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
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.