Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

25 Teves 5762 - January 9, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Home and Family
Politics and Hashkofa

by R' Zvi Zobin

Rabbi Binyomin relates that fifty years ago, when he was a bochur, he boarded in the house of his Rosh Yeshiva. Every week on Motzaei Shabbos, all the family gathered in the living room for some sort of family meeting. Burning with curiosity, the young Binyomin decided to try and see what went on behind those closed doors. One time, when the coast was clear, he stood close to the door and tried to hear what was going on. He was surprised to hear the Rosh Yeshiva reading the news from a regular newspaper. After each item, the Rosh Yeshiva gave a short dvar Torah explaining how some sort of ethical lesson could be learned from that item.

Since those days, the moral standards of non-Jewish newspapers has degenerated but instead, we have kosher newspapers such as Yated Ne'eman. However, even so, it is not necessary for children to be exposed to politics and distasteful news, especially if there is any risk that it will disturb them or distract them from their learning.

Nevertheless, politics is "in the air" and even if protected, many children pick up various snippets of news and politics from their friends. Often, the versions they hear are distorted, and sometimes they can become frightened by them. They will then need to discuss it with you so that you can explain it to them and allay their fears.

When you explain the news, if possible, try to derive some sort of lesson. Sometimes you can show the news or politics as a direct lesson for us. At other times, you can use the news as a moshol for some sort of moral lesson.

For example, we can derive an amazing lesson from the present Palestinian conflict.

The Palestian Autonomy was formed by Israel. Most of its income, electricity, water, gas and other essential requirements come from or through Israel. Israel also first supplied the guns to arm the Palestinian police. And, logistically, Israel is sufficiently powerful to be able to wipe out the Autonomy whenever it wants and return the situation to what it was before it was formed.

Apart from being ungrateful, plain common sense dictates that it would be the worst thing for the Palestinians to antagonize Israel. Now, members of the Autonomy are attacking Israel and even using the weapons and training which Israel gave them against Israel.

Tactically, Israel is strong enough to wipe out the Autonomy. Not only is it not doing so but Israel is continuing to supply many of the essentials which the Autonomy needs.


The sefer Tomor Devora uses such a situation as a parable to explain the relationship which someone who sins has with Hashem. On the one hand, Hashem made us. He is supplying us with all of our needs. At any moment, if He wants, He can withdraw any of our essential needs. He can wipe out any individual and even return the whole universe to nothingness. Apart from being ungrateful, plain common sense dictates that it would be the worst thing for someone to disobey Him. And the sinner's chutzpa goes even further because he is using the energy and the means which Hashem gave him to rebel and go against His wishes.

This moshol extends even further, because it is so difficult to understand how the Leftist extremists, who are so anti-chareidi and so intolerant of religion, can be so tolerant of terrorism and continue to plead on behalf of the terrorists and try to make peace with them.

However, the Tomor Devora explains that when someone sins, the accusing angels call for his destruction, while the defending angels plead on his behalf and ask for mercy so that the sinner can have time to repent and change his ways.

The extreme anti-religious Leftists are, therefore, echoing their own situation in which they need their defending angels to plead for them for beyond- reasonable mercy and patience, because that is what they need so desperately.

So, from the political situation we can see our own situation very clearly. The Palestinian confrontation is a magnified version of what we do when we sin. The situation is a lesson for us so that we can serve Hashem better.


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