We are living in a time of seeming uncertainty: Intolerance and outright hatred being shown right here in America. A militant Islamic government has promised revenge for U.S. military action, with Israel as one of the targets. And, in general, there’s an underlying feeling we’re in unknown territory.
We are coming out of Asarah B’Teves, the day the Babylonian army encircled the walls of Yerushalayim. Interestingly, it’s symbolic of future hatred shown the Jewish people; the encirclement of outsiders forces a reality of the Jewish people as one nation.
Although created by a negative force, we need to use this opportunity to enhance our ahavas Yisrael towards our families, our neighbors, shul members, and non-shul members. Each of us is an irreplaceable part of the Jewish people. Indeed, we’re taught that if even one person was missing at the giving of the Torah, we wouldn’t have received it!
Practically, we each need to support each other, creating strong communities. A kind word, help finding a job, supporting community institutions, being vigilant, or even carrying a weapon… We need less I and more we. Wouldn’t it be grand if we genuinely respected and loved each other? Replacing the natural instinct of finding fault in those different than us with appreciation for each community, and each member of each community?
Our history shows us that when we are in something together, Hashem grants us success in a miraculous way, if needed. Think of what a parent would give to have their children get along! That’s only a hint of how Hashem feels about us.
It’s been a good few decades our leaders have told us we can finally hear the footsteps of Mashiach. Let us use this newfound energy of collectivism to be ready when he arrives. May the next Jewish fast day already be “…joy, celebration, and holidays for the house of Judah, and they will love truth and peace.” (Zechariah 8:19)
Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos,