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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Another reason to love Google

I just noticed this little icon and quotation in the middle of the Google Hebrew home page:

"ושבו בנים לגבולם"

[Translation: 'And the children shall return to their borders']

It is a quote from the Prophet Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah) (Chapter 31 Verse 16), that never fails to move me.  It moves me partly because of a connection to the area of Israel where I live... and partly because it speaks directly to me as someone who has returned to his borders.

Bereshit (Genesis) 47:30 finds Yaakov (Jacob) on his deathbed asking his son Yosef (Joseph) not to leave is bones in Egypt, but rather to bring them for burial in the Ma'arat Hamachpela (cave of the patriarchs & matriarchs) in Hevron.  For some reason he then takes that opportunity to remind Yosef that his mother Rachel died "in the land of Canaan in the way, when there was still some way to come unto Efrat; and I buried her there in the way to Efrat--the same is Bethlehem." 

Why would he do that?  After all, Yosef was there when his mother died giving birth to his brother Benyamin (Benjamin).  Doesn't it seem odd that he would ask Yosef to go out of his way to bury his bones in a distant place, and almost in the same breath remind him that he'd buried his mother Rachel on the side of the road instead of taking her the short distance to the family burial cave in Hevron?

In his famous commentary, Rashi points out that Jacob was afraid that Joseph was carrying a grudge against him for having buried his mother 'on the way'.  So he needed to make Yosef understand that it was not done randomly or out of callousness... but rather as part of G-d's plan for the Jewish people. 

When the Jews were led into Babylonian exile, they passed by Rachel's burial place on the side of the road.  In that context, read the words of Yirmiyahu to which Rashi refers:

""A voice is heard in Rama, Rachel is weeping for her children. She refuses to be consoled for her children, for they are gone."" God answers her: ""Restrain you voice from weeping and your eyes from tears. There is a reward for your toil and your children will return to their borders."

Every time I visit the tomb of Rachel - a short distance from my home in Efrat - I picture the Jewish exiles walking along the dusty road... not knowing what the future might bring.  And I picture Rachel standing  there by her tomb, weeping for the exiles and being consoled by G-d with a promise of their eventual return.

This phrase; "ושבו בנים לגבולם" is the essence of modern Zionism.  It is why I'm here.

So you can imagine what a nice surprise it was for me to see it posted in the center of the Google Hebrew home page.


Posted by David Bogner on July 12, 2007 | Permalink


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thanks. it says it all

Posted by: dave | Jul 12, 2007 5:23:18 PM

I was just coming back here to tell you about it...

ok. :) I'll go now.

Posted by: Account Deleted | Jul 12, 2007 5:37:20 PM

Amazing that Google does that! I'd assume it's not politically correct, they'd get into trouble, etc. After all, there was the whole issue by the word "Jew" where they explained they have no control and wrote a whole letter explaining "offensive search results."

I'm really surprised! But pleased.

Posted by: Chana | Jul 12, 2007 5:43:01 PM

Hey buddy, if you start doing divrei Torah, I'm going to start getting into the poignant and perspicacious biz.

Posted by: Barzilai | Jul 12, 2007 5:48:35 PM

Here's why Google did it today.

Posted by: Elder of Ziyon | Jul 12, 2007 6:58:49 PM

Sigh. How did you know I needed just that today? After struggling through "Homeland Security" for months, getting one passport at a time, I was just informed this AM that the last one (which I applied for in March) "isn't finished yet." Aaarrrggghhh. Hashem runs the world, and y'hiyeh beseder. But it still took today's Treppenwitz post to eradicate my crabiness. Thanks.

Posted by: rutimizrachi | Jul 12, 2007 7:23:16 PM

Wow. That's lovely. I can only hope that one day I can go, well, home.

Posted by: mercurial scribe | Jul 13, 2007 2:02:20 AM

it's so that the MIA's should come home soon

Posted by: asher | Jul 15, 2007 12:48:47 PM

I just pray that they don't pretend that it means that they are backing Shalom Achshav Never (English instead of Hebrew is another dig at the "organization") in calling for a retreat to the 1945 (sic) boundaries.

Posted by: Sabba Hillel | Jul 16, 2007 2:16:46 AM

The dig did not work as I tried to use the strike html command on the word "Achshav" replacing it with the word "Never". Lets try again and see if it works

I just pray that they don't pretend that it means that they are backing Shalom Achshav Never (English instead of Hebrew is another dig at the "organization") in calling for a retreat to the 1945 (sic) boundaries.

OK that worked. I should remember to always try the preview first.

Posted by: Sabba Hillel | Jul 16, 2007 2:21:28 AM

dave... Yup.

a. ... I don't know what made me happier... that you and I are both so sappy sentimental about such things, or that you wanted to tell me first. :-)

Chana... That is one of the reasons I was so surprised to see it. First of all, it is a biblical verse with strong Zionist overtones. But it is also a strong political message regarding the captured Israeli soldiers.

Barzilai... I'll try not to let it happen too often. :-)

Elder of Ziyon... Yes, I got that, but I was fairly sure that the majority of my readers would need a contextual reference. Thanks.

rutimizrachi... 'mamma said there'd be days like this'. :-)

mercurial scribe... Let me know when you do. :-)

asher... Really [~blink~] :-)

Sabba Hillel... Not much danger of that.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Jul 16, 2007 1:27:24 PM

I love that pasuk. I even used it in my May 20th post so why am I frum?.
It still brings tears to my eyes.
You might ask, "so why am I still not there?" The answer is, I still need to eat (not as much as when I was younger, though.)
If you like my blog, please add it to your blogroll.
I also have many friends in Efrat; wonder if you know some of them. . .

Posted by: Lady-Light | Jul 17, 2007 8:03:08 AM

Yeah--but I was hoping that if I typed the word Jew into the Hebrew google for goodness sakes the third hit would NOT be Jew Watch. No such luck...

Posted by: Inna | Jul 21, 2007 8:42:23 AM

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