Vayigash: Israel Under Fire

“Now it is not you who sent me here, but G-d. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, director of his entire government, and dictator of all Egypt” (Bereishis 45:8)

When Yosef finally reveals himself to his brothers and realizes that they feel guilty and repentant over selling him, Yosef assures them that all is right. "It wasn't you who brought me down to Egypt", he says, "It was Hashem".

This past week, Israel began an operation in the Gaza Strip to finally help relieve those living in southern Israel from the constant rocket attacks fired by Hamas "activists".

It's interesting that this occurs shortly before elections while Kadima's (the majority party) polls are low and slowly starting to pick up. It's also interesting to note, that if you took out the "G-d factor", you can see that it was Kadima that put Israel in this position in the first place, when they kicked out thousands of Jews from their homes in order for Hamas to set up their own state. Yet the Israeli population seems to still like them.

However, we are Jews and our lives are governed by the "G-d factor".

It's very easy to sit down and play armchair general or politician and say "so and so caused it" or "this is how we can win the war", etc, etc...

The fact of the matter is this: we don't know anything. The military and the political hotheads don’t control the situation and whatever we think they should or should not do, doesn’t make a difference.

Hashem runs the world.

Don't forget that.

However, we can help the writing of the script. If we think we're in charge, Hashem will prove us wrong. If we acknowledge that Hashem controls things and victory is dependent only on Him, then He will help us.

This is not a time to follow politics; it’s a time to daven and do tshuvah. The southern border has erupted in fire, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Beer Sheva and others have all been and continue to be hit with rockets and missiles on a daily basis. Hezbollah is threatening to open a front up north, and while the West Bank is relatively quiet, it could be a matter of time, before that erupts.

Nobody knows if this is a “small scale” operation, or something that will continue to grow out of control. However, we do know that the life of every Israeli soldier and civilian is at risk. This is when we must constantly remind ourselves that G-d is in charge. If He wants us to be victorious with no causalities, He can make it happen. If He wants us to suffer, G-d forbid, He can make it happen. Waving flags and going to protests won’t change a thing. Davening and tshuvah will.

The halacha is that a person should do tshuvah before doing saying Kiddush Shabbos night. If not, he is testifying falsely, an aveirah (sin) according to the Torah. Why is this? Because Kiddush is testifying that Hashem created the world and continues to run the world. How can a person, sullied in sin, testify that Hashem constantly runs the world? If he truly believed that, he wouldn’t be sullied in sin! Therefore, we make tshuvah before saying Kiddush and remind ourselves that Hashem is running the show so we will have a ‘clean slate’ and are able to testify properly.

Let’s try to testify properly this Shabbos and keep that mentality throughout the week. If not in our zchus (merit), at least in the zchus of those under fire.

With that, I wish you all a great Shabbos!