Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

24 Cheshvan 5764 - November 19, 2003 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Opinion & Comment
"The Jewish People Cannot Be Broken" -- Why Not?

by Mordecai Plaut

"Our enemies have yet to understand that the Jewish people cannot be broken," Prime Minister Sharon said in speaking to American philanthropists gathered in Jerusalem for their annual convention (the United Jewish Communities (UJC) General Assembly). "Can't be broken and will never be broken."

This statement is true, but unfortunately, many of those who consider themselves our friends -- like the prime minister himself -- while they accept the fact, do not understand it either. Until they do understand why this is so, until they know what the true source of the strength of the Jewish people is and why (as the prime minister said) "despite repeated attempts to eradicate the Jewish people from the face of the earth" we are still here, they will be unable to convince anyone else, including especially our enemies, that this is so.

The reason that the Jewish people cannot be broken is not because of any intellectual or moral powers, or physical strength. It is a lie to boast that "we have succeeded at realizing the dream of reestablishing an independent and democratic Jewish state," as the Prime Minister did in that same speech. Our success is not due to our own power or might, but to the fact that Hashem is behind us. We will not be broken because He has guaranteed that we will not.

We are the heirs of Avrohom, Yitzchok and Yaakov -- and not just to their physical property, namely Eretz Yisroel, but primarily to their spiritual property, namely the Torah and our relationship with the Ribono Shel Olom.

We will not be broken, but we can be badly bent. Insiders whom we shrink from calling enemies can nonetheless do us serious damage, trying to mangle us until we look no different from any other nation of the world. They try to suppress our uniqueness, the very things that have sustained us throughout the long golus.

As long as we appear to be just another nation, we will appear to be vulnerable to the same things to which any other nation is vulnerable. As long as we are made to appear a "normal" people, with a "normal" country, a "normal" army, a "normal" government, a "normal" economy, our enemies will make the "normal" assumptions that with a little more blood, with a little more self-sacrifice on their part, with a little more pressure, they can break us just like any "normal" people can be broken.

Every "normal" people even makes arrogant claims about its power and resolve, but who believes them?

If we wish to convince our enemies that we will not be broken in the future (and every military commander knows that convincing an enemy of this is an important step in forcing a reasonable political solution), it is critical the we be firmly rooted in our past. We must act and look like the Jewish people that in fact survived the worst attempts of our various enemies. No other way will work, and this way will work like a charm. We must all understand, acknowledge and live our truth, and then we can convince others.

If it is evident to all the peoples of the world that "the Name of Hashem is upon us, then they will be in awe of us" (Devorim 28:10). If we, "follow My laws and keep My commandments, . . . I will send peace to the land" (Vayikra 26:3-6).

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