Exile in Our Blood
Rabbi Abba bar Kahana opened his discourse with the verse, “Let out your voice with joy, O daughter of Gallim.” (Isaiah 10:30) Isaiah said to Israel, “Rather than you should utter songs and praises before idols, sing with a joyous voice the words of Torah, sing with a joyous voice in the synagogues.” “O daughter of Gallim,” as the waves are conspicuous in the sea, so are the patriarchs in the world. Another interpretation of “Daughter of Gallim:” is to read the text as “Bat Galim,” – “Daughters of Exiles.” Daughter of Abraham, of whom it is written, “And there was a famine in the land, and Abraham went down into Egypt.” (Genesis 12:10) Daughter of Isaac, of whom it is written, “And Isaac went unto Abimelech, King of the Philistines, onto Gerar.” (26:1) Daughter of Jacob, of whom it is written, “And he went to Paddan-Aram.” (28:5) (introduction to Midrash Eichah I)
Rabbi Abba is saying that we, the Daughters of Exiles, should let out our voices in joyous songs of Torah and service of God. We can learn from the Patriarchs, who were also exiles, how to sing even when exiled. All the Patriarchs used their exile experience to their advantage. All of them acquired great wealth in exile. All achieved new heights and enhanced their reputations. They did not live as exiles, but mastered their situations, because they continued to live and sing with joy even when forced to leave their homes.
The Jewish people have suffered terribly in the millennia of our exile, and yet, we have thrived. We produced countless Torah works. We maintained our commitment to Israel with so much passion that we were able to return, rebuild the land and the language. We continued singing no matter how much we suffered.
The concentration camp inmates who risked their lives to light Chanukah candles were truly the Daughters of the Singing Exiles. The Russian and Polish Jews who dressed as royalty every Shabbat, no matter how poor or desperate, were all Daughters of the Singing Exiles. The people exiled from Spain, who wandered all over the world building new and vibrant communities were all Daughters of the Singing Exiles. Rav Breuer and the Satmar Rav, who arrived as older men in the US after the Holocaust and built their respective communities were truly Daughters of the Singing Exiles.
These Daughters knew the suffering of exile intimately, yet they thrived because they were Daughters of the Singing Exiles.
Rabbi Abba well understood that those reading Jeremiah’s words while in exile would be tempted to sing with the other nations. They would be attracted to a life of singing, of joy without exile. Rabbi Abba reminds them and us that the real singer is the one who can sing even when in exile, who has song in his heart and soul, and who can emulate the Singing Exiles.
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.