30 May 2011

Ishmael's power source - Part 3

In Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer (ch. 30) on the verse in Numbers (24:23) "Who can endure the day of  His coming, and who can stand when he appears?" there’s the following midrash:

"Balaam said: "Of all the 70 languages ​​that G-d created in the world, He did not bestow his name on anyone, except Israel." Nevertheless, Ishmael carries a powerful connection to G-d's name.
In other words: who will survive when the name of Ishmael is  connected with the name of G-d? Ismael does get his strength and power due to G-d ‘s  name  combined with his own name.

The significance of this association is that Ishmael is attached to G-d directly, not through us. Creator's name Kel is associated with the aspect of controlling  Creation  through the quality of  Chesed (kindness) which associates itself  with these two names, Israel and Ishmael, descendants of Abraham.

Abraham had other children from Ketura, but they were idolaters, and therefore they have no relationship to Chesed and G-d’s name  is not attached to the names of their peoples.

In this context we can understand why the Rambam in the Yemen Letter, felt that they should not be antagonized because we (Jews) were powerless to overcome them at that time.  
One can only overpower those who take away one's power.  An example of this are the events of Chanukah and the Hashmonaim’s victory over the Greeks. The main miracle was that, thanks to the selfless devotion to the faith of our fathers, we regained our strength and automatically the Greeks' authority over us ceased.  Thus we can understand the meaning of  "handed over the many into the hands of the few."

But Ishmael has its own source of strength beyond our control, and so he cannot be subdued for as long as  G-d continues to supply it  them.  The  name of Kel is translated as "a source of strength", which gave them strength, just as G-d gave us. But if Israel conducts itself properly then it will be obvious to the world that we are the true seed of Abraham and then it will be revealed that "You, Yitzhak shall be called the offspring" (Genesis 21:12).

This is the explanation of the great influence  of Ishmael, which the Rambam laments: he has its own power due to the fact that he is an offspring of Abraham, and as is written in the Zohar (Vayyera chapter 32),  he observes the covenant of circumcision received from  Abraham.


Peace, Quiet, Joy said...

When Yitzhak's prayers are heard louder than Ishmael's, then Ishmael will be defeated.

in the vanguard said...

Hope we rise very soon, as Yishmael falls. How this jerk nation and worthless culture got so much merit is simply beyond me.