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From the World of Rabbi Avraham Kook
“The best cure for political divisiveness is for the ruler to repent fully. This raises his stature and restores his foundation. The people then will cling to him affectionately once more, and the blessings of peace will penetrate Israel”

(Orot HaKodesh 4:495)

Rabbi Dov BegonRosh Yeshiva of Machon Meir

Message for Today:
“They Shall Make Me a Sanctuary, and I Will Dwell Among Them”

“They shall make Me a sanctuary, and I will dwell among them”. You must make the tabernacle and all its furnishings following the plan that I am showing you” (Exodus 25:8-9). Our sages derive from here that man is like a model of the structure of the tabernacle and its vessels. All parts of the tabernacle are hinted at in man:
“The essence of holiness and the sanctuary and G-d’s presence resting on us is man himself. If a person sanctifies himself properly by way of mitzvah fulfillment, then he, himself, literally becomes the sanctuary, and inside him is G-d. As it says, ‘G-d’s sanctuary! They are G-d’s sanctuary!’ (Jeremiah 7). Our sages had just this in mind when they said, “The deeds of the righteous are greater than G-d’s creation of Heaven and Earth… for regarding Creation it says, ‘My hand has laid the foundation of the earth. My right hand hath spread out the heavens’ (Isaiah 48:13). Yet regarding the deeds of the righteous it says, ‘Your hands found G-d’s sanctuary’ (Exodus 15). The righteous, by way of their deeds, desirable before G-d, themselves become G-d’s sanctuary. G-d’s entire purpose regarding the tabernacle and its vessels is only to hint to us for us to learn from it. Through our good deeds we can make ourselves like the tabernacle and its vessels. All our deeds should be holy, making us worthy for G-d literally to rest his Presence in our midst. This is the meaning of, ‘They shall make Me a sanctuary and I will dwell among them.’ We must make ourselves into a sanctuary.” (see Nefesh HaChaim, Sha’ar 1, Chapter 4).

Today, just as G-d chose the Jewish People to rest His Presence in their midst, and from there to shower the world with light and goodness, so did He choose Eretz Yisrael, Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and the Temple, itself, to cause his Presence to rest there, and through these, to illuminate the path of the entire world. As it says, “G-d chose Zion. He desired it as His abode” (Psalm 132:13)). Moreover, as Isaiah said (2:3), “For out of Zion shall go forth the Torah, and the word of G-d from Jerusalem.”
In the exile, when we were one people, scattered and dispersed amongst the nations and sunken in darkness, the righteous and saintly elite built themselves up like a tabernacle and a sanctuary, as Rav Chaim of Volozhin said in Nefesh HaChaim (see Sha’ar I, Chapter 4). Today, however, in the generation of national rebirth, the generation of the ingathering of the exiles, our ambition and our path must be not only for the spiritual elite, the saintly individuals to build themselves spiritually, but for the Third Temple to be built by the Jewish People, literally. This can occur if we all unite together, as one man with one heart, and increase groundless love, the opposite of the groundless hatred that brought about the destruction of the Second Temple.
The way to unite and to strengthen the nation is by a return to our unifying roots. Just as with a tree, the roots unite all the branches, so too the return to Torah, to tradition, with love and faith, will bring about the building of the Third Temple – soon in our day. Through us will be fulfilled, “A new light shall shine over Zion, and may we speedily merit its light.” (morning prayers).
Looking forward to complete salvation.
Shabbat Shalom

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Rabbi Shlomo AvinerChief Rabbi of Beit El

Secret Information From the Shabak

Following is information from the Shabak [Israel’s General Security Service, sort of like the FBI]. While numerous details are missing, and some of it has been summarized and edited, the general tenor is clear enough:
“Topic: We have received orders from above to prepare the next evacuation. There is still no date and no decision, but an option is being debated: the Gaza evacuation exacted an emotional and economic price, and took a toll of the army as well. Therefore, the program under debate is not an evacuation but the question of leaving the settlers in place, inside the Palestinian Authority, without Israeli sovereignty and without the protection of the I.D.F. According to the information we possess, on that day, the armed forces of the Hamas will carry out murderous terror attacks, and then the settlers will flee into Israel. An irrevocable condition for the plan to succeed is public support. Towards that end, the settlers have to be presented as weird, violent, quarrelsome people, disturbers of the peace, who through their own efforts have brought ruin on themselves. They wanted things to be this way, and they mustn’t be pitied. Therefore, at this stage we have been asked to weigh the possibility of planting provocateurs amongst the settlers in order for them to incite the youth and raise the level of verbal and physical violence.

“Survey. The settlers in Judea and Samaria have no support or admiration amongst the general population. During the Disengagement from Gaza, there was no public storm of protest. Business went on as usual. On the day of the Disengagement, itself, news coverage of the evacuation had low ratings. This population continues to be viewed as eccentric and extremist. The Amona evacuation contributed greatly to this. Likewise, those who go up to live in outposts are perceived as hotheads who all their lives look for ways to make trouble for the country. True, the extremist portion of the population is insignificant and doesn’t reach even one percent of the settlers, yet it is very vocal, and every aggressive pronouncement they make merits wide media coverage. In the meantime, there is no physical violence among them, but just constant verbal violence: They say: More evacuations will occur “over our dead bodies”. If they are evacuated, “there will be a war that will make Amona pale by comparison”. They say, “We will fight against the traitorous army”; etc., etc. Yet we have to suppose that many youths will advance from words to deeds and will commit acts against the security forces or even against the moderate leaders. As far as those leaders, no one listens to them, and they don’t get media coverage either. They also keep quiet lest their pronouncements against violent expressions weaken the struggle for Eretz Yisrael.

“Conclusion: At this point, there is no need for provocations. The extremist portion of the settler population is serving our interests. Our agents who are planted everywhere continue to reinforce and to encourage an ongoing stream of violent expressions.
“We shouldn’t prevent people from going up to the outposts. They stir things up without leaving any results, and they serve us. They are not understood by the broader public that reacts to them apathetically and disparagingly.”

I, however, cannot agree with this picture that presents the nation as if they don’t care. True, there is confusion, but all the same there is an enormous thirst to hear – to hear about the Torah, to hear about the people and the Land. And it is all one. Since the State’s establishment, the people have wondered what our country’s border is, and with that, what our people’s limits are. The people do not know the limits of their land, because they do not know their own essence and identity. They do not know their own nature.

When people fear, they become violent, but there is nothing to fear. Stop being afraid. Open your mouth and begin to talk. Begin to comfort the generation. Our master Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook, in his article “Nechamat Yisrael”, states that this is our greatest obligation: to comfort Israel and to explain to them what a great generation they are. We must speak with everyone. We must meet with everyone. We must learn Torah with everyone. That is the cure. Talk to everyone, the religious and the secular, rightwing and left, sick and healthy, young and old, immigrants from Ethiopia and immigrants from Russia, criminals and honest people, soldiers and policemen. Talk with everyone! Talk to your relatives and your neighbors, with hitchhikers and with people giving you rides, with your work colleagues and your army buddies. Talk! Don’t be humble. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be lazy. It’s easy. It just takes a bit of devotion.

Talk to everybody, and not just about Eretz Yisrael. Teach about everything, about the Torah and about the nation, about bread and about unemployment, about youth and about education, about crime and about drugs. Talk to the residents of Sderot and the Galilee, the residents of the Golan and the Negev, of Tel-Aviv and Haifa. Talk and teach.

A colonel in the reserves, a division commander and non-observant, said, “You National Religious Jews must not close yourselves off and appear like a separate sector. Rather, you should be nationalist and Zionistic for real. That’s how you should carry on your campaign in the long term. Even if some of what occurs seems unfair and wrong to you in the short haul, you must remain in the middle stream and not the fringes. You people have enthusiasm and Zionism… You see everything holistically. You go about conducting yourselves for the good of the public, and not just for their good here and now, but for the public good as part of a greater vision of the nation and its future. That is a precious trait, an astounding asset. You should broadcast faith, enthusiasm and optimism all on fronts, bringing the Torah to express itself in all spheres.”

Indeed, our nation is ready. Our nation thirsts. Our nation is waiting.

Rabbi Ya’akov Ariel

It is a Tree of Life…

“Make an ark of acacia wood…. Cover it with a layer of pure gold on the inside and outside” (Exodus 25:10-11).
From here our sages derive that Betzalel made three arks, one inside the other: an outer one and an inner one of gold, and a middle one of wood. Whoever saw it did not see the wooden one at all, but only the gold ones. Why was there a need for this wooden ark, hidden between layers of gold?
It is true that gold is a beautiful and precious substance, but it is an inanimate metal. Wood, by contrast, comes from a plant. It contains life. It grows, increases, produces flowers and fruit. The idea that the Torah wished to express by means of the ark is that its outer framework must be stable and unmoving – hence it was made of gold – but within it is hidden a living, blooming tree.
It is the same with our Torah. To the outside observer, the Torah is liable to appear to be a binding, unbending framework in which, so to speak, a person has no room for initiative, for original ideas, for self-actualization. That is not the case. To the person willing to take a deeper look, the Torah reveals itself to be a living, flourishing tree.
Tur (Orach Chaim 47) interprets the words of the Torah blessing, “He planted eternal life in our midst” as relating to the Oral Torah. By this he means that while the Written Torah is cast in fixed letters, such that nothing may be added to it or subtracted from it, the Oral Torah increases and multiplies, flourishes and grows. Life flows along, setting new dilemmas before a person every single moment. He must confront them and apply the principles of the Written Torah to the new situations that life sets before him. This application requires deep interpretation of Torah principles. Hence each time we must once more deepen our understanding of the Torah so that we can apply it in the most appropriate manner.

Translation: R. Blumberg

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