A couple of years ago, this author heard a profound vort on Parshat Vayechi at a Thursday night Mishmar which could be understood to amplify on a topic repeated on this blog numerous times over the years — that Jewish unity is prerequisite to bringing about a Halachic, Just State of Israel, the prerequisite to bringing about the Geula Shlaima — the Ultimate Redemption. This vort bears repeating.
On last week’s Parshat Vayigash, this author spoke about Yosef’s treatment of the brothers, i.e. the bogus espionage charges, compelling the delivery of Binyamin to him, about the frame job of having the Viceroy’s cup planted in Binyamin’s possession, and the resultant Teshuvah by Yehuda and the other brothers. And it was noted that the Teshuvah and resultant unity amongst the brothers is seen as a paradigm for what is needed to heal today’s wounds caused by the gradual fractionalization and polarization which peaked with the expulsion of Jews from their land, their homes, their communities, shuls and parnossa (jobs, businesses, etc.) and which continues and grows to this day, including amongst one sector toward the other(s) in the religious world.
As he was completing his shiur on Parshat Vayechi, Rabbi Harry Greenspan said over a vort from some 40 years ago in the name of his Rebbe in Yeshiva University, R’Nissan Alpert z’l. R’ Alpert was a Shul Rav on the Lower East Side and gave shiurim at YU. It is said that he was the top Talmid of R’Moshe Feinstein, z’l.
R’ Greenspan related that while Torah, Rashi and other commentators rendered that Yaakov Aveinu called his sons together to tell them of “The End of Days” and then lost his Ruach HaKodesh, R’ Alpert suggested that one could perhaps say that Yaakov did actually tell his sons when the Geula Shlaima would occur.
Sefer Breish’t Perek 49, posuk 1 reads:
Hei-afsu — “Gather [Hei-afsu is rendered by Shimshon Inbal’s English-Hebrew, Hebrew-English Dictionary published by S. Zack & Co,: collect, gather, aggregate, provide shelter, public meeting] and I will tell you what will happen to you in The End of Days.”
Posuk 2 then reads:
Hi-kavtzu — “Gather [rendered by the same English-Hebrew, Hebrew-English Dictionary as; collect] and listen, sons of Yaakov, and listen to Yisrael, your father.”
The two loshonot of the word “Gather” could therefore be understood to mean come together as one. There are those who look around at the myriad of crises we currently face — the drought, last year’s deadly damaging fires in the North, sickness, the poverty faced by many, the petrified fear of those needing hospitalization in Israel but who are single with no one to watch their back or advocate for them when confronted with an insensitive, unfeeling, uncaring medical system, non-existent “law and order” administered by a police and internal security ministry concerned only with arresting and prosecuting Jews who love the land — we could go on and on, and hold that Hashem (kav’yokel — as it were) is as angry at us collectively for not bringing change in each of us ourselves as He is about the aveirot (the wrong) that we’ve done.
Rebbetzin Smiles makes note, in her sefer, “Torah Tapestries” on our parsha, of the gap between Yaakov’s calling on his sons to “Assemble and I will tell you what will occur to you in the end of days” and “Reuven, you were my first-born, my power and the beginning of my strength…” (Sefer Breish’t, Perek 49, posukim 1 and 3 as rendered in “Torah Tapestries,” Parsha Vayechi, pages 183-184)
This author would like to suggest that the crises we face would seem directly attributable to our indifference, insensitivity and disdain for our fellow Jew within religious Jewry, i.e., he’s not like us, he’s not born here, he’s a late-life Ba’al Teshuva, he doesn’t dress like us, he doesn’t keep Rabbeinu Tam time for ending Shabbos and how dare his daughter travel to her Orot school, which borders their neighborhood and our neighborhood, everyday — LOOK: see how one religious sector’s unbridled hate for another is enblazened on Yahoo for all to see — potential new olim and well as the gentile world! And what about the attitudes of one Jew for another, i.e. he’s a friar waiting to be suckered — in business, in bureaucratic offices, by merchants toward potential buyers, etc? And each group vies with the other, as exemplified by the Rabbanim of the various sectors who refuse even to sit and talk with each other, for “who’s the most frum” and who will receive the coveted, strings-attached government funding. And he is no good because his party didn’t stand up for religious principles and, therefore, it serves him right if the government messes him/them around expelling them or giving his/their money to my group instead.
And so, because the religious sectors near totally lack any semblance of unity; of coming together as one, the anti-Torah secular government, the non-existent, anti-Torah Israeli “judiciary,” and the leftist media all leap joyously into the fray with their latest edict of abomination in charging Jews with spying and treason when they act to warn their fellows that the Shabak (police) and the army are enroute to bulldoze their fellows’ homes.
And because we fail to support the physically and emotionally abused and battered and robbed spouse allowing a mafia-dominated “Judiciary” to run roughshod over her, the bank rushes to repossess her home — the home that she paid for, by court decree and without Judicial receipt proving payment, at least twice over via loans (other people’s money).
For only when Am Yisrael is UNITED — AS ONE, can the Geula Shlaima occur. Only when there is unity, a consensus of Halacha and Halachic fences, of checks and balances, of oversight, of transparency, of V’Ahavtah L’rei’cha Kamocha — wanting for your brother, for your brethren, what you want for yourself; will we have the courage to move to change Israel’s governance to a Torah governance.,
May we, the B’nai Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them at leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized gunpoint, that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard and the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem. May we have the courage and strength to stand up and physically prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and the handing of Jewish land over to anyone, let alone to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we fulfill 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 to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem V’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bim hay v’yameinu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!
Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.