There's a major common denominator between the recent Hurricane Sandy that did so much damage to the US East Coast and the recent round of Gaza hostilities. Today's emuna lesson takes a close look at Hashem's message...
In the recent round of hostilities, my beloved hometown of Ashdod was hit with 190 GRAD missiles from Gaza. despite the fact the the Iron Dome anti-missile system missed quite a few, only three people were slightly injured. And now, only four days since the ceasefire took hold, most of the damage has already been repaired.
In contrast, when I was in Brooklyn ten days after Hurricane Sandy, much of the damage had not been dealt with. Power lines were still down, cars remained crushed under trees (see below), and there were still long lines to get gas. Many of the homes in the New York City and New Jersey Coast suffered irreparable damage. 8 hours of Hurricane Sandy were much worse than 8 days of missile fire from Gaza, with much less loss of life and property. Even after the recent round of hostilities, Rav Shalom Arush still says that the Land of Israel is the safest place on earth for a Jew.
Sorry, machos, but the Israeli Government is a loser. And a paper tiger. Here's why:
When you fear One, you fear no one. The politicians here fear everyone but Hashem. That's why they're losers. And, they'll continue to be big losers until they make teshuva, big time.
Between 8-9 PM Wednesday evening, Ashdod was hit with four missile attacks.While Israel's political leaders were busy thanking the USA, the UN, and Egypt in the media for their part in the ceasefire (capitulation) that was supposed to take effect at 9 PM Wednesday, Hamas fired multiple missiles at Ashdod at 10:03 PM and at 10:38 PM. I got home from Jerusalem after my weekly broadcast and a long day, and Hamas wouldn't even let me have a peaceful dinner with my wife. They know that they can continue doing whatever they want.
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, DC imposed a ceasefire, and Israel's politicians pretend it exists. We here in the south of Israel know that it's a farce. But especially ugly was the PM's statement thanking everyone in the world for engineering the ceasefire except for Hashem. After all of Hashem's miracles, such ingratitude is really a bone in the throat.
Don't get me wrong - the ceasefire, like everything else, is Hashem's will, even if it does seem ridiculous. And it's all for the good too, as everything else Hashem does. First, the ceasefire is designed for all of us here in Israel to take a good hard look at ourselves and to make teshuva, for lukewarm emuna is not enough to win the spiritual struggle against hamas, Hizbulla, and Iran. And second, Hashem will not let an anti-emuna regime succeed, so they won't be able to say that the might of their right hand won the war. So without Hashem, and without invoking Hashem's help, Israel's politicians continue to repeat the ridiculously stupid mistakes of previous conflicts, such as "Cast Lead" in 2009.
Now here this: if we strengthen ourselves in emuna and prayer, Hashem will redeem us quickly despite the government. Hashem loves us infinitely and is doing all this to soften our hearts and strengthen our resolve. The south of Israel is quickly becoming the world capital of emuna - we've seen phenomenal miracles here.
Few will believe me, so I've been saving my breath. The holy Kabbalist Rabbi Yehuda Zeev Leibowitz of blessed memory warned before his death two years ago that difficult times await the Jews of North America. Rather than playing with pointless conjecture and speculations, we'd all be better advised to direct our energies to teshuva, prayer, and strengthening emuna.
Despite our troubles here with the enemies on our borders, Israel is still the safest place on earth for a Jew to be. For anyone that asks me - and I'm not willing to debate the point - start making plans for Aliya right now. Don't let temporary physical amenities and comforts rob you from pursuing an emuna lifestyle. In order to merit the Geula, we must all forsake the Golden Calf and return to Hashem in complete emuna and teshuva. Hurricane Sandy was a louder wake-up call than our current Gaza hostilities. It's time to come home.
Above image - wreckage of a Katyusha rocket from Gaza that hit a construction-site shed two streets away from Lazer's home this past Shabbat - miraculously, no one was hurt.
Our plane from London had to circle in the Mediterranean for an hour before it received an OK to land in Ben Gurion Airport east of Tel Aviv. Apparently, it had to wait for IAF jets to finish what they had to do. But, a zillion thanks to Hashem, we landd safely back home in Israel.
My cab driver Yoel from Ashdod was on hand to pick me up. About 12 kilometers north of Ashdod, sirens wailed. We pulled over to the shoulder of the Tel Aviv - Ashdod roadway and jumped for cover in the sand dunes by the side of the road. Over our heads, two Iron Dome missiles intercepted two Katyushas, but a third rocket landed in the dunes about a kilometer south of us. That's called a welcome home, Hamas style.
Unofficial talk is that a ceasefire is now taking effect. Things have been quiet for the last several hours.
G-d willing, I'll have a lot more to say about the situation in my weekly shiur and broadcast later today (Wed, Nov 21) at 7:15 PM.
Thanks so much to all our wonderful friends in the USA and Canada who helped make our trip such a success. G-d bless you all. Meanwhile, it's so good to be home.