A Redemption Greater Than the Exodus?

April 9, 2024

Picture this: a single blossom pushing through the hardened earth, reaching for the sun. It is a silent yet powerful declaration of resilience and rebirth. This is the essence of the Hebrew month of Nisan, a time when the echoes of ancient liberations ignite our hopes for a future where harmony and renewal bloom across the world.

Nisan is considered the first month of the Jewish calendar (Exodus 12:2) and coincides with March-April on the civil calendar. It is called chodesh ha-aviv, or the month of Abib (spring), in the Torah since it heralds the spring months, a time of renewal and rebirth. As it says:

Nisan is also considered the month of redemption, reflecting the exodus of our forefathers from Egyptian bondage which took place in this month. “In Nisan our forefathers were redeemed from Egypt, and in Nisan we will be redeemed” (Rosh Hashanah 11a). The sages teach us that Nisan’s redemptive power isn’t only about remembering the past, it is a time to look forward with hope to the future, ultimate, redemption as well. This aspect of Nisan, celebrating past redemption while anticipating future salvation, gives this month a special place in the heart of Jewish consciousness.

The prophet Jeremiah contrasts these two redemptions, past and future, and talks about a future salvation even greater than the Exodus from Egypt. Jeremiah 23:7-8 foretells a time when the Israelites will be gathered from every corner of the earth back to their ancestral soil, a promise of restoration that will transcend the wonders of the past:

What sets this future redemption apart? Why does it promise to outshine the dramatic miracles that facilitated the Exodus from Egypt? The answer lies in the astonishing reunification of a people dispersed across the globe, returning to their homeland after millennia of exile. The ingathering of the exiled nation defies natural laws and human expectations. Never before has a people been scattered across the world, survived 2,000 years of exile and returned to its native homeland!

Furthermore, the return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel is a testament to the enduring covenant between the Jews and the Creator. The skepticism of onlookers throughout history, who doubted the permanence of the Jewish people’s covenant with God and their claim to their land, is challenged by this ongoing miracle. The return of the Jewish nation to its land after 2,000 years of diaspora stands as a living testament to the unwavering bond between the people and their God, a miracle of historical and spiritual magnitude. As Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik wrote:

“I have, on several occasions, emphasized in my remarks concerning the ‎Land ‎of Israel that the theological arguments of Christian theologians to the effect that the Holy ‎One has ‎taken away from the Community of Israel its rights to the Land of Israel, and that all of the ‎biblical ‎promises relating to Zion and Jerusalem now refer in an allegorical sense to Christianity and ‎the ‎Christian Church, were all publicly shown to be false, baseless contentions by the ‎establishment of ‎the State of Israel.”

The return that Jeremiah prophesied is unfolding before our eyes. As we welcome the new month of Nisan, let’s carry a hopeful prayer in our hearts. May this Nisan bring the completion of that ultimate redemption we so desperately seek, and with it peace and unity for the entire world.

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Shira Schechter

Shira Schechter is the content editor for TheIsraelBible.com and Israel365 Publications. She earned master’s degrees in both Jewish Education and Bible from Yeshiva University. She taught the Hebrew Bible at a high school in New Jersey for eight years before making Aliyah with her family in 2013. Shira joined the Israel365 staff shortly after moving to Israel and contributed significantly to the development and publication of The Israel Bible.

Shira Schechter

Shira Schechter is the content editor for TheIsraelBible.com and Israel365 Publications. She earned master’s degrees in both Jewish Education and Bible from Yeshiva University. She taught the Hebrew Bible at a high school in New Jersey for eight years before making Aliyah with her family in 2013. Shira joined the Israel365 staff shortly after moving to Israel and contributed significantly to the development and publication of The Israel Bible.

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