Chapter 54

1Shout, O barren one, You who bore no child! Shout aloud for joy, You who did not travail! For the children of the wife forlorn Shall outnumber those of the espoused—said Hashem.

ארָנִּי עֲקָרָה לֹא יָלָדָה פִּצְחִי רִנָּה וְצַהֲלִי לֹא־חָלָה כִּי־רַבִּים בְּנֵי־שׁוֹמֵמָה מִבְּנֵי בְעוּלָה אָמַר יְהֹוָה׃

2Enlarge the site of your tent, Extend the size of your dwelling, Do not stint! Lengthen the ropes, and drive the pegs firm.

har-KHEE-vee m'-KOM a-ho-LAYKH vee-ree-OT mish-k'-no-TA-yikh ya-TU al takh-SO-khee ha-a-REE-khee may-ta-RA-yikh vee-tay-do-TA-yikh kha-ZAY-kee

בהַרְחִיבִי מְקוֹם אָהֳלֵךְ וִירִיעוֹת מִשְׁכְּנוֹתַיִךְ יַטּוּ אַל־תַּחְשֹׂכִי הַאֲרִיכִי מֵיתָרַיִךְ וִיתֵדֹתַיִךְ חַזֵּקִי׃

 54:2   Enlarge the site of your tent

Rabbi Elijah Kremer, the Vilna Gaon (1720-1797)

This verse contains a call to action for Jews everywhere to settle every corner of Eretz Yisrael and “enlarge” their presence in the land. Based on this verse, the Vilna Gaon urged his students in the eighteenth century to move to Israel. “All the precious treasures included in the blessing of harchava (‘enlargement’) will come only when action is first taken by the People of Israel themselves in an awakening from below” said the Vilna Gaon. “Our task is to not sit passively and wait for redemption from exile, but rather to take action and bring it about.” The Jewish people are not prisoners of fate, but partners with God in shaping their destiny. When they take action and settle the land, He will respond in kind and hasten the ingathering of the exiles.

3For you shall spread out to the right and the left; Your offspring shall dispossess nations And shall people the desolate towns.

גכִּי־יָמִין וּשְׂמֹאול תִּפְרֹצִי וְזַרְעֵךְ גּוֹיִם יִירָשׁ וְעָרִים נְשַׁמּוֹת יוֹשִׁיבוּ׃

4Fear not, you shall not be shamed; Do not cringe, you shall not be disgraced. For you shall forget The reproach of your youth, And remember no more The shame of your widowhood.

דאַל־תִּירְאִי כִּי־לֹא תֵבוֹשִׁי וְאַל־תִּכָּלְמִי כִּי לֹא תַחְפִּירִי כִּי בֹשֶׁת עֲלוּמַיִךְ תִּשְׁכָּחִי וְחֶרְפַּת אַלְמְנוּתַיִךְ לֹא תִזְכְּרִי־עוֹד׃

5For He who made you will espouse you— His name is “LORD of Hosts.” The Holy One of Yisrael will redeem you— He is called “God of all the Earth.”

הכִּי בֹעֲלַיִךְ עֹשַׂיִךְ יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת שְׁמוֹ וְגֹאֲלֵךְ קְדוֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל אֱלֹהֵי כָל־הָאָרֶץ יִקָּרֵא׃

6Hashem has called you back As a wife forlorn and forsaken. Can one cast off the wife of his youth? —said your God.

וכִּי־כְאִשָּׁה עֲזוּבָה וַעֲצוּבַת רוּחַ קְרָאָךְ יְהֹוָה וְאֵשֶׁת נְעוּרִים כִּי תִמָּאֵס אָמַר אֱלֹהָיִךְ׃

7For a little while I forsook you, But with vast love I will bring you back.

זבְּרֶגַע קָטֹן עֲזַבְתִּיךְ וּבְרַחֲמִים גְּדֹלִים אֲקַבְּצֵךְ׃

8In slight anger, for a moment, I hid My face from you; But with kindness everlasting I will take you back in love —said Hashem your Redeemer.

חבְּשֶׁצֶף קֶצֶף הִסְתַּרְתִּי פָנַי רֶגַע מִמֵּךְ וּבְחֶסֶד עוֹלָם רִחַמְתִּיךְ אָמַר גֹּאֲלֵךְ יְהֹוָה׃

9For this to Me is like the waters of Noach: As I swore that the waters of Noach Nevermore would flood the earth, So I swear that I will not Be angry with you or rebuke you.

טכִּי־מֵי נֹחַ זֹאת לִי אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי מֵעֲבֹר מֵי־נֹחַ עוֹד עַל־הָאָרֶץ כֵּן נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי מִקְּצֹף עָלַיִךְ וּמִגְּעָר־בָּךְ׃

10For the mountains may move And the hills be shaken, But my loyalty shall never move from you, Nor My covenant of friendship be shaken —said Hashem, who takes you back in love.

יכִּי הֶהָרִים יָמוּשׁוּ וְהַגְּבָעוֹת תְּמוּטֶנָה וְחַסְדִּי מֵאִתֵּךְ לֹא־יָמוּשׁ וּבְרִית שְׁלוֹמִי לֹא תָמוּט אָמַר מְרַחֲמֵךְ יְהֹוָה׃

11Unhappy, storm-tossed one, uncomforted! I will lay carbuncles as your building stones And make your foundations of sapphires.

יאעֲנִיָּה סֹעֲרָה לֹא נֻחָמָה הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי מַרְבִּיץ בַּפּוּךְ אֲבָנַיִךְ וִיסַדְתִּיךְ בַּסַּפִּירִים׃

12I will make your battlements of rubies, Your gates of precious stones, The whole encircling wall of gems.

יבוְשַׂמְתִּי כַּדְכֹד שִׁמְשֹׁתַיִךְ וּשְׁעָרַיִךְ לְאַבְנֵי אֶקְדָּח וְכָל־גְּבוּלֵךְ לְאַבְנֵי־חֵפֶץ׃

13And all your children shall be disciples of Hashem, And great shall be the happiness of your children;

יגוְכָל־בָּנַיִךְ לִמּוּדֵי יְהֹוָה וְרַב שְׁלוֹם בָּנָיִךְ׃

14You shall be established through righteousness. You shall be safe from oppression, And shall have no fear; From ruin, and it shall not come near you.

ידבִּצְדָקָה תִּכּוֹנָנִי רַחֲקִי מֵעֹשֶׁק כִּי־לֹא תִירָאִי וּמִמְּחִתָּה כִּי לֹא־תִקְרַב אֵלָיִךְ׃

15Surely no harm can be done Without My consent: Whoever would harm you Shall fall because of you.

טוהֵן גּוֹר יָגוּר אֶפֶס מֵאוֹתִי מִי־גָר אִתָּךְ עָלַיִךְ יִפּוֹל׃

16It is I who created the smith To fan the charcoal fire And produce the tools for his work; So it is I who create The instruments of havoc.

טזהן [הִנֵּה] אָנֹכִי בָּרָאתִי חָרָשׁ נֹפֵחַ בְּאֵשׁ פֶּחָם וּמוֹצִיא כְלִי לְמַעֲשֵׂהוּ וְאָנֹכִי בָּרָאתִי מַשְׁחִית לְחַבֵּל׃

17No weapon formed against you Shall succeed, And every tongue that contends with you at law You shall defeat. Such is the lot of the servants of Hashem, Such their triumph through Me —declares Hashem.

יזכָּל־כְּלִי יוּצַר עָלַיִךְ לֹא יִצְלָח וְכָל־לָשׁוֹן תָּקוּם־אִתָּךְ לַמִּשְׁפָּט תַּרְשִׁיעִי זֹאת נַחֲלַת עַבְדֵי יְהֹוָה וְצִדְקָתָם מֵאִתִּי נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה׃