Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

7 Nissan 5762 - March 20, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network

A Wake-Up Call from Israel

This message is from the Kollel Ohr Shimon in Beitar Illit

You in America, we in Israel, are all acutely aware of the emergency situation we find ourselves in. When Torah leaders the world over issue a declaration that on erev Rosh Chodesh Nisan all Jews should fast and cry out to Hashem, this must alarm us. It is up to us to take their words to heart -- as well as to see them in their historical perspective.

All of the exiles of the Jewish nation were alluded to in sefer Bereishis (see Yalkut Shimoni, Bereishis 15:12), including the present period in which Jews, together with the entire world, are suffering at the hands of Arabs, descendants of Yishmoel. In addition, the Midrash (Pirkei deRebbe Eliezer end of chapter 30, beginning of 32), written soon after the destruction of the Bais Hamikdash, speaks of an era of Arab domination which will lead to a great outcry of the Jewish Nation, then usher in the final redemption. This, explains the Midrash, is the source for the name Yishmoel, literally meaning "Hashem will hear," alluding to this outcry of the Jewish nation as a response to Arab cruelty.

The time is now. The intifada as well as 9/11 teach us that might and force are not the solution. Only when Jews cry out to Hashem and take active measures to improve, will Hashem hear. Let us all decide what area we will begin working on. If we can learn a few minutes more, now is the time to start. If we don't always daven with a minyan, now is the time to start. And so on in matters of chesed, shemiras Shabbos, brochos, taharas hamishpochoh. Every effort we make is adding to the true defense to the Jewish People.

"Troubles are brought to us by Hashem in order to help us improve and reach our potential as Torah Jews. If we don't cry out, rather view the events as mere coincidences and random happenings, we are being cruel, because we will cause Hashem to make things worse, G-d forbid." (Rambam Hilchos Ta'anios, 1,1-4)

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