According to the media, not only is it a race of time, but time is running out.
According to the media, Israel's Prime Minister and Defense Minister are in the final stages of planning an attack on Iran.
According to the media, the President of the United States and his Cabinet are doing everything in their power to discourage/sabotage Israel's plans.
Either way, don't be upset. The media and the politicians on both sides of the ocean don't decide.
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Each passing day brings Iran closer to a nuclear warhead. Only the blind and the naive would think otherwise. Despite international sanctions, the Iranian centrifuges are working 24/7 purifying uranium and producing nuclear weapons-grade fuel.
Lately, one after the other, senior American government officials such as the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense have visiting Israel, each carrying the same message: "Don't be naughty, you mischievous Israelis! You may certainly not carry out a preemptive strike against the Iranian nuclear reactors!"
Our leaders answer with their well-known bravado, "We won't leave our fate in the hands of others. We'll do what we need to do when we need to do."
We certainly agree with the above statement, but our references aren't the same as theirs. We don't leave our fate in the hand of "others" - in other words, other gods. We leave our fate in the hand of Hashem.
With all the hype in the media, people are frantic. They hear Iran day and night. Syria too is up for grabs, and no one knows in whose hands hundreds of tons of chemical mass-destructive weapons will fall. Then there's Hizbulla, Iran's armed-to-the-gills proxy right on our border too. Terror is on the rise in lawless Sinai. What will be?
I asked that question to my beloved teacher, Rabbi Shalom Arush, shlit'a. Recent events, especially the horror stories of breaches of holiness in the Haredi community, have taken a toll on his health.
Rav Shalom brushed aside the USA, Iran, and all of our other so-called friends and enemies with one backhand gesture. "They don't decide our fate," he said hoarsely. He had tears in his eyes, his voice was quivering, and he was obviously trying to restrain himself from crying. It was scary. "This is the Minister of the Smile?" I asked myself. Rav Shalom was seeing a very dark cloud on the spiritual horizon.
He then quoted the Torah: "And I will bring upon you the sword that avenges the vengeance of covenant" (Leviticus 26:25).
Rav Shalom then became as fierce as a lion: "When will people begin to realize that the entire purpose of Torah and mitzvoth is to bring a person to a state of holiness, so he or she can be a worthy vessel for the Divine Presence. But everyone must know: if they eat Kosher BaDatz, keep Shabbat with stringencies and have long beards - yet they think that their libido is a big mitzvah and their hearts are far from holiness - then they have done nothing! They've completely missed the point of Torah observance."
Not only have they missed the point, but they aid and abet the enemy. How?
Rav Shalom quoted Torah and mentioned "the sword that avenges the vengeance of covenant". Hashem incorporated a hard-fast law of cause-and-effect in the fiber of creation: if the Jewish people shall live their lives in holiness, they shall be encompassed within the glorious "clouds of Divine Presence;" they shall lack nothing and shall enjoy every single blessing in life, both material and spiritual. Not only that, Hashem Himself shall dwell in their midst, so no evil can befall them...
Also featured this week:
Rabbi Shalom Arush: Isn't one Enough?
Dr. Zev Ballen: Rebbe
Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: How to Become Happy
Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh: Eyes to the Mountains
Rabbi Avraham Isaac Kook: Searching for the Temple
Chaya Ovadia: Regaining Our Equilibrium
Racheli Reckles: Nature vs. Nurture
Bright Beam blessings for a wonderful week!