13 Cheshvan 5782 / Tuesday, October 19, 2021 | Torah Reading: Vayeira
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We are shocked by the anti-Semitism raging in the world, by the tragedies and stories of suffering. The explanation for it all is the real shock – a MUST READ!


In my last article Do the Math, I explained the simple, yet very powerful, math of the power of praying for ahavat Yisrael, for love and unity within the Jewish people and the world. It speaks for itself. Now, I want to go one step deeper into understanding the very great need for these daily prayers for ahavat Yisrael. 


On the one side, every single day I hear shocking stories of the baseless hatred, the evil speech, the fighting and the controversies happening with the Jewish people on every level, including within the religious Jewish sector. 


And on the other side, I see individuals who are numb to the shocking and terrifying reality around them. They are drowning in their own worries and issues, busy with their own schedules with “no time” to pray for the Jewish people. They fail to recognize that “those problems” are really their problems.  


They see themselves drowning in problems and search for a solution, without realizing that it’s because we’re all on the same sinking boat… and no one individual alone, working only for himself, can bail himself out successfully. 


Their brows furrow in worry over the great escalation in acts of anti-Semitism, wondering how to stem the tide – or more like the tsunami – that is washing over the world, leaving Jews even in large communities like Los Angeles afraid to even walk home from synagogue without an escort. Or as one religious Jew in London said, “It’s impossible to get on public transportation without getting harassed at least once a day.”  


What is the root of this terrifying hatred that has reared its ugly head once again? Sinat chinambaseless hatred. G-d is trying to wake us up!  


If the Jewish people hate each other for no good reason – then the non-Jews will hate the Jewish people for no good reason! And until we fix that baseless hatred with baseless love – and nothing accomplishes that like praying for the Jewish people to all have ahavat Yisrael and realize that this is the most important thing – anti-Semitism will never change or improve. And if anti-Semitism is skyrocketing – know that it’s because sinat chinam is skyrocketing!  


Don’t brush it off – let yourself be shocked by it. 


 As I have said many times in the past when people complain to me about all the suffering in the Jewish people: Rule #1 from The Garden of Emuna – THERE IS NO SUFFERING WITHOUT SIN. Don’t tell me that there is suffering in the Jewish people; tell me that there are sins in the Jewish people!  


What sins exactly? SINAT CHINAM! Arguments and fighting! Hatred! Evil speech, gossip and slander!  


There are lots of opportunities to repent for sins against Hashem, and He is very easy to placate with some desire and prayer. But sins against other people?  


Most of the time, the biggest suffering is coming to a person specifically because they sinned in a serious manner against other people! Because repentance is difficult and prayer is not enough – they must appease the other person and most people are not appeased so easily like G-d is! Many times, they might not even realize that they need to repent, so they certainly never will… and special times like Yom Kippur don’t repent for these sins either! The situation is very, VERY serious. 


What Can Little Me Do? 

Don’t say – what can little me do against this tsunami of hatred? 


I’ve already shown you the math, what a big impact little me can make with even a single line of prayer, let alone half an hour every day. 


More than that, simple emuna tells us that each of us must do our work without worrying about anyone else’s. Just like water dripping on a rock will eventually wear it away, never underestimate the great impact of daily spiritual work, however small. All the more so when this “little bit” is quite gigantic indeed, as I’ve already explained! 


Finally, never stop being shocked by what is happening around you.  


Instead, you must say to yourself, “How can I sit back and watch as righteous sages are slandered? How can I not suffer seeing sinners trying to uproot Judaism? How can I turn a blind eye to the youngsters wandering the streets late at night? Can I ignore the abuse and the drugs, the illicit activities and the suicides? Can I make peace with the terrible immodesty of the Jewish women – even and especially Chareidi women - and the brutality they are subject to?” 


How can I NOT scream to Hashem?! How can I NOT be shocked? How can I possibly suffer to watch it all and not at least try to stop it?! 


We must all be like Queen Esther who said, “How can I stand to watch such evil happen to my people?” 


How can I say “My hands did not shed this blood” if I am not praying to Hashem to have mercy on the Jewish people and help them fix the root cause of sinat chanim which is causing all this suffering? 




We’re counting on you!

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