Rabbi Max Sutton, Rosh Bet Din Aram Soba – Jerusalem, Israel
In the recent history of our nation, we have not experienced such demoralizing pain and brutality as in the onset of this war. The atrocities and tragic events of the first few days are unfathomable and will live in the memory our people forever. The incessant anguish is unbearable as we are subject to the lowest element of barbaric inhumane behavior.
Aside from our physical annihilation, our enemy’s intent is to create fear, panic, and despair within our nation. A bullet was viciously targeted and shot at every single Jewish person worldwide.
Although it is imperative that we follow the updates and status of this war, we cannot be consumed with strictly gathering information. It is currently not enough just to inquire and feel for our people. It is time to take responsible action.
Although after the uplifting High Holiday season we are all inclined to return to our everyday personal life, this year is evidently destined to be different. Hashem is instructing us that there is much more that needs to be accomplished, much more that needs to be achieved.
Yaakov our forefather blessed each of his twelve children before his passing with a blessing that complemented their specific strengths and talents. Every Jew has a specific mission, every Jew is presently required to contribute his or her strength to the war effort.
We are all soldiers. We have all been called up to defend our country and our people. While not all of us can represent our people on the front line, we can each contribute. While some of our soldiers are drafted into combat units, others can serve behind the lines providing food and provisions to the battlefront. All fields of profession need to selflessly dedicate their energies to the war effort with the same intensity as those on the battlefield. Those overseas can financially contribute, while others can use their political relationships to influence. But every Jew, regardless of his title, position, or location, is required to fervently pray and intensify his study of Torah on behalf of our people. We are all soldiers. We have all been drafted to defend our country. It is our responsibility to identify the division in which we can be most useful during this difficult time.
Our sages teach us that at times, Hashem will allow evil forces to inflict pain and suffering on our people. We, indeed, have a very turbulent history. As Jews, we know that all our inflictions, dating back as far as our bondage in Egypt, are for a greater purpose. History has proven that after our suffering comes salvation. Our sages teach us that the greater the pain inflicted, the greater the revelation of Hashem’s kingdom will be at the time He ultimately delivers our salvation. Our upcoming salvation from this war will be of great measure and vital to the continuation of the eternal existence of the Jewish people.
Hashem has already devised a plan to ultimately deliver a resounding salvation from this difficult time. I believe each of us must ask ourselves if we are prepared for the upcoming salvation. Did we exhaust our strengths and talents for the sake of Israel? Are we all praying, studying, and contributing spiritually to Hashem’s master plan? This could be the time of our final redemption. Are we prepared to accept Mashiah? Are we spiritually ready?
חזק ונתחזק בעד עמינו ובעד ערי אלוקינו (שמואל ב-י)
Be strong, and let us strengthen ourselves on behalf of our people and on behalf of the cities of Hashem… (Shemuel 2-10).