A Shabbos of Vision

There are several Shabbatot within the Jewish calendar that carry a special name.  for example, Shabbos HaGadol  is the name designated for the Sabbath day that falls out just before Passover, Shabbos  Shuva -- for the one before Yom Kippur , Shabbos Shira --- when the Torah portion of Beshalach is read, and there are several other Sabbaths named for the Haftorah [a selection from Books of the Prophets] portion read on them.  This Sabbath is among those, named Shabbos Chazon [The Shabbos of Prophetic Vision] for the Haftorah  portion read from the beginning of the book of Yeshayahu [ Isaiah 1:1-27).  This haftorah is the culmination of the three sections foretelling the tragedy fo destruction designated for reading during the 3 week period .  These prophecies are meant to remind us that the loss of the Temple is not part of ancient history but relevant to our lives now.  Concentrating on the words associated with those events of two thousand years ago is supposed to remind us that they still apply to us in our modern world.

The following is adapted from an essay written by Rabbi Chaim Brown for his blog, the Divreichaim.blogspot.com:
  R’ Tzadok haKohen explains that theese three haftaros correspond to the three attributes of dibbur [speech], shmiya[hearing], and re’iya [sight] , which,  in turn,  correspond to the three higher sefiros of keser [crown], chochma,  [wisdom], andbinah [understanding].  Shabbos Chazon is not just about seeing but understanding the meaning of the vision.  That is an underlying lesson of  the prophecies assoicated with both exile and redemption.  A number of times when G-d speaks to another of the "latter prophets," Yimiyahu [Jeremiah],  He asks him, "Ma ata roeh?" [What do you see?] and then tells the prophet what the vision signifies.
The Ishbitzer teaches (Parshas VaYakhel) that the word “re’u,” [see] when used in the Torah means to look beyond the superficial appearance of things to discern some deeper meaning.  Think about what we mean when we say, "I see what you're saying."  We mean we understand the perspective the other person is trying to convey to us. Seeing in this way is intimately related to the idea ofbinah, understanding because it requires that we dig beyond superficial appearance into the true nature of things. Sight is not just a matter of the what appears in front in of our eyes, but  a cognitive process the our minds.  That is why it is possible for two people to stand in front of the exact same view and each see it differently.
When the Tanaim saw foxes running in ruins of the Temple (Makkos 24), they cried in sorrow at the sight of utter davestation.   Surprisingly, though, R’ Akiva laughed, confident that just as the prophecy of destruction was fulfilled, the prophecy of rebuilding would be as well. It is not possible that the other Tanaim doubted that the prophecy of the eventual geulah [redemption].  What then was the difference between their perspective and Rabbi Akiva’s?
The Midrash teaches, ‘V’chol yekar ra’asa eino’ – that which was not revealed to Moshe Rabeinu was “seen” by R’ Akiva (seeMenachos 29). R’ Tzadok haKohein teaches that others believed in the prophecy of redemption, but their eyes were filled with the desolation which surrounded them. R’ Akiva taught even as one looks at desolation, one who has true understanding and insight sees the essential  goodness. This is true re’iya, seeing reality not with physical eyes alone, but with the cognizance of binah.
Shabbos Chazon calls to us for the tikun of re'iya, to see -- even in the pain that surrounds Am Yisrael in exile --  the seeds of redemption. U're'eh b'tuv yerushalayim v'shalom al yisrael -- and you shall see in the good of Jerusalme and peace on Israel. 

Related post: http://kallahmagazine.blogspot.com/2010/07/why-blame-kamtza.html

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