shouldn’t be in a better mood? One of them replied “the condition of our lives is in shambles and we feel that there is no purpose for our lives any more”. The Rav ztl picked us his hand pointing his finger to the other side of the barbed wire fence where a Nazi soldier was standing. “Let me ask you”, said the Rav. “Do you see that soldier? He would have no qualms to shoot all of you right now for mere sport. No one would complain of his murdering of Jews. The only reason why he doesn’t go ahead and pull the trigger is because Hashem doesn’t let such a thought cross his mind. That means that every second Hashem is miraculously keeping you alive because He still wants you to serve Him at this very second. Is this not a reason to rejoice?” This is the deeper understanding of this phrase of now news in relationship to Yisrael. If there is no news against the Yidden, then it is good news because it demonstrates that הנה לא ינום ולא יישן שומר ישראל  Hashem does not sleep in His protection of His people.

With this we can understand what we say in Hallel הללו את ה’ כל גויים שבחוהו כל האומים כי גבר עלינו חסדו that when Moshiach will arrive we address the nations of the world and command them to praise Hashem for the chesed He showered upon Bnei Yisrael. Only afterwards יאמר נא ישראל כי לעולם חסדו it becomes Yisrael’s turn to praise Hashem. How can this be that at the final geulah it will be the goyim who precede Yisrael in their praise of Hashem’s salvation for them?

The answer is that of course no one will be able to praise Hashem like Yisrael and we will be the first on line to thank Hashem. However, we can only pay gratitude to Hashem for the miracles that we know. What about all the miracles that Hashem performed for us by constantly foiling all of the goyim’s plans for our destruction? Only Hashem and the goyim realize it but not the Yidden just as we find by Billam. After exhausting our praises to Hashem for all the miracles that we are aware of, we then turn to the nations and say praise Hashem for His miracles on our behalf that you alone were privy of. הללו את ה’ כל גויים כי גבר עלינו חסדו. Once we hear the unimaginable amount of yeshuos that Hashem performed on our behalf throughout the centuries, we will once again, anew, praise Hashem יאמר נא ישראל.

The same interpretation is applied to the Shir Hamaalos before Bentching. אז יאמרו בגויים הגדיל ה’ לעשות עם אלה  At the time of Moshiach then the goyim will proclaim that Hashem performed greatness and chesed with “these”, the Jewish Nation. This will be immediately followed by our response of gratitude to Hashem הגדיל ה’ לעשות עמנו .  Here too for sure Yisrael will initiate the praise to Hashem for our salvation but then again only on the miracles that we know of. Then the goyim will share with us their private experiences unknown to us, that demonstrated Hashem’s constant watchful and protective eye over His people. This will be followed with our own praises of gratitude for the chesed which now was revealed and realized that He bestowed upon us all this time.

Dove soap can clean you physically. The Dove יונה which symbolizes no news is good news can clean your neshama and spread its light bringing us closer to emunah. It is on Shabbos that a Yid could feel this cleansing process even more with the gift of a neshamah yesairah. That is why we find that the refrain of one of the Zemiros is יונה מצאה בו מנוח שם ינוחו יגיעי כח. The meforshim say that the Yonah didn’t return to the Ark on Shabbos for it found its resting place then. Every Shabbos the Yid can deepen his emunah finding security and rest under the wings of Hashem. Shabbos is therefore likened to a soap that cleanses our hearts as we say in the Zemiros of Shabbos Ki Eshmerah Shabbos על כן אכבס בו לבי כבורית Therefore I will cleanse my heart with Shabbos like soap. Shabbos is likened to the Dove in more ways than one.

Gut Shabbos

Rav Brazil