Messages for Today
by HaRav Dov Begon, Head of Machon Meir
“All wickedness shall be consumed like smoke.”
During these insane times when we see the forces of evil operating boldly to commit death and destruction — it would be appropriate to ponder the words of the illustrious mekubal [mystic] Rabbi Eliyahu Vidas in his book, “Reishit Chochmah”:
“‘G-d has made the one as well as the other’ (Ecclesiastes 7:14). Just as Uriel corresponds to the Divine Presence for the arousal of good in the world, so too is there a force called ‘biladen’ which is the face of a dog, and its whole interest is in arousing evil in the world. This dog is called ‘biladen,’ short for ‘beli adon’ — without a master.” (Sha’ar HaYirah, Ch. 8)
When the forces of good are aroused in the world, i.e., when Israel rises up for rebirth, opposing forces of evil and wickedness rise up as well like Bin Laden and his reincarnations today. These forces are likened to dogs, for dogs are insolent and impudent. Yet as was hinted at during the Exodus from Egypt, “Against any of the children of Israel not a dog shall move its tongue” (Exodus 11:7).
Today, we see explicitly those same evildoers, beasts in human form, whose whole purpose is death and destruction for their own sakes. They are like those animals which are filled with happiness and rejoicing when the blood pours out of their victims. Their whole goal is to dip their hands in their victims’ blood, and to dance in it.
The fate of those evildoers is known in advance, as King David said, “You will smash them like a potter’s vessel” (Psalm 2:9). The day is not far off when our prayer will be fulfilled that “the righteous shall see and be glad, the upright shall exult and the pious shall triumphantly rejoice… and all wickedness shall be wholly consumed like smoke, when you make the dominion of arrogance pass away from the earth” (High Holiday Shemoneh Esreh). May it be soon in our day, Amen!
Unity at the Roots
“If you do not drive out the land’s inhabitants before you, those who remain shall be barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides, causing you troubles in the land that you settle” (Numbers 33:55).
Ohr HaChaim explains with his divine insight, “‘They will cause you trouble in the land that you settle’ — Not only will they grasp at the part of the land that you have not yet taken, but the part that you have taken as well, and they will bother you, saying, ‘Get up and leave it.’”
Today, we see clearly how the words of the Ohr HaChaim are being fulfilled. Our enemies do not suffice with parts of Eretz Yisrael. Rather, they strive to take control over the whole thing and to declare that it is their state, G-d forbid. Moreover, they proclaim openly for all to hear that their goal is even to throw us out of our entire land. It will never happen!
In order to cancel their thoughts and yearnings, our nation must unite and become stronger spiritually and militarily. Just as Esther asked Mordechai, “Go and gather together all of the Jews” (Esther 4:16), and at that very moment began the fall of Wicked Haman, so, too, today. We must all unite together as one man with one heart against our enemies who rise up against us. Yet that unity must not be temporary. Rather, it must be true unity for all time. Such unity in the Jewish People will surely come, but only through our returning to our sources, by consensus, in the spirit of love and faith, without coercion.
The heads and leaders of the nation, from all the different streams, must arise and proclaim with a loud and clear voice: Come, let us return to our sources, to the tradition of Judaism, to Jewish culture and to our holy Torah which is compared to a tree of life: “It is a tree of life for those who take hold of it. Happy are those who hold it fast” (Proverbs 3:18).
And just as the roots of the tree are what unify the branches, so, too, by returning to the roots of the nation, we will unite and be united. By such means will the counsel of our enemies be nullified and we will continue to ascend the path towards complete redemption soon in our day, Amen.