In the first part, HaRav Roter explained that the reason
for many punishments is our failure to observe Shabbos. This
includes Shabbos Bereishis, the Shabbos that we
observe every seventh day, and what he calls Shabbos
Ho'oretz, which we observe every seventh year. If we are
being punished, it is because of these and supporting
evidence of this is that the current violence began just at
a Shabbos Bereishis and the beginning of the
HaRav Roter concluded the first part with the observation
that throughout the many years of exile, our ancestors lived
with the constant awareness that the main thing was their
repentance, and observance of Torah and mitzvos. This
awareness was so strong that there were many high and
important Jewish officials who preserved the traditions for
they knew that it is not worthwhile to give up eternity for
any blandishments of this world.
However about a hundred and fifty years ago, a
group of writers calling themselves "maskilim" started to
pour derisive venom on anything associated with
kedushoh. With their sharp style, they were
successful in attracting large numbers of followers and
destroying their Yiddishkeit.
Their descendants and successors founded two separate
movements: socialism, which stood for equality between
employer and employee, and Zionism, which advocated removing
the fetters of golus and being responsible for our
own fate. The followers of the latter movement went a stage
further and decided to found a new secular nation, modeled
after the other nations of the world.
Socialists gave up their lives for socialism, but in the end
the idols they worshiped turned against them, killing and
torturing them, and eventually the whole movement collapsed
on its own leaving no trace. Consider what the posuk
says (Devorim 32:37): "Where are their gods, the rock
in whom they trusted; who ate the fat of their sacrifices,
and drank the wine of their drink-offering? Let him rise up
and help you, let him be your protection. See now that I,
even I, am He."
The Zionist movement is still around. Its followers felt
that life in golus was going on for too long, and
they tried to preempt the redemption by taking their fate
into their own hands. After many wars they managed to set up
the State of Israel, which was meant to serve as a haven for
the Jewish people, where every Jew could live with a feeling
of security, unlike in the Diaspora.
In practice, during the fifty years of this State's
existence, in no other country in the world has the Jew felt
such a lack of security, and Jews all over the world feel
the same because they are associated with the State. It
could be that Doniel was prophesying about this State when
he said (11:14), "The children of the wicked amongst your
people shall lift themselves up to establish a vision; but
they shall stumble."
The Rambam writes at the end of his Iggeres Teiman,
"Shlomo Hamelech, with his ruach hakodesh, knew that
this nation, because of the ongoing golus, would want
to bring about the redemption before its appointed time and
they would perish and suffer hardships because of this. He
therefore warned them not to do this, and made the nation
take an oath, using an allegory: `I adjure you, O daughters
of Yerushalayim!' "
Now, after a hundred years of conflict with the Arabs, the
Zionist movement decided to change direction, away from war
and towards peace, returning parts of our holy country and
making many other concessions for the sake of "peace."
The Arabs, for their part, far from responding with a smile,
have responded by declaring their desire to annihilate the
whole Jewish population chas vesholom, leaving the
left- wing amongst us open-mouthed and lost for words.
We, however, have not been surprised by these developments.
They have forgotten the main point: there is a Creator whose
name is "Sholom," and because they (the Left) are the
enemies of Sholom, they are not able to make peace, as
Yeshaya Hanovi said (48:22), "The wicked have no peace, says
Hashem." They are busy talking about peace all the time, but
"He that sits in heaven laughs, Hashem has them in
derision." Of such people Yirmiyohu Hanovi says (8:11), "And
they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people
lightly, saying: `Peace, peace,' when there is no peace."
Our situation today may be compared to the one described in
Devorim (32:25), "Outside shall the sword bereave,
and in the rooms terror." Many settlements are being
targeted by gunfire and even inside our homes we fear for
our lives. All the Arabs, both inside and outside, have
revolted, and the Jewish majority led by the prime minister
watches events unfold with utter helplessness.
The View that it Just Needs More Force
A large movement has arisen claiming, "The army's hands are
being tied by the political wing, let Zahal win!" In other
words, if the army were given the opportunity of re-
conquering towns, we would have peace and quiet in this
country, because the Arabs only understand the language of
force. There are some chareidim who secretly agree with this
What has happened to us? Do we not realize that this outlook
is fundamentally flawed and shows a complete lack of faith?
The Arabs are only used by Hakodosh Boruch Hu as a
stick to rebuke us.
Hashem actually uses two sticks to beat us: traffic
accidents and our Arab enemies. Although we suffer more in
numerical terms from the former, the Arab stick hurts us
more, as Yeshaya Hanovi laments (10:5), "O Ashur, the rod of
My anger!" Instead of calling out to Hashem who is holding
the stick, we pounce upon the stick and bite it: "Yet the
people do not turn unto Him that smites them!" (ibid.
Was the previous prime minister a bigger hero than this one?
Who can forget how, over four years ago, he reacted to the
riots when the Kosel tunnels were opened? At the time he was
on a visit to the United States, but he came back
immediately in a big panic. Reporters who were with him on
the airplane remember a very tense, panic-stricken man,
sweating profusely and trying all the time to contact Arafat
by telephone. It must be remembered that from the day of his
election he had refused to exchange even one word with
Then, over two days the army suffered 16 casualties at the
hands of the regular Palestinian security forces. Unlike
Barak, he did not bomb targets in Gaza, or cut off the
transfer of funds to the Palestinian Authority. Instead, in
return for the cessation of rioting, he rewarded Arafat with
the opening of Shuada Street in Chevron and the deployment
of international forces in the town. Immediately following
these events he signed the Wye agreement, according to which
an additional thirteen percent of territory in areas "B" and
"C" were transferred to the status of area "A," which is
under the control of the Authority.
Who can forget the image of the terrible accident of the
helicopters [Note: When 73 were killed at once] during his
premiership? Can we still have any doubts that there are
many different types of sticks and ways Hashem uses to
recover our debts?
I can agree that the policies of the current prime minister
are wrong, and we may be sure that the following
posuk from Yechezkel (34:2) applies to them:
"Woe unto the shepherds of the Jewish people that have fed
themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the sheep?" The
leaders are feeding only themselves: they are only concerned
with their own honor, and not with the good of the nation.
However, we have to believe that when Hashem is upset with
His people chas vesholom, he puts a blind shepherd in
charge of them, and when he falls to the ground, his whole
flock falls with him chas vesholom.
When we see how left-wing politicians have descended to the
lowest level, having more pity for our enemies' barren
vineyards than for the mutilated legs of our children, we
must understand that this attitude stems from the fact that
they were educated with a lack of faith. About such people
Shlomo Hamelech said, "The mercy of the wicked is cruelty,"
and if, instead of strengthening our own emunoh, we
secretly ascribe to their views, this will delay the coming
of the Geuloh, chas vesholom.
The Shach, in his commentary on the Torah on the posuk
(Shemos 12:39), "And they baked unleavened cakes of the
dough which they brought out of Egypt," says that it was the
erev rav that baked these cakes because they were the
ones who had brought the dough out of the country. Bnei
Yisroel were busy asking the Egyptians for jewelry and
clothes (this is also implied by the posuk before,
which says that "the people took their dough before it was
leavened," and whenever it says "people," this refers to the
erev rav). They baked the matzo dough, because
they had been expelled, otherwise they would have leavened
their dough not having been commanded not to leaven their
dough. Bnei Yisroel, on the other hand, had been
commanded not to leaven for seven days (because they thought
that Pesach Mitzrayim was also for seven days), and
there was enough dough for them and the whole nation to last
until the 16th of Iyar.
"You see from here," concludes the Shach, "that if Bnei
Yisroel had not eaten together with the erev rav
from the same dough (which was totally kosher!), they would
have had the mon descend without any complaints. This
eating together created a feeling of togetherness between
them and the Bnei Yisroel, resulting in several
misfortunes during their time in the desert. Therefore
Chazal forbade us to eat their bread."
Here we see the dire results of associating with the erev
rav, how much more so must we be careful not to
associate with those people who believe in "the power and
the might of my hands" -- such an association would be bound
to delay the coming of the Geuloh, chas vesholom.
The Netziv (in his responsa, Meshiv Dovor, Kuntrus
Hashmittoh), writes, "We must realize and internalize
this principle: `Just like the existence of the Jewish
nation is a supernatural one, not governed by normal human
criteria, so too is Eretz Yisroel different from all
other countries: its existence is not based on natural
criteria, but only on Hashem's Providence in accordance with
the observance of his commandments, namely the separation of
terumos and ma'asros, as well as the
mitzva of shevi'is and others."
Let us not forget that the whole world is against us (the
antisemitic agitation in the world's media may be seen as a
mido keneged mido measure to pay them back for the
secular agitation here against the chareidim). Eisov and his
father-in-law Yishmoel have made a pact to destroy us
chas vesholom, and without the support of the United
States we could not survive even for two weeks.
Our relationship to the world's superpower may be compared
to that of a child and his mother. The child builds pyramids
with his Lego, and then his mother comes and tells him that
he has played enough because it is time to go to sleep. His
fancy buildings are actually flimsy, powerless structures.
How then, can we shout, "Give Zahal a chance to win?"
Hashem has surrounded His people with enemies. In the plague
of frogs Hashem commanded them to go into the ovens and be
burnt. Similarly, a large movement has arisen amongst the
Arabs of people wanting to commit suicide. These people want
to sweep us out of this country chas vesholom. Does
the army have any answers to these maniacs? The deterrent
capabilities of the State of Israel are as nothing compared
to the threat of madmen willing to die for the sake of their
Zionism, which always stood for "taking our fate into our
own hands," is collapsing. After the bomb explosion in
Chadera, when everybody was running around shouting at each
other, someone courageous should have gotten up and
declared, "See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no
god with Me: I kill and I make alive; I have wounded and I
heal; and there is none that can deliver out of My hand"
No Alternative to Which Peace?
When Barak declares pathetically that "there is no
alternative to peace," my reply is that it is true that
peace is the only alternative, but not the "peace" that he
is pursuing, running away from everywhere towards his
"secular revolution." Chazal have told us that flight is the
beginning of a fall. We have to run in the direction of
Hakodosh Boruch Hu Whose name is peace. Only then
will He make peace for us and the whole Jewish people.
We must constantly remind ourselves of the words of the
prophet Hoshea: "Ashur will not save us; we will not ride
upon horses, neither will we call any more the work of our
hands our gods; for in You the fatherless finds mercy." We,
in our situation today really are orphans, and only Hashem
will have pity on us.