Rabbi Yosi opened [the discussion] saying: "Behold, all who were incensed against you shall be ashamed and confounded". (Isaiah 41:11) G‑d shall do all this good that He said through the true prophets for Israel. Israel suffered much evil in exile, and were it not for all this good written in the Torah that they were waiting to see, they would not have been able to withstand and tolerate the exile.

But they go to the study hall, open books
[of the Prophets and Writings], and read all the hoped–for-good. And they see written in the Torah what G‑d promised them, and they are comforted in exile. But the other nations scorn and revile them, and say, "Where is your L-rd? Where is the good you say shall be yours, when shall all the other nations be shamed before you?"

This is the meaning of: "Hear the word of G‑d, you that tremble at His word. Your brethren that hated you, who cast you out for My Name's sake..." (Isaiah 66:5) Who are they "that tremble at His word?" It is those who have suffered many evils, many tidings, one upon another and one after another, trembled because of them, as it is written, "For thus says G‑d, we have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace". (Jeremiah 30:5) They tremble constantly over His word when judgment is executed.

"Your brothers that hated you". They are your brothers, the children of Esau "who cast you out," as it is written: "'Away! Unclean!', they cried at them". (Lamentations 4:15) There are no people that shame Israel to their faces and spit in their faces like the children of Edom. And they say that they are all impure like the impurity of a menstruating woman. This is "...who cast you out for My Name's sake, have said: Let G‑d be glorified."

[The children of Esau say:] 'We are the children of the living G‑d and by us will His name be glorified. We rule over the world, because of him [Esau] who is called 'big,' as it is written, "Esau the 'elder/gadol' son". (Gen. 27:15) With this name, 'big', is G‑d [also] called : "'Great/gadol' is G‑d and highly to be praised". (Psalms 145:3) We are His big [elder] son and He is great; most certainly [about us, Edom, it is said:] "for my name's sake...G‑d will be glorified." But you [Israel] are the smallest of all, [as is written:] "Jacob her small [younger] son". (Gen. 27:15)

Where is your G‑d? Where is your goodness that all the nations shall be shamed before your joy
[as you claim]? Who will grant it that we shall see your joy? [The verse] "They...shall be ashamed" (Isaiah 41:11) [is not spoken by those nations, but] the Divine Spirit says, "They...shall be ashamed" as if referring to someone else, for you [nations of the world] say that Israel "shall be ashamed and confounded." Therefore, the Divine Spirit said the phrase thus: "Behold, all they that were incensed against you shall be ashamed and confounded." What is "all they that were incensed [in Hebrew, 'necherim'] against you?" Their nostrils [in Hebrew, 'nechira'im'] became hardened in their anger against you in this exile. At that time [when Moshiach arrives], they "shall be ashamed and confounded" from all the goodness they shall see done for Israel.

BeRahamim LeHayyim: It is hard to read these words with post-modernist perspective. Are we really hated? Are all incensed against us? We have written of a post-triumphal period, where our gain does not mean the nations' loss. Yes, the nations deserved to be "ashamed and confounded" from all the goodness they see in Israel.

But may it be G‑d's will that this motivate them to repent within their own respective capacities, to be able to hear the voice of G‑d within "Great is G‑d and to be highly praised. May we be motivated to inner reflection on the state of our Jewish world, and to pray for the Time of Redemption to come.

What does this mean to you, and why is it revealed right now?

[Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries]