It's ever so appropriate that the UN and the current regime in Washington show their true colors by denying our ancient rights to Jerusalem, Shilo and Hevron. Nothing's new under the sun, as King Solomon teaches us in Ecclesiastes. I won't answer them - Shimon Maccabee the son of Mattatyahu Cohen Hagadol Chashmonai and brother of Yehuda Maccabee gave a most appropriate answer some 22oo years ago:
“We have not taken foreign territory or any alien property, but have occupied our ancestral heritage, for some time unjustly wrested from us by our enemies; now that we have a favorable opportunity, we are merely recovering our ancestral heritage” (Maccabees 1, 15:33-34).
We weathered the Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Spanish Inquisition, the Nazis and the Communists. We're still here and they've all disappeared. It seems that the oppressors of today want to join them. They'll never learn. Meanwhile, we're not budging.
All we want is to live a quiet life of Torah and emuna in the holy Land of Israel. Our enemies from all sides want to swallow us alive. Yet, with emuna, we take everything in our stride with a big smile on our face too. Why? Our enemies will devour one another as they've already started to do...
This all reminds me of a pack of hungry wolves who saw a little duckling. Each claimed the poor little thing for their supper, so they began to fight each other in a ferocious melee of blood and fangs. Each clamping on to the other's jugular, until they all dropped dead in a puddle of their own blood. When everything quieted down, the duckling crawled out from his hiding place under the table, and resumed his happy life as normal.
Advice to all ducklings: hide under Hashem's wing; it worked for King David (see Psalm 17:8) and it'll work for us.
In light of the extremely tense security situation here in Israel and the recent wave of terror attacks, people are searching for solutions and many are demanding that the government adopt drastic measures. Woe to he who trusts in the government.
Today on Radio Kol Berama, my beloved teacher Rabbi Shalom Arush shlit'a gave an hour-long spiritual assessment of the current situation. He reiterated a salient point that the holy Chofetz Chaim osb"m said some 85 years ago before he left this physical earth - there is no political, military, economic or any other solution to the War of Gog and Magog. So what does one do in the face of imminent danger? We take the advice of King David, which we said every day during Succoth when we were reciting Hallel: "Israel, trust in Hashem!" (Psalm 115:9). The Chofetz Chaim stressed that during the War of Gog and Magog as well as during the tribulations that precede Moshiach's imminent arrival, there is no physical ploy or method to avoid stern judgments from Above. So what can we do?
There's plenty to do, says Rav Shalom:
1. First, we strengthen ourselves in emuna. Everyone believes that there's Hashem in the world, but few believe that Hashem does everything for the very best, which constitutes true emuna.
2. Second, we must remind ourselves of Hashem's love for us, remembering the amazing miracles that He did for us in 1967 and 1973, when the Arab nations united to wipe us off the map, when Sadaam Hussein rained SCUD missiles all over us in 1991 and all through recent years till today. We must daily thank Hashem for our national salvations and our private salvations. Personally, were it not for a rapid series of miracles that Hashem did for me in a no-way-out combat situation, I wouldn't be alive today. Think about your own miracles and take nothing for granted. Thank Hashem constantly.
3. Those who don't yet observe the Sabbath should begin immediately. Those who observe Sabbath should strengthen their knowledge of the laws of Sabbath.
4. One should ponder Hashem constantly and speak to Him as much as possible.
5. One should encourage others to learn and strengthen emuna.
Why are the finest people getting stabbed and becoming martyrs? Hashem is trying to wake us all up. He wants us to return to Him wholeheartedly, for our own benefit. Hashem has no joy from making us suffer; He would much prefer that we strengthen ourselves in emuna and in teshuva on our own accord. Hashem has no gratification from the injuries and deaths of His beloved children, yet He has wonderful gratification from every person who calls His Name and gets closer to Him.
We now have a very clear choice: either we accept the yoke of Hashem or suffer more stern judgments, Heaven forbid. Before you continue choosing immodesty and debauchery to modesty and morality, web-surfing over Torah learning or playing golf on Shabbat to observing the Shabbat, stop and think if you are acting in a responsible manner toward yourself, your family and the Jewish People...
Moshiach and Geula are fast on the way; the world is changing every moment and nothing is predictable. We too must change, for the better. I promise you, we'll all be happier and we'll see Hashem's miracles with our own eyes. Meanwhile, we'll continue to serve Hashem, build and thrive in our holy homeland with emuna, and not with fear of anyone but Hashem. Ein Od Milvado!
Our emuna gathering in Ramat Bet Shemesh this past Tuesday evening was awesome. Don't worry if you missed it, because thanks to our dear friend Larry Rauer, here's the whole gig on tape; it's an eye-opener:
You can frequently find Emuna Outreach in the hot stops of Israel, such as in the areas of missile attacks in the south and on the Gaza Border. But lately, one of the hottest flashpoints in Israel is Jerusalem, especially the portion that borders on the Arab neighborhoods.
The Police in Israel have suffered from bad raps after several scandals in its upper echelons were uncovered. Yet, the rank-and-file Israeli "blues" (the Israeli nickname for cops - "greens" are IDF soldiers) are doing a phenomenally dedicated job to keep the streets of Jerusalem safe. Sure, terror is on the rise and one must be alert when walking down the streets of Jerusalem, but the press doesn't tell the story of the many terrorist attempts that are foiled.
Emuna Outreach and yours truly had the privilege of spending a morning recently with police forces in the Old City of Jerusalem. We saw first hand what they do and in turn, we gave them a talk about emuna under pressure. They appreciated that because their whole daily lives are pressure-packed. Not only did we speak to Jewish police, but to Arab and Druze police as well. Emuna is universal and everyone deserves to be connected to Hashem.
If you'd like to participate in our efforts to spread emuna not only in Israel but around the world, you can make your online donation by clicking on the "Donate" button at the top left-hand toolbar of this site.
Do you think that the individual below could pass for a cop?
Eliezer Rosenfeld, father of 26-year-old Malachi Rosenfeld Hy"d who was fatally wounded in a terror attack Monday evening, delivered a heart-rending farewell to his son at his funeral yesterday in a display of phenomenal emuna. During the eulogy, the grieving father - supported by two of his remaining seven children - sang the words of Rebbe Nachman of Breslev, "Even in the most concealed of concealed moments, certainly Hashem, blessed be He, is also found there." Choked with tears, he continued, urging the tearful audience to join him, and sang, "Even behind the most difficult things that happen to you, I (Hashem) stand, I stand..." Then, Eliezer added in his own words, "And we will stand, we will stand with You, Hashem."
Our hearts break for the Rosenfeld family, who are the essence of all that's beautiful in Eretz Yisrael. They are one of the founding families of Kochav Hashachar, a village north of Jerusalem in Samaria. The Beams, Emuna Outreach and Breslev Israel convey our deepest condolences, and may Hashem comfort them among all the mouners of Zion and Jerusalem, amen.