Shemini: Standing Alone Together

I'm hoping to have this resolved next week, but any replies should be sent to and not by pressing 'reply'.


Why do I feel that the situation keeps getting worse and worse?

Now, the anti-Netanyahu riots are back in full swing, just like they were a year ago, and before that, during Corona. 

What is so great is seeing all the self-contradictions from all sides.

A minority of the families have joined the anti-Bibi protests, politicizing their situation.  Another small group is remaining separate, but still demanding to make a deal "at all costs," somehow not realizing that Hamas sees this and will only raise "the costs," making it harder to get their loved ones out.  (Thankfully, around half of the families are refusing to join either group.)

Lapid is calling on all (read: Ultra-Orthodox) to "share the burden," while he "shared the burden" by serving valiantly in the dangerous IDF News Corps as a writer.

The group "Brothers In Arms" took a trip to Meah Shaarim to stir up trouble by demanding that everybody joins the army while, just a year ago, they were publicly refusing to do their army service, since they disagreed with the Judicial Overhaul bill.

Then you have the "Eitznikim," whose love of learning Torah is so great, that they have no problem not learning to sit in the middle of streets (and keep others from getting to their yeshivos) to protest even the concept of signing a paper acknowledging that you are learning Torah to push off conscription. (I AM happy to report, regarding the whole religious-draft issue, the religious world in general has continued to sit and learn and not "go rogue" and start all sorts of trouble.)

Then, you have the outside world having no problem quickly condemning Israel for the accidental killing of seven aid workers, as if their hands are clean of such things (didn't the US airdrop result in several deaths?).  And now, they are slowly coming around to reward the Palestinians with their own state, even though we all saw what they did when Gaza was handed over to them.

Last Shabbos, there was no real rest for many of us, as we spent most of the day listening to the air force above, with explosions from either their munitions or intercepts from Lebanon, with no idea, at the time, what was going on.

And as I write, leave has been cancelled for all combat soldiers, GPS scrambling has been reported throughout the country, and reservists in north have begun to be called up.

So, it seems that from the inside and outside, things seem to be going downhill, very quickly.


I'm starting to understand the fear Rabba and Ulla had about the times preceding Moshiach (Sanhedrin 98)

There was one thing I saw as I was starting to prepare for Pesach, which is in line with what we said regarding Purim a few weeks ago.

The Haggadah, quoting the Torah, says "And we cried out to Hashem, G-d of our fathers, and Hashem heard our voice."

It was at this point, Hashem "remembered" his promise to Avraham.  It was not our merits from Torah or mitzvos that came before Hashem, rather it was our crying out from the pain that the Egyptians were putting us through.

And here we are, the entire world has turned against us (and not just Israel, but Jews everywhere), and are setting us up for destruction.  The original dream of a State of Israel that would protect us, has failed miserably.  The politicians have failed us.  The generals have failed us.  Where do we go from here?

Clearly, the only answer is to cry out!  And before one can cry out, one has to understand, and more importantly feel, the dire situation that we are in. And how dire is this situation?

Well, it seems to me, that we're being set up for a situation which is more dangerous than the Holocaust.  During that period, there were places around the world that were safe for Jews to be, and escape to, if possible.  Unfortunately, Jewry in Europe suffered a tremendous blow, but "at least" there were other communities at that time that were growing and keeping Judaism alive.  But now?  Which country is safe for Jews?  We see what's going on in England, Canada, Australia, the United States, Europe, and even throughout Israel.  Jew hatred is becoming more acceptable.  Protests and arson against Jewish individuals, businesses, and shuls, is becoming more common.  Antisemitism is defined according to "context," the police admit that they cannot (or will not) provide protection to Jews, and more politicians are listening to their loud constituents and fearing upsetting the Muslim world, especially Iran.

So again … where's the safe ground to go to?  I believe that this is the first time in Jewish history, since Purim, that all of world Jewry is being put in the crosshairs.

A few weeks ago I went to Yerushaliyim for my yearly matza baking.  Somebody asked me how things are up north.  I thought, naturally, he was speaking about the situation, not realizing that this particular person keeps his head in the sand.  When I told him of the daily rocket attacks on the border, the 80,000 evacuees, etc,, etc., and then mentioned that things will probably get worse before it gets better, he very casually remarked, "I'm sure your Torah learning will protect you."  Which I really wanted to ask, "Like it did for so many in Europe?"

Yes, Torah protects. Yes, Eretz Yisroel is under special protection.  However, nobody is a prophet to know what will be and who will live and who will die.  And here we have somebody, who has no connection with what is going on, casually writing it off.

When a person closes his eyes and ears to what is going on around him, especially the pain and fears of his own nation, he will never be able to cry out, for himself or for others.

Yet, on the other hand, the one common thing I've seen and read is from soldiers returning from Gaza saying: don't read the news, because it often describes the opposite of what is really going on.  There, in the heat of battle, there is no religious vs. non-religious, Tel Aviv vs. Settlers … there it is one nation, each one looking out for the other.  In one interview I heard, the religious soldier joked that his friend, the secular soldier, was the most religious one of the squad, constantly arranging minyanim and calling rabbanim.

So, on one hand, we have problems, internal and external.  Yet, on the other hand, there is still this fundamental bond between each one of us, that certain political forces would love to see broken down.

Our situation, nonetheless, as a whole, seems to be getting more dire by the day.  And the only way, seemingly, to do something about it, is to feel the pain of those around you and to cry out for help from Above.

With that, I wish you all a quiet Shabbos.