|The Torah Connection-Yitro-Stockholm Syndrome Revisited|
|Written by Rabbi Yaakov Shlomo Weinberg|
Several weeks ago (Parshas Va’eira) we went into the question of how it was possible that 80% of Yisroel were not worthy to leave Mitzrayim, and indeed did not.
One of the answers we gave attributed this phenomenon to the influence of the Stockholm Syndrome,
where the captives believe and accept the thinking, beliefs and actions of their captors.
We also attributed this phenomenon as the potential cause for the fact that “…starting roughly in the early 1800’s, an ever increasing (until recently) portion of our people has left Torah Judaism and has adopted the ways of the non-Jewish surrounding culture … Just as important … they adopted the anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic outlook of their non-Jewish surrounding culture … There is a Chazal that Hashem will place all the chato’im (sins) of Yisroel on Eisav…”
I had once seen this Chazal and quoted the verse from which it is taken, but I could not remember the actual source. I asked others if they knew the source. “No,” came the answer and worse – they did not recall ever having seen such a Chazal. Yet I distinctly remember having seen it. I finally asked one of the Roshei Yeshiva (Ner Yisroel) who also stated that he didn’t recall ever having seen it. All of a sudden he stopped as a thought hit him. “Try Rav Dessler on Yom Kippur,”
Sure enough, there it was – a Medrash.
“At that time (of Moshiach) Hashem will take all the sins of Yisroel and place them on the wicked Eisav as it says, ‘and the so’ir, referring to the so’ir hamishtaleiach, will carry all their sins’ and so’ir refers to Eisav …”
Why should that be? Why is Eisav responsible? According to the concept of the Stockholm Syndrome, the cruelties, pogroms, inquisitions, etc. promulgated and inflicted by Eisav on Yisroel was the cause of Jewish truancy. It can therefore be understood.
Yisroel after Matan Torah, the giving of the Torah, were on their way to Eretz Yisroel. If not for the episode of the meraglim (spies),
they indeed would have entered immediately.
“The children of Israel ate the mohn for forty years … until their arrival at the border of the land of Cana’an.”
From here, that it would take them forty years to arrive there. This was written in Parshas Hamohn before Mattan Torah.
“Moshe wrote all the words of Hashem …”
“From Bereishis until the giving of the Torah …”
“…(Moshe) took the book of the covenant (the above) and read it to the people …”
The above from Bereishis till Matan Torah was written and read by Moshe to all the people. In it was the posuk stating that it would take them forty years to get to Eretz Yisroel. How could they then think they would go in immediately?
There are various types of brisim between Hashem and Klal Yisroel. One of them is the bris of Torah. “V’ani zos brisi osam omar Hashem.” “And as for Me, this is My covenant with them said Hashem, My spirit that is upon you and My words that I have placed in your mouth shall not be withdrawn from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring’s offspring said Hashem, from this moment and forever.”
This was actualized at the time of Matan Torah (the Giving of the Torah). “And Moshe took the Sefer Habris and read it to the people … and Moshe took the blood (from the sacrifices) and threw it on the nation and said, ‘behold the blood of the bris (covenant) which Hashem sealed with you concerning all these matters.’”
What exactly is a bris? The Gra
states as follows: “One who has a beloved friend and does not want to leave him, yet at the same time must leave, gives him an extremely valuable and desirable item to which he is closely attached. The donor will constantly think of the valuable item and thereby think of his friend. The bris is a guarantee that the bond will remain constant. One cannot attach oneself directly to Hashem except through intermediaries as per above. This is the concept of bris regarding Torah, milah, the Mishkan, Mikdash and Aron Habris.”
See also Ramchal
who writes similar to the Gra that our bris with Hashem came through an intermediary between Hashem and us which is the Torah which is, as it were, attached to Him and is “as one” with Him.
Hashem “separated” from His honor (the Torah) and gave it to Yisroel and this is the bris.
The above remains somewhat esoteric but perhaps gives us some insight.
1 Rashi, Exodus 13:18 in the name of the Mechilta and the Tanchuma.
2 See there for explanation.
3 Book Two.
4 Yalkut Shimoni Isaiah simon 506.
5 There is a plus and a minus working with the concept of the Stockholm Syndrome. The minus, as mentioned last time, is that I’m not sure that you find such a concept in Jewish sources. On the other hand, if one learns that Jews have left Torah because of temptations or because of the persuasions and inducement of the non-Jews (Shuvi, shuvi hashulamis – Song of Songs 7:1), how could these sins be placed on Eisav’s head – divrie horav udivrei hatalmid, divrei mi shomin? (Sanhedrin 29a). However, according to the Stockholm Syndrome there is a direct cause and for what Eisav caused he is responsible.
6 Numbers 13-14.
7 Exodus 16:35
8 Ibid 24:4.
9 Rashi ibid including the above.
10 Ibid :7 and Rashi there.
11 Isaiah 59:20-21
12 We have seen this very covenant “in action” in this generation. After the Torah of Europe was wiped out, Torah flourished anew in, of all places, the Torah wasteland of America and the then weakened soil of Eretz Yisroel. It has achieved beachheads in Australia, South America, Russia, Western Europe and other environs.
13 Exodus 23:7-8.
14 Commentary to Sefer Yetzirah 1:8 quoted by Rav Dovid Cohen, Rosh Yeshivas Chevron in his Sefer Mizmor L’Dovid p. 208.
15 Derech Hashem part 4, chp. 2, ose 2.
16 See Zohar – “Hashem and the Torah are as one.”