Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ais Melchama- A Time for War

There is a time for everything- a time to sow, and a time to reap. A time for sorrow and a time for rejoicing. There is a time for peace, and even a time for war.

We all would like war not to come to our fair land. We would prefer that our boys stay home, safe and well, that our innocent children not be bombed out of their homes and into shelters. But if Hashem sends war- there is a time for that as well.

All things are in G-d's hands- there is even a pasuk, "Lev Melachim B'Yad Hashem"- the hearts of kings are in the hands of Hashem. We can't control it sometimes- sometimes, the only thing we can do is daven, and pray for our people.

A long time ago (I can't believe we're about to finish Sefer Bereshis, but this week is Parshas Vayechi- there is a time to start and a time to finish as well.) we read Parshas Vayishlach.

There is a Medresh that states that there is a complaint against Yaakov that he didn’t have enough bitachon (trust) in Hashem, and he sent messengers to Aisav before Aisav even approached him. One would think that would be planning ahead, worrying about the future, and acting appropriately. Yet Yaakov is criticized for it.

The Aitz Yosef states that Yaakov should have had further bitachon in his heart. He shouldn’t have worried about Aisav and the threat that Aisav could bring. On Yaakov's level ,(and again, we are talking about Yaakov Avinu, patriarch of our people) he could have just ignored Aisav and continued on in his life, rather than preempting him.

This seems again, like a tough concept to absorb. How to know when to do something- when is extra efforts alright, and when should we relax. When should we try for peace, and when should we head for war.

The Ramban states one reason that we are now in Galus Edom (the Roman exile that the Jews are in from the time of the 2nd Temple until the coming of Mashiach). The Jews in the time of the 2nd Temple sent messengers to Rome trying to make peace.

This seems to be a similar way of handling things, with a similar problem. They might have been able to have further bitachon in Hashem- further trust in Hashem, rather than preempting themselves and the countries around them by running to Edom.

So how do we know when to choose peace and when to choose war? How do we know when to make peace and when to fight for our lives? How do we know when we have enough bitachon- trust in G-d?

I for sure can't answer that question. But it is interesting on how this plays out again and again in our history.

In Israel, sometimes there are two factions in politics: those that believe that we should do whatever other countries say, especially for peace- like giving away land, creating ceasefires, stopping to bomb even when bombs are hurling down on our children's heads.

And the other side says: "Kain anachnu yecholim!" (for all who don't recognize it- that's the Shas slogan) We believe in Hashem, we trust in Him, and we can do it- don’t need help from other parts of the globe. We don't need to listen to the PR, or to the countries that say we should just put up with the bombing, or stop the "occupation", or other such things.

Efshar L’Haamin- we can believe….
Build in ourselves- bitachon, have trust- rely on Hashem. Daven. Daven because Hashem has put us in a situation where there is a time of war. And as such- we have only one place to turn to- our Father in Heaven. Sometimes- we have to fight, and ignore the naysayers. And, the most important- realize it's all in Hashem's hands.

(Credit due to Mr. NMF as well- for the excellent take on politics and chumash.)
This should be a zechus for Eldad ben Rivka- the chayal who I'm davening/learning for.
To get a name, or submit a name- call 02-581-9111.

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