Rabbi's Corner

For Israel

A Message From The Rabbi Re: Israel

Dear Friend, 

I hope you are having an enjoyable and rejuvenating summer. The Chabad at Beekman-Sutton office phone has been ringing off the hook and wherever I go, I'm asked by concerned neighbors  "Rabbi, what can I do to help our sisters and brothers in Israel?". Indeed, we find ourselves hooked to the news. We've seen the images of children stuck in bomb shelters or at home because all summer camps in Southern Israel are closed, brave soldiers of the Israel Defense Force being called up to the front lines and the terrible give and take of the artillery of war.    

The Torah is very clear about what a Jewish military is obligated to do when threatened in Israel or elsewhere; Devarim 22:26 "Habah l'hargecha hashkem l'hargo" -- "If someone is coming to kill you, rise against him and kill him first." (This also happens to be common sense). The Code of Jewish Law, Orach Chaim 329:6 says "When enemies threaten a Jewish border city, even if they are only coming – ostensibly – to take straw and stubble, the populace should take up arms – even in desecration of the Sabbath – to defend itself". Bottom line, military considerations must come before political, so that the army can achieve full victory thus avoiding further pain and suffering on both sides. 

As Yom Kippur is to the Jewish year, so Israel is to the Jewish space. Every Jew regardless of age or religious observance, now and always, holds the deed and title to the sacred space of the land of Israel, as the expressed wishes of Hashem in his Torah, first noted in the covenant made with our forefather Abraham. The classic commentator Rashi begins his commentary on the Torah with these words: 

"Bereishit-In the beginning: .. “The strength of His works He related to His people, to give them the inheritance of the nations” (Ps. 111:6). For if the nations of the world should say to Israel, “You are robbers, for you conquered by force the lands of the seven nations [of Canaan],” they will reply, "The entire earth belongs to the Holy One, blessed be He; He created it (this we learn from the story of the Creation) and gave it to whomever He deemed proper. When He wished, He gave it to them, and when He wished, He took it away from them and gave it to the Jewish People..." 

Now, what can you and I do? 

Before the Six Day War in '67, the Rebbe quoted the Talmud that the wearing of Tefillin causes our enemies to fear, and therefore encouraged all bar-mitzvah boys and men to put on Tefillin with the intention that it create a spiritual domino effect. In addition, "Neros Shabbos Kodesh" -Candlelighting (NeSHeK) by girls and women before Shabbat, creates spiritual light and protective spiritual armor. 

So: Men, lay Tefillin*! Women, light Shabbat Candles (Today NYC 8:10PM) and let us stand ready to see continued miracles with the protection of Hashem, our "Iron Dome". May He bless the brave soldiers of the IDF, protect our homeland, and bring peace, speedily. 

Shabbat Shalom, 

Rabbi Shmuel A. Metzger





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