“Return, return O' those perfect in His
(G-d's) faith; return, return and let us crown
you.” (Song of Songs 7:1 – translated as
explained by Rashi)
Rabeinu Bechaya (Exodus 19:17) explains,
based on the Medrash, why Song of Songs uses the
word “Return” four times in one verse. The
Jewish people would suffer through four exiles,
Egyptian, Babylonian, Greek, and our current
exile, the Exile of Edom. In each exile, the
Children of Israel will be enticed by the
nations of the world to come and join them.
“Return and let us crown you” - the world will
promise Israel prestige, leadership, and wealth.
“Return” is written four times to indicate that
these influences will be strong in each exile.
The influence to abandon our ancient
Torah, its laws and precepts, and to follow in
the modern footsteps of society was, and will
always be, constant throughout our history in
Rabeinu Bechaya says the only refutation
to the influences and enticement is the latter
half of the above verse - “What can You, Nations
of the world, crown us with. Can you crown us
with the same joy as the reception of the
Torah?” (Translated as explained by Rabeinu
The world may seem filled with
opportunities and enticements to bring us joy.
Since ancient times, we have struggled to resist
the lures of the secular world. Knowing we are
not alone in our struggles can give us the
strength to adhere to the Torah, the only source
of ultimate happiness.
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