Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Shmos: a land filled with bowling alleys

Parshat Shmos

In 3:8 Hashem contacts Moshe from the Burning Bush and tells him that He hears the cries of the people, and He sees their pain and he will take them out of Egypt. He says "I will bring you to a good land, flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Cnaani, Hiti, Emori, Prizi, Hivi, and Yevusi."

Why mention that it is a place of these people -if he is trying to entice them to follow His lead, he should keep quiet about these nations living there and only tell them later. These nations were hostile - them being in the land means the people know in advance there will be conflicts, wars, and problems as they will try to uproot nations already living there. So why mention it here? It seems counterproductive! This would just scare them off!

Maybe Hashem is mentioning it to show them that He is not bringing them to an empty, desolate land. He is bringing them to an inhabited place. There are homes, there are shopping malls, bowling alleys, baseball fields, everything a person could want. So saying people already live there should not scare them off, but make it even more desirable for them.

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