WHY DON’T WE BELIEVE IT?
By Roy S. Neuberger
Now we are in the blessed days after Tisha B’Av. They are blessed simply because we have survived. I don’t mean only “survived” the Three Weeks, but we have survived all the events of the past thousands of years of Golus. That in itself is nechama. Hashem intends that we should live!
The events we remember on Tisha B’Av tear away at one’s insides. The niggun of Eichah itself evokes tears. The Kinnos are unbearable. How did we endure until now? Truly, we need the bracha of techias hamaisim every day in Shemoneh Esreh, because our life is one constant techias hamaisim. It seems that every day, without exaggeration, we need Hashem to revive us.
“Blessed are You, Hashem, Who restores souls to dead bodies!”
This year, the Three Weeks were extremely painful. The incident in Chalamish hit every Yid in the most sensitive place. We could all imagine ourselves there, in a Shabbos home: the neros are shining; there is peace and tranquility, “ma’ain olam Ha Ba;” a family is immersed in the most kadosh activity. Nothing could be further from savagery than this. What was their sin?
Only primordial bestiality that springs from deep wells of hatred caused this. A hatred of kedusha, of Torah … a hatred against our closeness to the Source of Life, a closeness which they cannot attain. That is why they hate us: because our essence is kedusha.
Several weeks ago, those who study Daf Yomi learned the story of Rabbi Yehuda ben Bava. The Romans “pierced his body with three hundred iron spears and made him like a sieve.” What was his “crime?” He dared to confer semicha on his disciples. For this he sacrificed his life. He called to his students, “Run, my sons!” And they ran to transmit Torah to the next generation, which is why we have it today!(Sanhedrin 14a)
I want to know: how did this hurt the Romans? “Farkert!” Exactly the contrary!
“If the nations of the world had realized how important the Bais Hamikdosh was to them, they would have surrounded it with walls to protect it!” (Medrash Rabba Vaykra 1:11; see Book of Our Heritage page 983; thanks to Rabbi Shaul Geller)
Their only bracha is through us. Clearly, the nations of the world have a death wish and that is why they keep trying to destroy us. As Hashem said to Avraham Avinu, “I will bless those who bless you.” (Beraishis 12:3)
What can we do, my friends? How do we save ourselves? This is the season of teshuva! Chodesh Elul is around the corner. What can we do?
I want to say that we have to adjust our perspective very much. I saw a shocking ad prominently displayed in a “frum” magazine. It said, “Experience the ultimate.” Do you know what the “ultimate” was? The “ultimate” was a certain place to go for summer vacation. Are we crazy? Have we been eaten alive by goyishe values? There is only one “ultimate” in this world, my friends, and that is the Bais Hamikdosh and Moshiach ben Dovid. There is no other “ultimate.”
In the Land of Israel today, there is a terrible chillul Hashem, and I believe that we have to confront this right now. The Chillul Hashem is that fact that there is a government in the Holy Land that does not embrace Torah. Some might want to say that I should face reality, but I have to inform you that I am facing reality. This is reality, my friends, and there is no other. The plain reason that we are suffering so much is that we do not believe the Torah. We do not believe the most basic facts of our entire history, and so we are condemned to repeat it.
Listen to this week’s Parsha!
“This shall be the reward when you hearken to these ordinances and you observe and perform them… Perhaps you will say…. ‘these nations are more numerous than I; how will I be able to drive them out?’ Do not fear them! …. You shall not be broken before them, for Hashem your
G-d is among you, a great and awesome G-d. …. Hashem, your G-d, will deliver them before you, and will confound them with great confusion, until their destruction….” (Dvarim 7:12ff)
Why don’t we believe it? We keep making the same mistake! In every generation, we say to ourselves, “I can improve on Hashem’s plan,” and in every generation we suffer tragedy after tragedy! Why are we so blind! Why are we so obstinate! How much pain and tragedy do we have to endure before we see that which is right in front of our eyes?
“The entire commandment that I command you today you shall observe to perform so that you may live and increase and come and possess the Land that Hashem swore to your forefathers….” (Dvarim 8:1) What is so difficult about this? What is so obscure?
“For this commandment that I command you today: it is not hidden from you and it is not distant. It is not in Heaven, for you to say, ‘Let us ascend.’ …. Rather the matter is very near to you, in your mouth and in your heart to perform it.” (Dvarim 30:11-14)
If we want the Geulah Shelemah, we can bring it now! We are not smarter than Hashem. Torah is in front of us. “Look to the Rock from which you were hewn …. For Hashem shall comfort Zion. He shall comfort all her ruins. He shall make her wilderness like Eden and her wasteland like a Garden of Hashem. Joy and gladness shall be found there, thanksgiving and the sound of music.” (Haftaras Eikev, Yeshiah 51:1ff)
May we see it soon in our days!
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Roy Neuberger, author and public speaker, can be reached at email@example.com.
© Copyright 2017 by Roy S. Neuberger