A few years ago, Rav Aba Wagensberg spoke out in a shiur that Sefer Devarim represents Moshe Rabbeinu’s Mussar to B’nai Yisrael as the time of his death drew near.
He explained that near the end of Sefer BaMidbar, we began to see indications, via the story of Zelafchad’s daughters, Reuven and Gad’s desire to settle east of the Jordan, etc., that the B’nai Yisrael finally desired to accept Moshe Rabbeinu’s teachings and his Mussar which was meant to bring about the perfection of the Jewish people in emulation of the ways of Hashem as they were about to enter Eretz Yisrael.
Rabbi Wagensberg gave over a thought that the B’nai Yisrael, after all of the rebellions, all of the contention, all of the failures which the rebellions and contention wrought, finally came to the collective, unequivocal realization that Moshe Rabbeinu was Hashem’s annointed — the undisputed leader and that his words are the words of Hashem.
He spoke further about the sequence of donning and removing tefillin’s shel yad and shel rosh where the shel yad is donned first before the shel rosh and the shel rosh is removed first and only afterwords the shel yad, equating the tefillin sequence with a person’s active learning of Jewish law (Halacha) and Jewish history and then learning Mussar concerning the practical, day-to-day real-time, real-life applications of what has been learned.
But, in our times, when there seems not to be a singular leader of B’nai Yisrael of caliber and note, that the B’nai Yisrael, in doing battle with the Gezeira rah, must each become his own leader. Or as the Gemara reads, “Where there are no men, be a man.” And that was the spirit with which the outlawed game Revava was created. Chaval that we didn’t or wouldn’t activate it’s rationale and its strategies in the weeks before last year’s expulsion.
But now, a year later we must go forward, go viter. We are in the midst of a 2 front war which Israel MUST win — in the one way that complete victory is measured in any major war fought by any of the “family of nations” which Yosef Q. Secular Israeli craves to belong; complete and total vanquishment and decimation of it’s enemy.
And we have the depraved and despicable abomination — the scheduled “Gay Festival” to battle tooth-to-nail to see that it never comes to fruition, not in Jerusalem and not anywhere else in Israel. And who is to say whether Hashem’s vast eternal plan necessitated manuevering a two-front war to keep tourists, perhaps gay tourist participants away, thus making the event fiscally unfeasible for Gay-dom to hold.
Remember how we felt betrayed when we were attacked at the Munich Olympics, on the Holy day of Yom Kippur, in the Air France plane hijacked to Entebbe? If we don’t do our utmost to bring about negation of such evil as expulsions or of the defilement of a “Gay Festival”, how can we ever again dare feel moral indignation and betrayal the next time that the B’nai Yisrael is attacked by surprised or otherwise, either by Arab terrorists or the Moslem nation? And for the Secular Israeli who Chas V’Chalila supports expulsion of his Jewish brothers, perhaps nothing Jewish could ever be sacred again.
So it is for all of the reasons, that every believing Jew belongs taking part in this battle to his fullest and beyond, to the extent that he can. Every believing Jew must be his own leader within the body of B’nai Yisrael, but without the contentiousness of a million generals.
Every Jew, every Israeli must look deep within himself and come to true, consistent answers as to why he’s here, why there is a divine legacy to the Jews of Eretz Yisrael and how to understand and relate to the murderous hatred of ALL Jews (religious and secular) equally by the Arab, Islamic nation. This murderous hate defies analysis, rationalization or attempts to remediate by way of misread (as weakliness) Israeli misguided, misdirected kindness, morality and desire for peace.
Every Jew, as his own leader, if he thinks deeply enough, must come to the inescapable conclusion that the Arab’s irrational lust for death to the Jew and destruction of the State of Israel emanates from Shemayim, as a form of what’s written in Parsha Toldos. There, Yaakov Aveinu, in his remaining Bracha for Eisev said, “…your brother you shall serve; yet it shall be that when you are aggrieved, you may cast off his yoke from upon your neck.” (Sefer Breish’t, Perek 27, posuk 40) Rabbi Artscroll renders Rashi “when you are aggrieved as meaning “If Israel ever transgresses Torah, and is thus underserving of dominion, you will have a right to be aggrieved that he has taken your blessing and you may cast off his yoke from your neck.” (Artscroll, Stone Chumash page 141: Rashi on Sefer Breish’t, Perek 27, posuk 40)
The Chumash explanation of the posuk concludes in this way, “This is in consonance with the prophecy given to Rifka while she was pregnant: Her two sons would not be able to coexist; when one ascended, the other would decline.” (Sefer Breish’t, Perek 25, posuk 23, as rendered in Stone Chumash, page 141)
B’Ezrat Hashem, may it be that this Tisha B’av be the last Tzom for B’nai Yisrael or, better yet that this Tisha B’av be a Hoda’a and not a Tzom.
May it be in this year and beyond, that our brethren; the refugee families from Gush Katif and the Shomron (may they soon be restored to new homes and neighborhoods, Bati Knesset, Yeshivot in Gush Katif and the Shomron and only happiness and success for all time), as well as our dear brother, Jonathan Pollard (may he soon know freedom and long life in Eretz Yisrael), that the lives of the 3 captive Chayalim be central in our thoughts, prayers, chassadim and actions. May this abominable period of history called hitnatkut be as a bad dream.
May we be zocha in this coming year to take giant steps toward fulfilling Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, “Yom Hashem V’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bim hay v’yameinu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!
Moshe Burt is an Oleh, writer and commentator on news and events in Eretz Yisrael. He is the founder and director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network.