Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Preventing Intermarriage

It is written: And they were disgusted because of the Children of Israel. This teaches us that the Jewish people were like thorns in the eyes of the Egyptians (when they saw that the Jewish people were increasing).

It is noteworthy that when we read this portion from the Torah on Mondays and Thursdays, we conclude one of the aliyos with this verse.

The question is asked that the halacha is that we do not end an aliyah on a bad note. Why therefore would we conclude with this verse, which demonstrates the hatred that the Egyptians had for the Jewish people?

The Mattersdorfer Rav, at an Agudah Convention, once answered that on the contrary! The fact that the Egyptians despised the Jews was a blessing. It was through this that the Jews were able to maintain their Jewish identity, and ultimately, this is what brought about the redemption. The Jewish people were able to keep their distance from the Egyptians. This prevented assimilation. When the idolaters befriend the Jews and begin mingling with them, this can have catastrophic results.