Yeshaya Perek 12

One of the most profound pesukim in Nach is the opening passuk of perek 12: ‘I praise you Hashem for You have been angry with (/exiled) me.’ Why does Yeshaya praise Hashem for the ‘anger’ or ‘exile’ that he was afflicted by? Surely it would have been more appropriate to thank Hashem for the good times?

The answer lies in the words – Hashem Echod – Hashem is One. Whether He sends us good times or bad experiences, we must understand that thy both come from the same source – Hashem. We must also build our emunah to the level that even though now, during difficult periods, we should remember that in the future, when we are shown the grand-plan of history, we will be able to appreciate that these negative times, where necessary and even beneficial to us. Everything comes from Hashem, and He is ‘kulo tov – all good’; just sometimes, it can be impossible to see the kindness He is doing for us. This is the principle that the Navi, Yeshaya, lived by, and thus he was able to appreciate and even thank Hashem for the exile that he was put through.

Pesach and Tisha B’Av always fall on the same day of the week in any given year. It is not a coincidence that the day of redemption and the day of tragedy are connected, for tragedy and redemption are interlinked; sometimes one needs to go through periods of tragedy in order to reach the redemption. This is true in our personal lives as well as in the destiny and history of Bnei Yisrael. Hashem inflicts tragedy to bring the ultimate redemption. Let us illustrate this principle.

This theme of tragedy-to-redemption is the deeper meaning behind the order of seder night -maschil bignus umesayem bishvach.’ This dictates that we start the haggadah with how Lavan tricked us, i.e. slavery (the bad times) and end with the Yetzias Mitzrayim  and its miracles (the good times). This is not merely an order of the Haggadah; rather, it tells the story of Jewish history, that the good does not come despite the bad, but rather as a product of the bad. This is the reason that Yetzias Mitzrayim is the prototype for the future redemption.