Removing The Wool from Our Eyes
(The ONLY Way to Accomplish Our Purpose is By Speaking the Truth!)
Rabbi Shimon Raichik
In this week’s parsha of Chayei Sarah we read about how Avraham Avinu bought Mahras HaMachpelah. On this Shabbos every year the city of Chevron welcomes thousands of visitors from all over the world. They come to show solidarity and as a result are saying that Mahras HaMachpelah is the undisputed acquisition of Avraham Avinu and the inheritance of the Jewish people along with the entire city of Chevron; the first capitol of David HaMelech.
The city of Chevron had a continuous Jewish community throughout the millennia up until the 1920’s. In 1929 there was a massacre carried out by the local Arab population. As a result the community was temporarily disbanded. Notwithstanding the history, for some reason the Israeli government has decided to give the city of our forefathers away to the grandchildren of the murderers that carried out that massacre. Why did they and how could they do such a terrible thing? Shouldn’t they have rather rebuild the Jewish community of Chevron with Mahras HaMachpelah at its center? There is no dispute that Mahras HaMachpelah is the possession of Avraham Avinu, the acquisition itself clearly written and recorded in the Torah. Also, why has the Israeli government given almost exclusive use of the tomb of Yizchok to the Arabs and disbar access to Jews who are his heirs? They aren’t even related to Yitzchok! Also, after all the terrorism and broken promises why does the Israeli government even consider the self destructive possibly of two states (living side by side in terror!)?
On Yom Tov we say in the Musaf prayer: “Mipnei chataeinu galinu m’artzeinu; Because of our sins we were exiled from our land”. This prayer is the same for every Jew whether he lives outside or inside Eretz Yisroel. The reason is because the galus isn’t just physical and only for those living outside of Eretz Yisroel but is also spiritual and relevant to everyone, even those living inside Eretz Yisroel.
The Jewish people have developed a style of appeasement and compromise throughout our long and bitter galus. We have paid exaggerated taxes, come up with exorbitant ransoms, and have been disbarred and exiled from living in many locations around the globe in ways too inhumane to mention. Unfortunately it is easy to see that our galus habits and styles are alive and well today in Eretz Yisroel. We continue with our appeasements and we still pay our ransoms, as if attached to a ball and chain (the ball and chain of galus) and are endangering lives and then passing it’s consequences on to our children and future generations.
Each one of us in our personal lives have similar challenges. We try to strike a balance between living a Jewish life and having a Chassidishe home while being successful in the outside world. We often seek compromises and appeasements as a way of keeping it all together.
Just like Avraham never changed the mind of Og the King of Bashan, so too we will never appease world opinion by giving in and we will never achieve peace through compromise, everyone knows it. So when will this madness stop??
The Rebbe was the only leader who foresaw where all the consequences of our decisions lead and was the only one to courageously speak out about them. The Rebbe clearly said that only by being outspoken in a straightforward and honest way about our beliefs and positions would we be successful in accomplishing the right outcome. Why was the Rebbe the only one to speak out? Where were all the other leaders? It’s because the Rebbe is the Nasi. The word Nasi is an acronym in hebrew for Nitzus Shel Yaakov Avinu, a spark of Yaakov Avinu. The Rebbe is like a ceder tree that Yaakov planted that can see beyond the horizon. He is tall like a date palm, as it says in Tehillim that the tzaddik is like a tall date palm tree. There are special neshamos that come down into every generation that are part of the geula. They see above and beyond the galus. Their goal is to stop the suffering of those that are effected by the galus and bring geula to the world. They are here to guide us.
Therefore, the Rebbe is telling us to remove the galus cataracts from our eyes and look at our situation from a geula perspective. We have a strong connection with Hashem that gets stronger every day as we learn more Torah, especially Chassidus the neshama of the Torah, and do more mitzvos. Through our strong, and only getting stronger connection to Hashem and to the Rebbe we have more than enough strength and courage to stand up and tell the world that Eretz Yisroel is ours, as it says in the Torah and we will settle the entire land, where we want and when we want.
So too in our daily lives, we never give up on ahavas Yisroel. With ahavas Yisroel and with Chassidus we can turn the tide in our homes, communities and with our youth. It does not come from making compromises and appeasements saying things like; what can I do, today we don’t live in the generation of the Alter Rebbe or in the shtetel. We need to remove the cataracts from our eyes and our galus perspective of weakness and though hiskashrus, our connection to Hashem and to the Rebbe transform the world with strength and with resolve. It's time to stop being politically correct and say the truth in Eretz Yisroel that Mahras HaMachpelah belongs to the Jews and not Yishmael. So too in our homes we need to speak without compromise, with warmth and ahavas Yisroel To be continued…
A Good Shabbos