Ready for Battle
By Shimon Raichik
Coming from the days of Yud Beis and Yud Gimmel Tammuz with the difficult situation in Eretz Yisroel today reminds me of the many times the Rebbe spoke about Eretz Yisroel and how he responded differently to each issue. Whether it was the cease fire by the Suez Canal or the Camp David accords or various concessions that lead to a weakening of security which have brought us to where we are today; we look back through the Sichos and see how clearly the Rebbe could see all the way to the end and spoke on behalf of our collective welfare.
This week I was going through the JEM video “My Encounter” where Yitzchok Rabin was speaking about his visit with the Rebbe in 1972 while he was serving as Israel’s Ambassador to Washington. Rabin had been asked by President Shazar to bring the Rebbe birthday wishes on behalf of Israel. The Rebbe asked Rabin what it was like to be representing a nation that is all alone. He replied that that it wasn’t comfortable. The Rebbe then encouraged him to realize that it’s a good thing and it’s our power. We are alone because we are connected to Hashem with our emunah, and this sets us apart. The Rebbe was explaining to him that the pasuk; Am l’vadad yishkon, A nation that dwells alone, is a blessing and what keeps the Jewish nation alive. He also told him that the problems we face from the nations around us actually strengthen the Am l’vadad yishkon, our connection to Hashem.
Later, when Rabin came to sign the Oslo I Accord with Clinton and Arafat in September 1993 on the White House lawn he said; we are no longer a nation that dwells alone; it seems he did not grasp the Rebbe’s message. The Rebbe was expressing the positive, yet the government was running after the accords. The Rebbe told the government that they are receiving help from above that is causing the Arabs to not believe us and not accept our offers, and yet we continue to run after them. He didn’t realize the how far the Rebbe’s vision reaches, all the way to the end, to where we find ourselves today.
When Menachem Begin came to the US to sign the Camp David Accord the Rebbe said that it is asur al pi halacha to sign the accord. He based his statement on Shulchan Aruch Hilchos Shabbos 328, that states that even if your neighbors come to your borders just about transactions about straw and stubble you are allowed to go out even on Shabbos and make a preventive strike. Others, even Rabbonim were saying that we’ve finally reached peace. The Rebbe was saying that right now you have the Sinai which serves as a buffer zone, and because of it’s strategic importance must be annexed, not to mention it’s precious oil resources. The Rebbe screamed that it’s against the Torah, and no one, even the Rabbonim agreed. It’s recorded, no one can claim otherwise.
The Previous Rebbe mentioned that Yud Beis and Yud Gimmel Tammuz is a time for “Chizuk HaTorah and hafrbatzas haYahadus bkol makom, to strengthen the Torah and spread Judaism in every place”. It is understood that spreading Judaism in every place is connected with Yud Beis Tammuz because the imprisonment stopped the Rebbe from spreading Judaism and we celebrate the liberation by redoubling the efforts to spread Judaism. But why is strengthening the Torah mentioned before spreading Judaism? It’s already implied in spreading Judaism; learning the Torah is part of Judaism. The reason its mentioned first is because Torah teaches us what it means to be a Jew. It guides us and teaches us how to act in every situation and what needs to be accomplished. The Rebbe did not compromise. How lucky we are; ahsreinu mah tov chelkeinu! We aren’t affected by politics, we don’t bend to get funding for our Yeshivos or stop firing for temporary quiet.
What does all of this teach to each one of us in our daily lives? We need to realize that we too live under a spiritual seize from our environment. We may not realize it. The yetzer hara tells that we are too weak to demand that we maintain standards and positions about chinuch and minhagim that have been the norm until now, especially after Gimmel Tammuz. Should we compromise? No we shouldn’t, instead we should strengthen in the Torah. We should review and study more in both quantity and quality until it is clear, resolved and alive within us to uphold all of our ‘positions’ with even greater hidur than before! If we do not strengthen ourselves in the Torah and hold clear ‘borders’ than we will suffer from ‘missile attacks’ in the form of a barrage of strange thoughts from the yetzer hara which will only confuse us further and cause us to make even greater concessions. If we have fallen into this situation, we now need to realize that we have been bribed with things to make us satisfied with the status quo and we need to reverse course.
It is Hashem that protects Israel, and we are best protected when we are an; ‘Am lvadad yishkon’. The days of Yud Beis and Yud Gimmel Tammuz the days of the liberation of the Previous Rebbe, the Nasi Hador from imprisonment gives every Jew the power to redeem themselves from the exile and to break the shackles of the yetzer hara and free the neshama to serve Hashem. This is a geula protis, a personal redemption. Let us pray that the Israeli government will allow the army to do its job and complete its mission. If we continue on the path of compromise and continue to give away land and allow Hamas to get away with it’s aggression and have any presence at all in Gaza, then no one is safe. It’s one halacha in Shulchan Aruch, the Rebbe told us, he saw all the way to the end, it’s recorded. Ashreinu Mah Tov Chelkeinu. May we be victorious with the greatest battle of all, the battle to end the galus, and receive geula klalais the countenance of Moshiach now! A good Shabbos