Future Israeli Gold Rush
They came by boat. They came by wagon. They traversed oceans and jungles and deserts. They died by the hundreds before ever seeing their destination. By 1849 (hence “forty-niners”), tens of thousands of people from every single continent made their way to California in search of gold.
Before the advent of the American trans-continental railway, the journey from the East Coast of the U.S. to the West Coast took many months and was dangerous and uncertain. They sailed around the tip of South America; or they sailed to Panama, crossed the jungle and took another boat on the other side; or they took their chances with wagons across the entire continent.
Those who survived the journey dug the ground and sifted the streams. The fortunate early arrivals did indeed make handsome profits. The late-comers often spent more than they ever made.
In the poetic swansong of Moses, at the very end of his biblical narrative, he blesses the tribes:
“Of Zevulun he said: Rejoice, O Zevulun, in your excursions, and Yissachar in your tents. The tribes will assemble at the mount; there they will offer offerings of righteousness, for by the riches of the sea they will be nourished, and by the treasures concealed in the sand.”
Rabbi Ovadia Sforno predicts a future rush to the tribal territory of Zevulun and Yissachar.
Sforno claims that in the future, all the nations of the world will come to Israel for the unique and precious items that only the tribes of Zevulun and Yissachar will possess. Sforno explains that these will be items drawn from their waters and found in their sands.
While there may be many theories as to what these treasures may be, I suspect that we have yet to discover, create or successfully market that truly exclusive and highly prized commodity that the world will rush to us for.
In the meantime, may we all continue searching, exploring, creating and developing the unique treasures we can each bring forth to the world.
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach,
To Rabbi Ovadia Sforno. He has guided me and inspired me in my studying of the Torah this year. His words have been as precious as hidden treasure. Goodbye Sforno. We shall return to you.