VOLUME 107 NUMBER 1
Av 3, 5783
July 21, 2023
Candlelighting Time 8:05 PM
To state that we are living in precarious times would be the understatement of the century. The events that occur on a daily basis are obscure and although we place our trust in Hashem that His plan is only for our good, we shudder often at what we are viewing. Political unrest, governmental breakdown at the highest levels, a total lack of respect for the truth, corruption amongst our investigative organizations and the list continues to grow. How should we view these happenings? Of course, we can ignore all that is transpiring and place our heads in the sand. Is that the reaction that we should have? Perhaps we should worry about what will be next?
As we traveled through the desert, we approached the area of Edom, our archenemy. Moshe cautioned the nation to avoid any contact with them and to proceed north. Do not upset them in the least and avoid any type of confrontation or even annoying them at all! If we had confronted them or maybe even had irritated them, what would have happened? Chofetz Chaim cites the Midrash that if we sense that our enemies are preparing to harm us, we should hide! Although others might suggest challenging them and defending ourselves, Moshe warned the nation to avoid any contact at all! Is it wrong to protect ourselves from adversaries that we must hide and sidestep any interaction whatsoever?
The answer is a resolute YES! Chofetz Chaim cites many example from the earlier generations how our predecessors avoided confrontation with our adversaries and as a result eventually we were able to successfully overcome them. The Midrash advises us to ‘look at Hashem’ and then we will see the downfall of those who rise up against us. We must actually run away from trouble and it will not follow us. How does one look at Hashem? We look at Hashem by looking at the Torah.
Perhaps there are those that honestly believe that when we, the Jewish nation, will conduct ourselves like the rest of the nations of the world, then we will successfully defeat our enemies. However, nothing could be further from the truth! The more that we adopt the attitude and approach of the nations of the world, the more so we can expect dismal failures. However, one who is immersed in Torah, that escape is valid, protective and truly beneficial. We have observed through the years that tanks, jets, armament, missiles, and defensive systems have not been our salvation. Our enemies continuously pummel us in every which way. They dig tunnels to infiltrate into our people to harm them, they shoot missiles of all types and they stage raids that unfortunately lead to the murder of precious souls that live in Israel.
The next level of warfare, cyber warfare threatens the security of all law-abiding nations on this planet. Hackers abound and are determined to wreak havoc given the opportunity. Untold millions if not billions are wasted on defense because we must defend ourselves against those that seek to harm and destroy us. Our Dome system is Torah and observance of mitzvos. If we provide the proper shield then we will be protected. But if we don’t realize where our true source of salvation comes from, then we suffer and we shudder at what will be next!
A BYTE FOR SHABBOS
When one is confronted with a thorny issue in order to render a proper decision he must remove any thoughts of gain or benefit that he may have. S’FAS EMES