ראה : Seeing the positive future...

"See, I present before today a blessing and a curse. The blessing that you hearken to the commandments of HaShem your G-D, that I command you today. And the curse: if you do not hearken to the commandments of HaShem, your G-D and you stray from the path that I command you today, to follow gods of others, that you did not know."   

A common undeducated Jew once asked Rabbi Joshua ben Lewi, "When shall the messiah come?" He said to him, "Today!" He remained expectant until daylight faded, then he returned to him and said, "It was not today as you said." He said, "Yes, today if you listen to my Voice." (Ps 95-7) - Yemenite Midrash / Midrash ha Hefes.

In the above verses, one can “see” allusions to the future blessings of the Messianic times. The use of the word ראה  (“see”) in reference to blessings and curses is most telling. With regard to Jews who hearken to the commandments, our Torah continually describes a future time of blessing where “all who ‘see them’ (ie: the Jews) shall recognize that they are the seed that Lord has blessed”. (Is 61:9 - Yemenite Havdallah). It is quite illuminating to note the usage of the word ראיהם (“see”) in this Messianic verse.

The idea of the Jews being recognized as the spiritual delight of HaShem and the nations is repeated over and over in the Book of Isaiah. It is clear that the Jewish people (as a whole) will ultimately choose (SEE THE BENEFIT OF) this blessing (through repentance and merit) over the curse --in the Messianic era. Thus, the Yemenite Havdallah reminds us of this vision at the beginning of each new week: “our days of mourning shall be completed” in end times (Is 60:20).  One chapter later, we again note the word (see) as related to this concept of future blessings: “and the nations shallוראו  (“see”) your righteousness, and all kings your glory” and as a nation that is called “redeemed—a city not forsaken” nor ravaged by their enemies. The Yemenite Havdallah purposely reminds us of the importance of a positive outlook towards the future –especially at the start of each new week.

The practical sense of this message is very important during today’s turbulent times of terror. These days, the enemy is systematically engaged in a campaign designed to break our spirit. There is nothing new in this strategy. It is the same one utilized by every tyrannical dictator the Jews have ever faced. From Pharaoh to Hitler (may there names be destroyed), the enemy is clearly trying to break our spirit.

But alas, HaShem tells us the antidote. We need to SEE the blessing and curse that has been placed before us this day. This includes SEEING the implications this has for our future. Too many times, Jews only see the curses in their lives. They don’t see the "end game" that HaShem is planning before our eyes. On the other hand, if Jews refuse to reflect upon the negative aspects of their actions and deeds, they bring disaster upon themselves and their people. We need to see both the blessings and the curse. Knowing that the commandments (themselves) are a blessing says a lot about how we should look at them. And the idea that they ultimately lead to redemption is even further telling. Thus, one who chooses to follow the commandments –has chosen to be more positive about his/her life and future. A future when HaShem describes the Jews as a torch of light to those around her.