Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

17 Shevat 5762 - January 30, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Opinion & Comment
We Must Open Our Eyes

Now, more than ever, the simple Jewish truth is very evident: there is nothing that we can do, and even nothing that we can imagine that anyone can do, that will conclusively resolve the difficult situation that we are in. We have no one upon whom to rely except our Father in Heaven.

This is nothing new and should not depress us. On the contrary, it reinforces what we know that we should feel.

Nothing looks promising, in any direction.

Military and security forces know that, with all their achievements, they cannot expect 100 percent success. They can find bomb factories and kill terrorists, but some may, Rachmono litzlan, get through.

Even their impressive successes are abetted by chasdei Shomayim. For example, last week after Israeli forces surrounded the Hamas bomb factory in Shechem and were preparing to go in, the residents, explosives experts, managed to set off a bomb near the Israeli force. Wonder of wonders, the explosion caused only minor injuries to the Israeli force but blew off the heavy door of the building, significantly aiding the Israeli attack.

Politically, everyone -- the Israeli leadership and the American leadership including General Zinni and President Bush -- now realizes that Arafat is impossible to work with and there is no hope of concluding a reasonable peace with him. President Bush has pointed out that he made a very significant move in Arafat's direction by publicly calling for a Palestinian state, but all he got in return was the arms ship which was clearly intended to increase terror, not to fight it. When he sent General Zinni to mediate a peace, he got suicide bombers. Even when Arafat declared a cease fire more than a month ago, it was clear that he had not abandoned his strategy of violence and just called for a temporary halt that was never fully observed.

Yet right now there is no political alternative to Arafat, not even a bad one. There is no other candidate for Palestinian leadership. There is no hope in that direction.

Economically things also look bad, all over the world. The whole world is in the throes of a recession. Many optimists think that it will be over in another six months, but so far there is little evidence to support this. On the contrary, the excesses of the 90s and the new scandals like Enron that are big and point to deep problems in the financial structures of the American economy, leave little room for hope of relief on that front.

If, choliloh, one's eyes are closed, then there is really nothing to hang on to, and one will be forced to choose between despair and a false faith in military power or some other cure-all like the "peace process" (which, it will be recalled, was supposed to bring military and political harmony as well as new wealth).

Our grave situation with no salvation in sight is just another manifestation of golus. The Heavenly decree of our exile sends us away from yeshu'oh and geulah with no way to get there on our own without a new Heavenly decision.

However, if one opens his eyes, he sees the Hand of Hashem all over and at every step. Whatever the state of the world (or the Union) he will draw comfort from these instances that show Heavenly favor, giving the strength to persist in the golus even as we wait every day for Moshiach.

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