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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 Begon – Rosh Yeshiva of Machon Meir

Message for Today:

Adar- Darkness will be Turned to Light

Wicked Haman thought “to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day” (Esther 3:13). He even set a precise date: “the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is Adar” (Ibid.). He took pains to sign Achashverosh on the royal decree and to publicize it everywhere. Then he and the king sat down to drink, “but the city of Shushan was perplexed” (3:15).
Indeed, the Jews were worried and perplexed and could find no way to nullify the decrees of Haman and the king. As we all know, however, Haman’s plans were nullified. To the contrary, Haman was hanged on a tree and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad (8:15), and “The Jews had light and gladness, and joy and honor” (8:16).
Today, history is replete with plans to destroy the Jews – it will never be. The plans of our German arch-enemy – may his name be blotted out – did not succeed either. True, he murdered six million holy Jewish martyrs, but despite his intentions, the Jewish People rose to rebirth, the State of Israel was established and our nation stands with more erect bearing.
Our Arab enemies, as well, had plans to destroy the State of Israel, and they still do. They tried to actualize those plans in the War of Independence, the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War. Yet we saw clearly how G-d turned the tables on them and we soundly defeated them.
When they despaired of being victorious in battle, they opened a “peace attack.” Their goal was now precisely the same, only their methods changed. They are just “the same lady in a different mantle.” The goal of that Arab “peace attack,” with the backing and encouragement of that same Europe where Anti-Semitism is raging even today, is to weaken and diminish the State of Israel and to create divisiveness in Israeli society, thereby bringing our country to a state of collapse – it will never be. Quite the contrary, we shall emerge strengthened even from the psychological war of the peace attack being waged against us by our Arab enemies, the Europeans and the others who are encouraging them. As Scripture states, “Why are the nations in an uproar? Why do the peoples mutter in vain? The kings of the earth stand up; the rulers join ranks against the L-rd and against His anointed” (Psalm 2:1-2).
The result will be G-d’s “smashing them with a rod of iron and dashing them to pieces like a potter’s vessel” (Ibid., verse 9).
Looking forward to complete salvation,
Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner– Chief Rabbi of Bet El
We’ve Come From Far Off to Fight
We’ve come from far off, from all the exiles, from all the countries, from all the destructions, from all the suffering.
We’ve come to our army, and we shall love it, for it is ours. We left home, we left a wife, parents, children, friends. Yet in our hearts is a flame that cannot be snuffed out. We’re not afraid of anything, from hunger, or from the enemy. We’ll all go home, proud and happy that we defended our people; that we defended our land. We know what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.
Our enemies are sworn to annihilate us all, but thanks to our soldiers they fail miserably. How truly fortunate we are! The main thing is that we should remain united. Then we won’t fear our enemies. And if they attack us, we’ll show them what for! Our enemies are sworn to liquidate us, but they don’t know our strength. Now they are mortified, humiliated, and in flight. Cowards!
The battle command has gone forth! We don’t like wars! We don’t like battles! Yet when our enemies aim their weapons at us, we’ve got to go into battle, and we’ve got to win. Tremble before us, despicable enemies! Soon you shall pay the price of blood and tears! For we shall fight on behalf of our living brethren, and on behalf of those who have fallen.
Whoever falls so that his people live on – is alive! We shall avenge your blood and liquidate your murderers.
When we bring peace and freedom to our nation, you will be with us.
When a brother falls and disappears into the shadows, another brother rises up in his place out of the shadows. Some people remain at home, sleeping in their beds, but we go into battle, for your sakes, for our own sakes.
Fallen brethren! We offer you a hand, in the name of our people and our country. We are proud thanks to you. Our hearts get excited when we remember you. We direct our steps according to yours. We claim victory by virtue of your efforts.
We don’t demand much, just life. Not the enemies’ artillery, not the terrorists’ bullets. Just life.
And when we return home after our enemies fall, after our murderers are smitten, we’ll come back tired and scarred, but better, gentler, kinder, more serious, more faithful, and more loving.


Rabbi Zeev Karov

G-d’s first command regarding the Tabernacle’s erection was for the construction of an ark in which the Torah scroll would be placed. Within that command there were several elements indicating that ark’s uniqueness: (1) There was a prohibition against removing the poles from the rings attached to the Ark. (2) With all other commands associated with the Tabernacle, G-d commanded, “You shall make,” whereas with the Ark’s construction He commanded, “THEY shall make.” (3) The dimensions of all the other Tabernacle vessels consisted of whole numbers. Only with the Ark do we find fractions, for the Ark’s length and width was “two and a half meters” (Exodus 25:10).
Our sages focused on the Ark’s being commanded first, saying, “Just as the Torah preceded all else, so did the Ark’s construction precede that of all the other vessels.” The statement that the Torah preceded all else expresses the Torah’s supremacy. The Torah has a supreme aspect as though it has no connection to man. Thus, when Moses ascended to Heaven to receive the Torah, the angels asked, “What place has this being born of a woman amongst us?” Through this question, the sages wished to teach us that from a certain standpoint, the Torah does not belong to those born of women. The question that thus arises is this: Is a connection between G-d’s supreme Torah and mortal man possible?
Indeed one has to realize that man cannot grasp the very essence of the Torah itself. We can only grasp the Torah’s “mantel.” Just as it is impossible to stare directly at the burning sun without special sunglasses, so is it impossible to absorb the Torah without special garb and special tools. Therefore the Torah commands us not to grasp a Torah scroll when it has no covering.
Very often one must distance oneself from something in order to gain a perspective on it. Sometimes time must pass after an event in order for us to be able to understand it. Occasionally we must distance ourselves from an enormous source of light in order to benefit from it.
If someone does not know his own limitations and he tries to grasp things beyond his comprehension, he will reap failure. We are able to absorb the light emanating from the Torah, yet we must first distance ourselves in order to be able to draw near to it. This is the meaning of G-d’s utterance, “I will come to you in a thick cloud” (Exodus 19:9). G-d reveals Himself to us only through a thick cloud in order to enable us to absorb the great divine light.
On the other hand, whoever distances himself from the Torah and says that he cannot draw near to it is in error.
“Why regarding all the other vessels does it say, ‘You [Moses] shall make,’ but regarding the Ark it says “They shall make’? Rabbi Yehuda ben Rabbi Shalom responded: G-d said, ‘Let all of Israel come and occupy themselves with the Ark, so that they can all merit Torah learning.’”
G-d “brought the Torah down” to us. As our sages say, “The Torah employed human parlance.” Yet a person has to realize that there is much much more to the Torah than one can understand. The Torah possesses two dimensions – the revealed and the concealed. The demand not to remove the poles from the rings serves to teach us to approach the Torah out of humility and a recognition that we are unable to grasp the Torah itself, but only the light emanating from it. This likewise explains the demand that we build the Ark with dimensions not consisting of whole numbers. It reminds us that we lack “completeness” for understanding the Torah.
In our day, people talk a lot about man’s ability, wisdom and creative vigor, yet they forget about the trait of humility. This stubborn insistence on ignoring human limitations leads to darkness in our lives. When we lose our sense of proportions, life becomes distorted.
Recognizing our weaknesses does not constitute testimony that we are nothing. Rather, it only signifies that we know our place and long to be connected to a perfection that does not exist within us.
The fashioning of the Tabernacle and Ark serve to teach us that we are not alone in the world. We need not confront reality with human resources alone. Here is how Abarbanel explains the command to erect a Tabernacle:
“G-d’s intent regarding fashioning the Tabernacle and its vessels was that we mustn’t think G-d has abandoned the world… We mustn’t say that G-d’s heavenly throne is far removed from man. In order to remove this false idea from Israel’s hearts, G-d commanded them to make a Tabernacle for Him as though He was going to live in their midst. This facilitates their believing that a living G-d lives amongst them and closely watches over them.”
This is good news for man. Man can benefit from G-d’s closeness and from the light of absolute truth which helps him to overcome his human limitations. We certainly are not unfortunate in being obligated by G-d’s command, and we do not go too far in belittling ourselves either. We recognize our own worth and we strive to perfect ourselves and to ascend spiritually by attaching ourselves to the Source of Life.

Translation: R. Blumberg

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