BS”D Parashat Chukat 5774
Ferocious & Mighty Jewish Army
The parasha relates the introduction of the nascent Jewish nation to their gentile neighbors on their way to establishing the first Jewish state in Eretz Yisrael.
The order of introduction was: The nation called Edom who were descendants of the evil Esav, followed by King Sichon of Emori and King Og of the northern region of Bashan (today’s Golan Heights) – both from the lineage of Cham son of Noah.
All three kings refused to allow the Jews to pass through their lands on their way to the Promised Land. In each instant, Moshe’s reaction was quite unexpected. When Edom refused and even met the Jews at the border with an army, Moshe complied and took a wide berth around the lands of Edom.
However, when Sichon refused to let us pass, we went to war and destroyed all the Emorites. This was repeated when Og and his army and his entire nation were decimated, with all their property and cities falling to the Jewish nation.
What was behind the Jewish tactic of retreating before Edom but standing firm before Sichon and Og?
While yet in the desert, the victorious Jewish army had achieved a reputation for ferocity and might. However, despite the obvious merits of being a super-power, HaShem knew that this would rebound negatively in our history. It was HaShem’s will to put the Jewish army into service in destroying evil peoples who could in the future endanger the Jews in Eretz Yisrael. To this end, HaShem commanded Moshe to show cowardice before Edom in order to lead Sichon and Og into assuming that we were weak and then going to war. This would give the Jewish army the opportunity and moral sanction to destroy them.
The tactic succeeded. However, Edom – as the bait – escaped, albeit only temporarily as the prophet Ovadia states (1,21)
וְעָל֤וּ מֹֽושִׁעִים֙ בְּהַ֣ר צִיֹּ֔ון לִשְׁפֹּ֖ט אֶת־הַ֣ר עֵשָׂ֑ו וְהָיְתָ֥ה לַֽיהוָ֖ה הַמְּלוּכָֽה
Deliverers will ascend from Mount Zion to judge (govern)the mountains of Esav. And the kingdom will be HaShem’s.
The establishment of Medinat Yisrael, as everything else initiated by HaShem, has multiple purposes.
1. The Medina marks the end of the exile period when HaShem seemingly concealed Himself from His people.
2. It beckons to, and welcomes with open arms, all Jews who wish to come home.
3. The Medina is the foremost therapeutic agent for the Jewish nation in our recovery from the debilitating diseases we acquired while residing among the gentile nations of Esav and Yishmael.
4. It is the world’s unmatched Torah center for providing halachic solutions in a dynamic, turbulent, changing technical world.
5. It is preparing the Jewish nation for the re-establishment of the Sanhedrin and rebuilding of the Bet HaMikdash.
6. However, the most dramatic role of the Medina and Tzahal is our function as HaShem’s prime mover in destroying the evil peoples and beliefs preventing humanity from recognizing the centrality of HaShem in the world.
Even as I write these sentences, the evil of Yishmael is spreading its poison. The kidnapping of our three boys and not making contact is just one more proof of their sadism.
What the Shi’ites are doing to the Sunnis and vice versa – in places such as Syria, Iraq and Yemen – is a small example of what they would do to those who are not Moslems.
We once believed that the Germans had reached the lowest point in human behavior. However, there is no recorded incident of a German or any of their allies committing suicide to kill a Jew. The Moslems who seek the status of “shahid” do not think twice when entering a gathering of people and blowing themselves up for the sole purpose of killing and maiming innocent people.
Torah Judaism brings out the best in people. Islamic doctrine brings out the worst in them. When the Arab population reaches about 10% of any society unfortunate enough to have them in their midst, the general population begins to suffer from their suicidal, maniacal and destructive tendencies. Moslems are the personification of Amalek in our times.
It is not surprising to read in Succah 52b that Yishmael is one of the four entities that HaShem regrets having brought into the world. The other three are galut, yetzer hara and Kasdim (Babylon). HaShem regrets, but seems to have had no other choice in order for the world to play itself out according to His plan until the year 6000.
The Middle East is a Festering Sore
One need not be a prophet or be endowed with the wisdom of King Solomon to understand where the world is going – except if you happen to be the U.S. President or its Secretary of State.
The Middle East is a festering sore, which when punctured will release the Islamic social-religious pus to contaminate the West and Africa and indeed much of humanity.
The unbridled bloodletting in Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan – and soon to spill over into Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Iran and wherever there are a significant number of Moslems – will vindicate all the positions taken by the State of Israel. And just as Tzahal saved the world by destroying the nuclear reactor of Saddam Hussein of Iraq, the free world will look again to Am Yisrael to save it.
Medinat Yisrael with its only six million Jews might appear to some irrational Arab leaders to be an easy prey. They thought so in the 1948 War of Independence and in the 1967 Six Day war, and fell into the trap that HaShem had set for Sichon and Og. It will happen once again but never more, because after the next time Yishmael will cease to exist.
This might appear to be an impossible scenario, but it will happen and will draw the world’s attention to HaShem’s chosen nation and the miracles He performs for us daily.
I cannot repeat this often enough. As humanity is quickly deteriorating morally to a point of no return, the safest place on the planet will be Eretz Hakodesh.
The Jews of France and Ukraine have learned this lesson the hard way. Clever Jewish people will see it coming and act appropriately.
Eretz Yisrael is beckoning its children to return before it is too late. And that could be sooner than we expect.
Copyright © 5774/2014 Nachman Kahana