Zos Habracha: Chapter 33, verse 28: Perplexing Rashi

In the wind up of Moses’ long oration at the end of the Torah before his death there is a cryptic verse: “And Isreal Shall dwell in safety alone, blessings of Yakov, corn and oil,the heavens will drip dew.”

Why alone? Seforno says quoting the Book of Joshua that Israel will vanquish its enemies and there will be no more war. Ohr Hachaim says that Gd will direct Israel to destroy enemies and will leave them free and secure -alone without enemies.

Rashi has a whole radical different read. Rashi says each and every person shall be secure that he will be able to spread out and be alone by himself under a a vine and a date tree. and not necessary to gather to fight enemies. Where does Rashi get that this is talking about an individual? The Pasuk clearly refers to Israel. Furthermore, what is all this imagery of living alone under the vine and the date tree?

The SD has been racking his mind over this pasuk all day. How is alone good? Alone seems antithetical to everything Jewish. How can we feel secure alone? As we speak Jews in Crown Heights are defying the police to be in crowds to celebrate the holiday of Succos, or to go to a wedding, or to pray together. How is alone good?

Maybe there is a time for everything- including being alone. Alone is so hard. Alone is not what we have been taught. A person is rarely alone in Torah Judaism.

But why the vine and date tree? This simchas torah, there will be no dancing with a torah in a packed circle, no kiddush, no candy for the kids. We will be sitting under them, not sharing them.

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