A Bush that Burns but Is Not Consumed
by HaRav Dov Begon, Head of Machon Meir.
Moses’s great vision of a bush that burned but was not consumed hints to us about Israel’s situation in Egypt. Despite the fact that among the Jews there were gossips and slanderers, alluded to by the thorny bush, Strict Divine Judgment, alluded to by the fire, still did not consume them.
Although Israel in Egypt had sunk to the forty-ninth level of impurity, they still emerged from Egyptian slavery to eternal freedom. This is the axiom of Jewish eternity, that the covenant between G-d and Israel shall never cease, despite Israel’s sometimes lacking merit. Or, as our sages put it, “The covenant of the brit will never cease even after our ancestral merit has ceased.” All this is hinted at by the burning bush that is not consumed.
Right now we must learn to recognize and understand this great principle, that no fire can consume the Jewish People. Even the fire of the terrible Holocaust which annihilated one third of our nation, and even the fire of assimilation which is consuming large portions of our people in the Diaspora, and certainly the savagery of Hamas cannot destroy the Jewish People. How much more so that our enemies, who secretly scheme against us, will be unable to overcome the Jewish People. As David, King of Israel said, “Why are the nations in an uproar; why do the peoples utter vain words against the L-rd and His anointed?…. You shall smash them with an iron rod; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel” (Psalms 2:1-2,9).
This glorious, awesome spectacle of Israel’s survival over thousands of years, despite all that they experienced, alluded to by the burning bush, must stand before our eyes during these times as well, when we are returning to our land, and the bush, which was full of thorns in Egypt, is producing more and more pretty leaves and blossoms. The day is not far off when the thorn bush will become a tree that brings life both to us and to the whole world.