Government and military leaders, both from the interior ministries and those involved in foreign affairs, security officers and intelligence officials, all are working endlessly to find solutions to the difficult security situation in Eretz Yisrael. This one has this advice, and that one has that advice, each in accordance with his own personal world view culled from one’s personal upbringing, nature, and experiences. But Jews who believe in Hashem and His Torah, which was passed on to us from generation to generation, have an obligation to find the true solution in the Eternal and Holy Torah.
The Creator Himself cautions us in the Torah with the following words: “If you walk in My statutes and keep My mitzvos and do them… you will dwell securely in your Land, and I will give peace in the Land, and you will find rest without fear” (Vayikra/Leviticus 26:3). Rashi explains that “if you walk in My statutes” means “you should toil diligently in the study of Torah.” We see a clear solution to the security situation in Eretz Yisrael. The simple answer is that we must study the Holy Torah with hard work and toil in our studies in order that we may keep and perform Hashem’s mitzvos.
Now as we find ourselves in the month of Menachem Av—the month when Eretz Yisrael first devastated by attackers—we must contemplate this concept. The Navi Yirmiah (the prophet Jeremiah) said during the era of the destruction of the Temple and the Land, “Why was the land lost? Hashem says, ‘It is because you abandoned My Torah that I gave before you, and you did not listen to My voice, and you did not walk in it.” (Yirmiyahu/Jeremiah 9:11).
Our Sages say that the meaning of the words “You abandoned My Torah” means “You did not recite a brachah before the study of Torah” (Baba Metzia 85a). That is quite incredible! How could it be that simply by virtue of the fact that they did not first recite Birkas HaTorah that the merit of their Torah study would not still offer protection for them? The answer is as follows.
There are two types of Torah Scholars. One studies Torah LiShmah, for the sake of Torah; he learns in order to connect to G-d. Through the study of His holy Torah, hard work and diligence, and in order to keep and perform His mitzvos, the person expresses love of his Creator. Such a person thanks G-d for being the Giver of the Torah because he rejoices through this fact that the Torah is his occupation. This person becomes elevated through levels of holiness and lifts up others as well through the atmosphere of holiness that he helps define. This is plainly stated in the Mishnah in Pirkei Avos: “He who studies Torah for its own sake is worthy of many things. He loves and brings joy to others…and is quick to forgive if someone shames him.” (Avos 6:1).
The second scholar studies Torah not for its sake but rather as an academic pursuit, in order to gain prestige, honor, or financial gain. Such a person finds Torah observance a burden and therefore studies to find permission to be lenient, whether for himself or for others, and to be exempt from the fulfillment of the mitzvos, only performing mitzvos when absolutely necessary. Such a person only studies Torah when it is easy to do so, without hard work or toil; he causes arguments and breeds anger, as he is angry when he is not afforded the honor he desires; he insults and belittles those who study Torah for the sake of Heaven. He causes simple people to be careless in Torah and mitzvos or, G-d forbid, abandon them altogether. All this occurs because such a person lacks the recognition of Torah’s greatness.
In the era of the destruction of the Temple, people did not study Torah lishmah, and through this they caused the churbon (destruction) and the galus (Exile). Because their Torah study did not elevate them spiritually, it did not have the power to protect them. Instead their approach to Torah study awakened feelings of sinas chinam (baseless hatred) and led them to insult authentic Torah scholars, as discussed in Sefer Yosifon (a book of Jewish history). Our Sages teach that the Beis HaMikdash was destroyed because of sinas chinam (Yoma 9b) and similarly it was taught that “Jerusalem was only destroyed because authentic Torah Scholars were insulted within it.” (Shabbos 119b)
According to this, we can understand well the meaning of the above-mentioned teaching: “That they did not recite a blessing over the Torah first” as it to say that the Torah was not considered to be so important in their eyes that they should consider it to be something worthy of reciting a blessing over. They did not study Torah lishmah, and because of this, they were not careful to recite the required blessings, as is cited in the teachings of the earlier authorities (Ran to Nedarim 81a).
Understanding how important Torah study is to the existence of the Jewish People, we recognize that throughout all of the years of our exile, the only places where the Jewish people had any existence or continuity were places where Torah scholars studied with diligence and toil, in order to keep the Torah perfectly, with joy, and to increase in holiness. But in places where Torah was neglected, where it wasn’t toiled in and diligently studied for its own sake, Jews quickly became assimilated and lost.
This concept is accentuated further in Eretz Yisrael, where the matter is not only spiritual but also material. Since there has developed a general political climate of insulting the study of Torah lishmah, this brought about sinas chinam, which does not increase in the spiritual security of those living in Eretz Yisrael.
Everything comes from our Father in Heaven, who castigates us “as a father punishes his son.” He is our Father who warns and directs His beloved children with regard to how to be successful, what they should stay away from, and how to guard themselves.
Even when a son is angry at his father, and he does not obey him and goes against his will due to lack of understanding, the father is always ready to take his son back if he will turn himself around. A father will never push his son away completely.
This could be the hint in the name of the month when the Temple was destroyed and the Jewish people were exiled from their land. Menachem Av means “Comforting Father.” We should be consoled in this knowing that everything G-d does is analogous to the way a father deals with his son. Even when a father banishes his son, he continues to worry about him and is always ready to take his son back.
When we contemplate how the study of Torah is of the highest importance, and when we understand that we should encourage and value all those who toil in Torah for its own sake, then we can rely upon the promise from our Father in Heaven: “And a sword shall not pass through your Land.” Then we can cease worrying about any threats from the outside. Rather “you will find rest without fear, and I will give peace in the Land,” perfect peace. And we will then be worthy of the Geulah Shleimah, the final redemption, speedily in our days. Amen.
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If Jews want to have a modern western state, they need to concentrate on the skills needed for running such a state: engineering, computer science, becoming “karvi” (combat soldiers), etc. THere’s no time for Torah and MItsvos.
If Jews returned to Torah (became all Hareidi as we once were), we would have to give up running a medinah in which were rulers and goyim were those whom we ruled (and surprise, surprise, it turns out that path would resolve theproblem since Arab Muslims don’t take kindly to non-Muslims bossing them around).
OK… Now l’maase!!
There was shalom & a shalva for very short spurts of time during the history of a Klal Yisroel.
We always had enemies: Egyptians, Philistines, Babylonians, Romans, Persians, Yishmaeliam, Greeks, Crusaders, Christians, Europeans, and now Anti-semities & Arabs. Guess our toiling in Torah has always needed improvement………..
would that be before or after they kill us all? see what our “cousins” do in gaza, afghanistan, the new islamic state. i prefer for hashem to send his miracles thru a strong army and a strong beis medrash then take a chance with these murderers
akuperma, you are dead wrong.
The rebbe shlita never said anything against the state of israel. he was simply urging us to develop an outlook that values toiling in torah.
And yes there is time for torah and mitzvot. The opportunity for learning and mitzvot do not disappear when running a state, on the contrary, there are many more aspects and areas where we can insert avodat hashem and halacha.
Its kravi not “karvi”. and those soldiers, wheather
Wheather they wear a kippa or not, are fighting for the collective lives of jews everywhere.
Oh, whats that you say?
if we would never have a state the arabs would be kinder to us? What about all those blood libels and jew hating sultans throughout history?
EVER HEARD OF THE MUFTI ymsh of yerushalaim?
He had no hesitations to exterminate jews even though we could barely dream of living normal lives, let alone a state in the days of the fiery holocaust.
You seem to be believing khalled mashaal ymsh when he said that he has no problem coexisting with jews, but takes issue with the occupation of OUR land, where we where running a thriving kingdom while his ancestors where ambushing desert travelers.
Maybe you’d like to be his first citizen or a personal guest of his in his Quatar villa!!??? Enjoy the human shield experience.
You need a crash course in world history.
If the Jewish people all returned to Torah, we would have Hashem as our G-d, Moshiach as our king, a Beit HaMikdash, and the arabs would all be trembling in a cave in yemen together.
The kalever rebbe didn’t say or imply that akuperman.
The zionists tried to establish a western state under Jewish anti-chareidi leadership free of any religion, yet what did they get. A mid-eastern state, lead by the international community, living under the constant threat and reality of war and terror ever since it has been established.
Hashem sent us to Golus and until Moshiah comes bb”a this will not change wherever you live.
As the Rebbe shlite said, our sole protection is the Torah.
Instead of attacking each other, why not listen to what the Kaliver Rebbe says. He is offering Da’as Torah. This isn’t the New York Times or the Tribune where a person just yells out opinions. The site was built to express the opinions of the Torah community.
To belief a person has the right to contradict or argue on Da’as Torah from our Gadolim, is one of the reasons the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed. The gemara quoted in Shabbas 119 stated that the degrading of authentic Torah scholars caused our B’M destruction.
Zionflag, you and I both love Israel and the land, but to try and to dumb down the Rebbe’s Torah insight gets us nowhere. Hashem is sending a message, and it’s either:
1) Weakening to Torah and mitvahs by government cuts and attacks destroys our shield
2) We don’t control Ishmael, no matter how great our military is.
3) We are seeped in so much gashmius and hemda , that is takes us away from Hashem,and feeling others pain
or 4) A hundred different reasons. EITHER WAY , we are the cause.
Torah is meant and demands to incorporate every aspect of a State and planet.
The tragedy is that very few (with all the pious protestations )are interested
To the editors: I wonder why the inflammatory comments of akuperma are allowed to be put on, while my comments aren’t published? FYI I have them copies as well and I will and do expose the double standard and what this newspaper stands for. Many more people on Facebook will see what you are doing and what you aren’t allowing to go through while allowing anti-Zionists to post and get their messages without any problems. Shame on you.
How much do houses in Flatbush & Boro Park cost? How much money spent on extravagant weddings?