On our own
On a short walk in Ramat Bet Shemesh, I had a most moving thought.
As the Jewish people once again seems to find itself in a corner, with no one to rely on but Hashem, there is a striking parallel to another point in history that presaged a potential Geulah. This was actually in the time of Avraham Avinu. Avraham was also referred to as an עברי – what we translate as ‘Hebrew,’ but what actually means ‘one who is on the side.’ He was called this because while the entire world was on the side of evil, clamoring to create a tower to rebel against Hashem, Avraham was on the side of Good, constantly striving to bring Hashem’s kindness into the world through his benevolent acts of unconditional kindness. He stood on one side – the עברי – while the whole world stood on the other. This pure altruistic mode of living brought Hashem to create a ברית with Avraham that meant that he would take over the purpose of mankind – the תיקון עולם – rectification of the world – that meant his children would need to remove the darkness that had taken over mankind. This meant that Avraham’s children would enter into the place where that darkness was centered – Mitzrayim. There his children would face an opportunity to bring the redemption by staying true to the ways of their forefathers through their devotion to Hashem. When they would fail in that devotion, they would experience the hardships of slavery that also would help them take back the Holiness that was being leeched by the dark forces of Egypt. When they finally had succeeded, there was a redemption that brought them to Har Sinai, where they returned to the state of Adam Harishon, attaining the light of Moshiach on Shavuos. The dream was shortlived, however, when the Jews sinned with the Golden Calf and lost that level of perfection.
Just as it was with Avraham, who stood on one side while all the world stood on the other, in their perverse evil and self-centeredness, so it is now. We are beginning to see that there is no one to rely upon but Hashem. While the American president seems to be a man who threatens our very existence here in Israel, he is clearly the messenger of Hashem. We are being placed into a predicament where we are truly alone. This situation is the opportunity for a great attainment of trust and reliance upon Hashem. As long as we feel that others are on our side, we have a sense of self-confidence. When the world comes down upon us from every direction, demanding our annihilation, we are shocked into a realization of the true reality.
We are on one side. Everyone else is on the other. This is the precursor for Moshiach.
This presents us with a test and a great opportunity, no matter where we are. Hashem is making it obvious that the leader of America has no qualms with creating a situation that is tantamount to Israel’s destruction. We look up from our morning paper and we say, “Is this real?” The answer is that it is. And it is really the chance for every Jew to identify with his brother’s pain no matter where he may be. Every Jew can look up from his paper and say, “This is unjust! The country of Israel and the Jewish people will not survive with these terms and conditions. We must stand up for what is right.” This statement will attach every Jew to each other – creating a web that binds us to one another. Just as the Geulah of Purim came with an unnatural and illogical call for our destruction and caused the Jewish people to reunite as one, we are now being given the opportunity to do this once again.
During the Holocaust, there was a similar opportunity for the Jewish people to look at the plight of their brethren in Europe and to stand up for their cause. At that time, there was a failure to do so, perhaps because of disbelief, or perhaps because of apathy. An opportunity for unity and complete Geulah was lost then. It seems that we are about to be faced with a similar chance. This opportunity must not be missed. We must strengthen each other and our commitment to our brethren no matter where we may be. We must feel the pain of our brothers and we must stand up with dignity, showing our solidarity in the face of the world’s disdain. Our blood must boil from the unfairness to which our people are being subjected. We must not stand idly by.
Chazal tell us that אתם קרויים אדם – the Jewish people are called Adam. This means that we have a chance to join together as one in order to bring Hashem’s Shechinah into the world and to reflect Hashem’s light to all the nations. We can only do this when we behave as we did at Har Sinai. At that time, we stood as one – כאיש אחד בלב אחד – as one man with one heart. We then reached the level of Adam Harishon before the sin – the level of Moshiach. We are about to face another shot at it. May Hashem help us, for the sake of His Shechinah, and for the sake of the honor of His beloved nation.