BS”D Parashat Noach 5776
Rabbi Nachman Kahana
The book of Shmuel 2 (1,17-18) records that when David was informed of the death of King Shaul and his three sons Yehonatan, Avinadav and Malki’shuah, he lamented on the catastrophe that had befallen the nation of Israel.
ויקנן דוד את הקינה הזאת על שאול ועל יהונתן בנו:
ויאמר ללמד בני יהודה קשת הנה כתובה על ספר הישר:
And David lamented on Shaul and Yehonatan his son. And said: The sons of the tribe of Yehuda must now perfect the art of archery as is stated in the book of the righteous.
Meaning: Until now the monarchy was in the hands of Shaul from the tribe of Binyamin, whose great righteousness and military skill protected the nation. But now the king is dead and the monarchy will be transferred to the tribe of Yehuda. So it is imperative that the sons of the tribe of Yehuda and all the other tribes who will constitute the monarchy of the House of David excel in the art of war, just as Yehuda was blessed by Ya’akov prior to his death.
Suffering, Misery & Anguish
“Yisurim” is the Hebrew word for ongoing human suffering, misery and anguish.
There are yisurim which one brings upon himself as a result of bad choices in life, like choosing bad friends, marrying for the wrong reasons, taking the first puff or first drink, or believing that one will be forever young.
Then there are yisurim which Hashem brings upon a person for a variety of reasons: as a kapara (absolution) to offset the pleasure one received when performing a sin, or suffering for the sins of our forefathers in the desert which HaShem decreed would be divided among all Jews in every generation. And there are Yisurim shel ahava, when the righteous suffer in this world in order to increase their reward in the next. And additional types of yisurim.
But there is a common denominator among all yisurim. They indicate HaShem’s intention to subtly or not so subtly nudge us to change the course of our lives.
Teshuva, prayer and charity can defer the evil decree for a time; but they do not eradicate it. What can complete the kapara process are the above three after one has changed his direction, beliefs and actions which were unworthy of a son and daughter of HaShem’s chosen people.
In our parasha, HaShem eliminates the existing flora, fauna and human entities because they were beyond changing their evil ways, even when faced with calamitous yisurim.
Over the last 67 years, Medinat Yisrael has been surrounded by enemies of a sort rarely seen in the world. An enemy that values death more than life. An enemy that relates to all who are not of their kin as animals in hunting season, to be eradicated as one steps on an ant without a second thought.
HaShem is signaling our leaders to change the course of the Medina, as we know it today.
Change, yes! But change into what?
I believe that the changes which will occur in the Medina’s near future will not be initiated by rational conclusions of ministers seeking resolutions to problems; they will be the inevitable outcome in the face of the new realities in our lives.
Some of these changes will not be to our liking. But that is irrelevant, because there are many things in today’s reality which are not to our liking.
I see a militarization of our society caused by the necessity to cope with the violence and hatred of the Arab states, which are fueling the religious fanaticism of our internal Arab population, together with the ongoing messages of hatred being fed to them in the schools and mosques and in their media.
In the decision making process of the Medina, the positions of the military will have more influence than those of the civilian sector.
Military draft will be replaced with a law stipulating that upon attaining the age of 18 every Jewish male citizen will automatically be a soldier in the IDF, and will be called to serve according to the military’s needs. Refusal to fulfill the call to duty will be severely punished, including permanent expulsion from the country.
All Arab towns and neighborhoods will be under military government, with punishments ranging up to expulsion from the country.
All educational institutions will be under the authority of the IDF with great emphasis put on pre-military training and patriotism. The Tanach will be the basis of the new-old patriotism.
Many people will choose to leave the country rather than commit to a more Jewish way of life or to continue living under the shadow of Isis and other pseudo names for Islamic fascism.
Aliya will increase dramatically as it becomes impossible for Jews to live in Europe and other places. Arab towns will be expropriated for the purpose of housing the hundreds of thousands of new olim.
Israel has strived for 67 years to become Athens, but the time will come for us to become Sparta.
Our message to the world will be that we are not doing anything you would not do under similar circumstances in your countries.
Rambam (Hilchot Melachim) describes the assignments which will be entrusted to a man who will have to prove that he is the Mashiach.
He will be a military person or a rabbi who is knowledgeable in military strategy and tactics. He will be a charismatic individual who will return the Jews to the Torah, and eventually rebuild the Bet HaMikdash.
The Rambam is obviously describing a time when radical changes will occur in Eretz Yisrael.
And what will be with the world at large? What changes will humanity have to go through? What will be with the Jewish communities in the galut?
These are all huge issues open to speculation. But what interests me is the future of the Jewish people who have, with the help of HaShem, returned home, for in Eretz Yisrael the fate of our people will be decided, as well as the fate of all humanity.
Eretz Yisrael is the Ark of salvation when all others will lose hope.
Conclusion: This is the Jewish way. When King Shaul was killed in battle David militarized the entire nation. The reality of their lives was not the peace and serenity that they wanted, because their national agenda was determined by the evil nations surrounding Eretz Yisrael. As it is today.
As the Torah states in our parasha 8,21):
כי יצר לב האדם רע מנעריו
The impulses of man are evil from his youth
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