BS”D Parashat Mikaitz – Chanuka 5777
Rabbi Nachman Kahana
A Letter to our Prime Minister
Honorable Prime Minister of Israel Mr. Binyamin Netanyahu:
The UN Security Council has voted that our presence in Shomron, Yehuda, the Golan, the Kotel and the Old City where I live, in short all of Eretz Yisrael beyond the 1967 “green line” is in violation of international law.
But that should not disturb us because the Torah was in violation of all the laws of international idolatry which were the accepted norms by the nations. Those nations have all vanished, except as exhibitions in our museums, while our Torah gains strength and momentum with every passing generation. So, too, will secular international law and the UN fade out of world history, as the Jewish nation grows and prospers within all the biblical boundaries – most of which we have yet to liberate.
In actuality, the vote is not the real story here. The more damning action of the Security Council occurred after the voting, when all the members stood and clapped at the results.
It is not accepted practice to clap at decisions of this august political body, so this exceptional and joyous response has a meaning of its own.
It is well known that you and your family study the TaNaCh veraciously, so it would come as no surprise that we can find a similarity of circumstances in the book of Shoftim (Judges, chapter 16) which relates the last heroic act of Shimshon (Samson):
(כה) ויהי כי טוב כטוב לבם ויאמרו קראו לשמשון וישחק לנו ויקראו לשמשון מבית האסירים האסורים ויצחק לפניהם ויעמידו אותו בין העמודים:
(כו) ויאמר שמשון אל הנער המחזיק בידו הניחה אותי והימשני והמשני את העמדים אשר הבית נכון עליהם ואשען עליהם:
(כז) והבית מלא האנשים והנשים ושמה כל סרני פלשתים ועל הגג כשלשת אלפים איש ואשה הראים בשחוק שמשון:
(כח) ויקרא שמשון אל ה’ ויאמר אדני ה’ זכרני נא וחזקני נא אך הפעם הזה האלהים ואנקמה נקם אחת משתי עיני מפלשתים:
(כט) וילפת שמשון את שני עמודי התוך אשר הבית נכון עליהם ויסמך עליהם אחד בימינו ואחד בשמאלו:
(ל) ויאמר שמשון תמות נפשי עם פלשתים ויט בכח ויפל הבית על הסרנים ועל כל העם אשר בו ויהיו המתים אשר המית במותו רבים מאשר המית בחייו:
“Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to celebrate, saying, “Our god has delivered Shimshon, our enemy, into our hands.”
When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying, “Our god has delivered our enemy into our hands, the one who laid waste our land and multiplied our slain.”
While they were in high spirits, they shouted, “Bring out Shimshon to entertain us.” So, they called Shimshon out of the prison, and he performed for them.
When they stood him between the pillars, Shimshon said to the servant who held his hand, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them.”
Now the temple was crowded with men and women. All the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof, were about three thousand men and women watching Shimshon perform. Then Shimshon prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” Then Shimshon reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, Shimshon said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus, he killed many more when he died than while he lived”.
Shimshon was in a weakened state; exposed before the thousands of Philistines who were clapping, jeering, mocking and scoffing at the weakened Jew. The Jew who was the object of their scorn. The Jew who could not defend himself at that moment.
But with his last breath, Shimshon pulled down the great pillars which held up the temple of avoda zara (idolatry); and all those present died.
The similarities between Shimshon and Medinat Yisrael in the Security Council meeting are real. Indeed, the Philistines in their “high spirits” and the clapping at the end of the vote at the Security Council disparaged, denigrated, belittled, trivialized, ridiculed and discredited the Jew and the Jewish State.
However, the similarities abruptly end here.
Shimshon was weakened, but HaShem granted him one last moment of super strength that enabled him to pull down the huge pillars holding up the temple.
Medinat Yisrael is a regional superpower with the men, machinery and arsenal to destroy any enemy within thousands of kilometers of our borders. Shimshon died on the day the temple collapsed. Medinat Yisrael has just begun to develop and will live on forever.
Notwithstanding these differences, there still is one more similarity that will become clear in the near future. As a consequence of the Philistines’ ridicule and clapping, the Temple to Dagon was destroyed. The Security Council’s ridicule and clapping will bring about the obliteration of the institution that has lost its ability to discern between right and wrong.
Mr. Prime Minister,
As a son of the tribe of Levi (third son of Ya’akov and Leah) you are endowed with leadership qualities as was Levi when he took the initiative to punish the city of Shechem for violating their sister Dina. The healthy and proud segments of our nation will stand by you in all your initiatives to protect our honor and our rights to HaShem’s promised land against all those who plan, scheme, plot or intend to erode or diminish our religious and historic rights to this land.
יהיה השם בעזרתך
Employing Evil to Produce Good
The Midrash (Bamidbar parashat Chukat chapter 19) describes a phenomenon that is solely in HaShem’s realm, where He orchestrates history by employing evil to produce good.
אברהם מתרח, חזקיה מאחז, יאשיה מאמון, מרדכי משמעי, ישראל מעובדי כוכבים, העולם הבא מעולם הזה מי עשה כן מי צוה כן מי גזר כן לא יחידו של עולם,
“Avraham born from Terach, King Chizkiyahu from Achaz, King Yoshiyahu from Amon, Mordechai from Shi’mie, the Jewish nation from idolators, the World to come from out of this world. Who is able to perform these things? Only HaShem Himself”.
- Moshe came from the palace of Paro, the enslaver, to free the Jewish nation.
- Queen Esther, from within the palace of evil, saved the Jewish people from the clutches of Acheshverosh and Haman.
- Moshe turned the bitter waters of Marah sweet by inserting a bitter branch into the water.
- King David was the great-grandson of Ruth who was a direct descendant of the evil Eglon, King of Moav (Moab).
- The descendants of Haman studied Torah in Bnei Brak.
- The descendants of Sisrah taught Torah to the children of Yerushalayim.
- And Shemaya and Avtalyon, descendants of Sancheriv the Assyrian, were the teachers of the great Hillel.
Medinat Yisrael is in the midst of being betrayed by those whom we believed to be our staunchest supporters in the western world. It is no secret that the Shi’ite Iranians vow to wipe Israel off the map of the world, and they unflinchingly and brazenly labor to create the means to do so. Our so-called “friends” and “allies” have turned their backs on the existential threats which the Medina is facing. Moreover, they are fomenting the hegemonic fantasies entertained by Arabs in Yehuda and Shomron and even by the Arab citizens of the State.
The future will show that the source of the evil itself will be the avenue for our salvation in a way that only our Father in Heaven can orchestrate.
Copyright © 5777/2016 Nachman Kahana