Parshat Lech Lecha
Dear STOCS Friend:
וַיֹּאמֶר לְזַרְעֲךָ אֶתֵּן אֶת הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת
And He (God said to Abraham) said: to your descendants, I will give this land (Israel).
In response to this guarantee from God, Avraham built an altar to God as thanks for the news about Israel. Sadly, many in the world question the Jewish connection to Israel. Rashi dealt with this issue close to one thousand years ago: “Should anyone call into question the Jewish people’s right to the land of Israel, the Jewish people can reply, “The whole earth belongs to the Holy One, blessed be He. He created it and gave it to them, and by His will He took it from them and gave it to us.”
However, there is one element standing in the way of the Jews and the land of Israel: lack of unity. Rabbi Pinchas Winston writes: During the Yom Kippur War in 1973, I was told, many thought it was the end of the Jewish State, God forbid. But when some asked Rav Abramsky, zt”l, one of the Gedolim of that generation, why he was not as concerned as others about the outcome he told them, “With this much אחדות unity the Jewish people will not lose the war!” He was right, Boruch Hashem.”
I am pained beyond description; I am saddened to depths never before encountered. I cry tears when I read about Jews backing, supporting, and championing the enemy of Klal Yisroel, Hamas today’s ISIS.
Jews are fighting with other Jews over customs, religiosity, pious behavior and holier-than-thou arrogance. The list can go on.
We will be successful only when we achieve unity. Hamas is not solely at war with Israel, it is at war against all Jews wherever they may live. One of the best weapons we possess is unity.
Let us see the day when the words of David Hamelech ring true:
הִנֵּה מַה טּוֹב וּמַה נָּעִים שֶׁבֶת אַחִים גַּם יָחַד
How good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity.
The Holy Alshich explains:
כי הנה ידוע כי נפשות כל עם בני ישראל אחת יחשבו, כי חלק אחת ממעל המה, ועל כן לאחים בני אב אחד נתייחס כולנו
Because it is known that the souls of all the people of Israel are considered as one. They are one piece from Above (Heaven) and therefore all children of One Father connect us all.
To all my brothers and sisters, I need you, the Jewish People need you, we need each other and the Land of Israel desperately needs us We must put aside our political differences, our חילוקי דעות disagreements and our stiff-necked attitudes towards other Jews. If not, then we have no one to blame but ourselves.
As the Mishna in Pirkei Avot says:
ואם לא עכשיו אימתי
If not now, when?
If God, forbid Israel loses this war, there may be not another chance for us.
King David writes:
וּרְאֵה בָנִים לְבָנֶיךָ שָׁלוֹם עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל
And may you see children born to your children!
Peace upon Israel
Together we will see victory for Israel and behold the dawn of peace for Eretz Yisroel.
Please join me this Shabbas in shul as we recite Tefilot for the brave women and men who are defending the Land of Israel. Additionally, we will pray for the safe return of all hostages taken by Hamas (ISIS).
There is strength in numbers and through unity we will succeed.
Good Shabbas to all.
Rabbi Evan Shore