BS”D Parashat Terumah Rosh Chodesh Adar 5772

We find in our holy sources a much quoted principle:

One may acquire his place in the next world through one dramatic act (of kiddush HaShem, sanctification of the Holy Name).

And its reverse:

One can lose his place in the next world through one dramatic act (of chillul HaShem (desecration of the Holy Name).

The following is an incident in the life of one man who had in his hands the opportunity to acquire a huge portion in the world to come with one single act, but faltered at the last leap of faith.

I was informed by e-mail of a prominent rav in the galut of America who called his congregation to a “non-scheduled” mid-week meeting to discuss the silence of American orthodox Jews in the face of a potential war with Iran.

I was told that the rabbi is a good man, frum and dedicated to his calling. But after reading his message, I believe, that he and many other religious leaders there have, unfortunately, “missed the boat”.

The rabbi’s words are in color, my comments are in black.

The good rabbi said:

“Why are we quiet? Where is the awakening? Why is everyone so apathetic?… Everyone is busy with narishkeiten (foolishness), we don’t hear the alarm? We don’t know that we have to pierce the heavens for rachamim (pity) from the Ribbono Shel Olam (Master of the universe)?”

“Everyone knows that there is currently a growing danger from Iran – and it is a great error for whoever does not know this. “Why should a Yid (a Jew) not know what is happening to [other] Yidden? Everyone must know what is happening in regard to other Yidden. Everyone must know what is happening in Eretz Yisrael.”

Indeed, we must pray to HaShem. But I don’t take seriously the idea that the tefilos (prayers) coming out of 13th Avenue in Boro Park, or President Street in Crown Heights or even Forest Ave. in Lakewood N.J. have an iota of influence in the Shamayim (heavens) on the fate of the holy Jews in Yerushalayim and Eretz Yisrael.

The person who sent me the speech added that the rabbi, “began talking this past Shabbos about the dangers from the Iran crisis, when he stopped and said that it was not a subject to discuss on Shabbos. He said he would continue the topic during the week.

That postponement certainly contributed to emphasizing before the congregation the “clear and present danger” to Am Yisrael.

The letter writer continued, “The last time he (the rabbi) called for a special asifah (gathering) during the week to discuss current events was in 1991, prior to the Gulf War. Rav… started his address, which was carried live by Kol Halashon, with the famous Rambam, who writes that it is a mitzvah to daven during troubled times. “If you don’t daven,” the Rambam says, “then it is a cruelty, since it will get worse.”

I am happy to learn that from 1991 until the present there was peace and serenity in the Holy Land, with no major issues, in the rabbi’s view, to bring before the community consciousness.

“The leader in Iran says clearly – he repeated it this week – that he wants to kill, Rachmana litzlan (God forbid), every Yid in the world, just like Haman… If he will be successful, chas v’shalom (God forbid), in getting the nuclear bomb – and experts say he will have it by the summer – it will be a great danger for Klal Yisrael.”

“A good part of the world’s Jews live in Israel, and the government there says that they will attack Iran first, before they could get the nuclear bomb. If that happens, everyone knows that that will cause a world war.” The rabbi quoted Harav Yosef Rosenblum, Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivah Shaarei Yosher who said, “… that during this eis tzarah (dangerous times), Hashem is judging us on every klal and on every prat (every principle and every detail)”.

The rabbi continues:

“We don’t have to be in a panic… Hashem will perform miracles for us. But efsher takeh (indeed). Maybe the time for the Geulah (redemption) has arrived. We must prepare for the Geulah. Hashem has performed great miracles for the Yidden. Eretz Yisrael, which today hosts most of the world’s Yidden and most of the Torah world, merited supernatural siyatta diShmaya (Godly help) during its wars. When the Palestinians shoot missiles from Gaza, they land mostly in empty areas and cause little damage. When then-Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein shot 39 Scud missiles during the Gulf War, only one Yid was killed – that man had previously received a klalah (curse) from the Chazon Ish.

I can’t verify that the man who was killed was cursed by the Chazon Ish; I believe that he was born after the Chazon Ish passed away. But the rabbi is correct that it was a time of great miracles for the the holy Jews in Eretz Yisrael. I know. I, my wife, children and grandchildren lived through it, as we have done with all the wars here in the past 50 years.

The rabbi continues:

“This a hashgachah niflaah (wonderous care) that is reserved only for Yidden who learn Torah, who keep the mitzvos and who will ultimately do teshuvah,”

Correct. HaShem blessed the Yidden who “learn Torah, who keep the mitzvos,” etc., so much so, that the nearest missile to the yeshivos in the USA was 10,000 kilometers away.

The rabbi said, “Hashem wants to do nissim for us. Israel is surrounded by 300 million Arabs and WE are still there; that means Hashem wants to do yeshuos (salvation). We must prepare for yeshuos.”

“Israel is surrounded by 300 million Arabs and WE are still there”. Interesting that the rabbi is capable of being in two places at one time.

But just like Eliyahu had to daven on Har Hacarmel even though Hashem had already promised to bring rain, Hashem still wants the tefillos of Klal Yisrael today, even though He had promised to bring yeshuos. In order to qualify for these miracles, the Rav… said, “We must strengthen in Torah, tefillah and chessed. He specifically suggested saying Tehillim 46 every day, adding that he is asking his own kehillah to have the kapitel (chapter) printed out and stuck to the back of every siddur. During the Suez campaign in 1956, the Belzer Rebbe asked that people say that particular kapitel, since it is a segulah to prevent warfare.

I wonder. In the year leading up to the military miracle of the Megila, when the Jews had to defend themselves on the 13th and 14th of Adar, did they just say Tehillim 46 or did they also train for warfare?

“Everyone has to be mispallel (pray) that Klal Yisrael should be saved from chevlei Moshiach, that he and his family should be saved”.

Here lies the great divide. I also pray for my family. But my family includes not only our son who is a senior officer in Tzahal and our grandchildren who are soldiers. It also includes Shimon, the son of a good friend who is in a tank battalion, and Yankele, the grandson of another friend who pilots an F-15, and all the other holy soldiers defending our Jewish homeland in the air, on the land, on the sea and below.

The rabbi continued, “Yidden should keep in mind that we live in momentous times, and we should prepare for the upcoming era with emunah and bitachon (belief and trust). In the next couple of weeks there will be news,” Rav… said, “and with the help of Hashem, it will be good news for Yidden”.

In these tumultuous times of danger to world Jewry, can any erudite and sincere Torah person believe that HaShem will bring about huge miracles in order to permit the Jewish communities in the galos to continue in their ignorant bliss? The miracles will be directed to bringing the confused people of the galos back to Eretz Yisrael.

As the prophet Yecheskel states (36:22-24):

“Therefore say to the House of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone.

I will sanctify my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I sanctify through you before their eyes.

For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.

Now, had the rabbi concluded his address by stating, “Our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisrael are facing enormous dangers on the scale of a modern day Purim. Therefore, dear students and congregants, I and my family are leaving this week to join the Yidden in Eretz Yisrael. As Moshe Rabbeinu when he said to the tribes of Reuven and Gad (Bamidbar 32:6)

Will your brothers come out to war while you remain here?

Had the good rabbi taken that leap of faith, he and his family would have been among the heroes of our people whom our rabbis qualified as:

One may acquire his place in the next world through one dramatic act (of kiddush HaShem, sanctification of the Holy Name).

With the advent of the month of Adar we increase the joy in our lives

May we merit to see the destruction of our enemies, who are also the enemies of people of good will the world over.

And just as the miracles at the time of Mordechai and Esther paved the way for the Second Bet Hamikdash, so too may the present events in our lives result in the building of the Bet Hamikdash on the Temple Mount, the restoration of the Davidic Monarchy, the reconvening of the Sanhedrin, the return of all Jews to Eretz Yisrael and the possession of all Eretz Yisrael according to the Biblical boundaries.

Shabbat Shalom ve’Chodesh Tov ve’Samaiach

Nachman Kahana

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