Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

6 Ellul 5762 - August 14, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Opinion & Comment
Insecurity in Elul

Since Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made such a big point of it in his election campaign more than 18 months ago, few commentators can resist holding him to his promise to bring security to the lives of people in Israel. Attacks continue, and when innocents are murdered while doing nothing more than going about their daily lives, the lack of security is acutely felt. The question almost asks itself: when will we have the security that Sharon promised?

This is an understandable and natural reaction. Yet raising this issue brings up ideas that are important, and especially at this time of year as we approach Rosh Hashana.

What can we reasonably expect in terms of security?

In terms of the military situation, there is now widespread pressure on the Palestinian terrorists and it is clear that the efforts of the Israeli forces -- the army, the police and the security forces like the Shabak -- are accomplishing quite a bit in stopping Palestinian terror. Terrorist commanders are arrested or killed almost daily, homicide bombers are stopped and infiltrators are shot. All the levels are working hard and with mesirus nefesh and, with evident siyata deShmaya, their efforts are having a great effect.

The murderous criminals announce their intentions all the time, proclaiming their desire for revenge or whatever. In fact, for almost two years they have tried to murder and maim as much as they could, using whatever opportunities they had. Nothing that has happened in that period has slowed their efforts nor had any effect on their motivation. If every day is not a day of tragedy, it is not because they do not try to continue their cruel crime spree.

In such an environment, there is no such thing as security in the sense of complete calm and freedom from worry. The damage can be kept low and generally under control, but it cannot be completely eliminated.

In truth anyone, and especially any Jew, anywhere in the world, can no longer feel that he is free of any terrorist threat. The British have had their Irish threat for many years and there were the Basque terrorists in Spain, but now the whole world must worry about the massive criminal intentions of Al Qaeda. They have struck in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Africa, and several of their plots have been foiled in Europe. The whole world now pays for and lives through tight security measures that have become a part of normal living.

An idyllic life free of care is only the lot of babies. No realistic person can expect to enjoy such a life, and certainly no man as pragmatic as Ariel Sharon would expect to provide it for the residents of Israel. Unfortunately, no one else -- least of all the secular-messianic Left -- can offer any better alternative. True security is achievable for the Jewish people only within the context of the Divinely-sent Redeemer where it will be a by-product of a spiritual revolution.

As we prepare for the upcoming days of din, a sense of physical insecurity is a valuable incentive to take our duty to do teshuvoh very seriously. The more we internalize the truth that our success is not in our own hands but is the result of our relationship with Hashem, the better we will prepare for the day of Rosh Hashanah when judgment is passed on what will be in the upcoming year.

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