Our Actions Have Consequences by Michael Winner/8/30/2013 With possible chemical attacks in the horizon, my wife and I did our inventory of gas masks and discussed the idea of making sure the kids are comfortable in them. We saw a video on the Homefront Command on how to unpack and put them on. However, two things really bothered me about it: 1) It told us that we are NOT to open up our kits unless needed and 2) Given our location to the launch sites, we have 30 seconds from the launch time (or detection time, I’m not clear on that) to unpack, put together, and put on all the masks for the entire family.That didn’t make me feel good.I’m also wondering how the mask will work with my beard?Oh well… I hope not to have to find out.Okay, on to Torah!“And all the nations will say, ‘Why did Hashem do this to this land?’” (Devarim 29:23)I saw an interesting quote from Rav Schach concerning this pasuk, which is extremely relevant to the current military and political situation in Israel.Moshe warned us that even the non-Jews, after seeing the destruction of Eretz Yisroel, are going to wonder how is it that the Jewish nation deserved such a level of destruction. The next pasuk answers such a question: “Because they abandoned the covenant of Hashem, G-d of their fathers that He made with them when He took them out of the land of Egypt”.No other nation in the world has ever enjoyed a covenant with G-d, Himself. History has proven the existence of this covenant over and over again. It’s bad enough when a person breaks his covenant with another person, but do so, with Hashem?In our world, when a person, as an individual sins, he is listening to his Yetzer Horah, and the result is between himself and Hashem. However, when a community as a whole, decides to work against Hashem, THAT is a break in the covenant.There is a man in charge of his country’s military assets only 60km from where I live (17 km, if you count Lebanon), who has shown the world that he has no problems using chemical weapons. He’s threatening to use these weapons on us if he himself is attacked by the United States (makes sense, no?). All this is coming on the heel of a major blow that this current government has given the Torah world in terms of budget cuts (up to 66% cuts, and yes… we’re certainly feeling it), forcing yeshivos of all stripes (Chareidi or Religious Zionists) to close, all in order that the government should gain control over them or to shut them down completely.Should we not be a bit worried when a country that calls itself the “Jewish homeland”, makes such an attack on Torah institutions? It’s easy to say, “Ah… nothing will come of it!” However, the Torah continues:“Perhaps there is among you a man or woman, or a family or tribe, whose hear turns away today from being with Hashem, our G-d, to go and serve the gods of those nations; perhaps there is among you a root growing. And it will be that when he hears the words of this oath, he will bless himself in his heart, saying, ‘I will have peace, though I go as my heart sees fit’ – there by adding the drunk with the thirsty” (Devarim 17-18)Do we not have what to worry about? When a person (and his party), who wears a kippah, openly declares war on Torah, abandons those who supported him, and sides with another anti-Jewish party… should this not be a sign that PERHAPS something is not good here?Continues Rav Schach: “This is why it is such a serious matter when Jews organize themselves into a secular political entity and declare secular law to be above that of the Torah. WHEN THIS HAPPENS WE MUST BE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES OF OUR INFIDELITY. As Torah Jews, we must recognize our responsibility to protect the entire nation from harm. Therefore, we must try to balance the scales on behalf of non-religious Jews, by learning more, increasing our awe of Heaven and improving our fulfillment of the commandments.”The safety of the citizens of Israel, does not rest in the hands of Washington or Jerusalem, nor the American or Israeli military: It rests in those who keep Torah and mitzvos.With Rosh HaShanah around the corner and an evil man in control of chemical weapons only 60 km away from major Jewish population centers, we should truly be fearful for our future and should use whatever time we have now to see to it that the future is a bright one.Have a wonderful and meaningful Shabbos!