15 Iyar 5779 / Monday, May 20, 2019 | Torah Reading: Bechukotai
 
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Separated, or One    

Separated, or One



The illumination and influence of each festival in Judaism recurs each year and influences the events of our lives. This is testimony to the eternal truth of Torah…

 



The illumination and influence of each festival in Judaism recurs each year and influences the events of our lives. This is testimony to the eternal truth of Torah, which is not some mere history book or collection of laws that our people received thousands of years ago. The Torah and all its holy writings are as vibrant, fresh and relevant as they ever were.

 

Purim, the Megilla of Esther and our current events are an amazing example. Without a knowledge of Purim and the Megilla, a person cannot possibly understand what's happening to the Jewish People in the Land of Israel today.

 

Let's take a look:

 

"And Haman said to king Ahasuerus: 'There is a certain people, scattered and separated among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom; and their laws are diverse from those of every people; and they fail to keep the king's laws; therefore, it's not worth it for the king to leave them alone'" (Esther 3:8).

 

Our sages teach us that Haman, inasmuch as he is the direct descendent of Amalek, is the primordial snake. According to Kabbalah, when Haman speaks, it is the voice of the sitra achra, the "other side," the accusing angel Satan who is the archenemy of Israel.

 

We also learn from our sages that King Achashverosh, or any reference to "the king" in the Megilla of Esther, is a reference to Hashem, the King of kings. "Esther" in Hebrew comes from the root word for "concealment", hester, so that we don't see Hashem's name mentioned overtly even a single time in the entire Megilla.

 

With the two above principles in mind, that King Achashverosh alludes to Hashem and that Haman alludes to the Satan, let's go back and look at the afore-cited passage from the Megilla:

 

"And Haman said to king Ahasuerus: 'There is a certain people, scattered and separated among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom; and their laws are diverse from those of every people; and they fail to keep the king's laws; therefore, it's not worth it for the king to leave them alone.'"

 

Certain people – the Hebrew word echad can mean one or it can mean certain; the Megilla calls the Jewish People am echad. Haman, the Satan, is using this very term as a claim to indict the Jews. As the angel of prosecution, he is saying: "Hashem, You are One and Your Name is One. You created the Jewish People so that they should emulate You and be one as well. But they're not. They hate each other as I am about to elaborate…" As such, he Satan calls them a "certain" people and not "one" people.

 

Scattered and separated - Haman the Satan continues: The Jews are "scattered and separated." Our sages teach that "scattered" shows our status of diaspora, that we are still dispersed among the nations because we have not yet merited the Geula, the full redemption of our people. On the other hand, "separated" shows that we are separated spiritually and emotionally from each other. Haman the Satan claims that the Jews not only lack unity as Hashem commands them, but they're the exact opposite of unity, splintered, quarreling and always at each other's throats.

 

They fail to keep the king's laws – here, the arch-prosecutor Haman/Satan opens up a dossier thicker than the metropolitan New York City phonebook. It lists dozens of the King's (Hashem's) vitally important laws such as "Love your neighbor as yourself" and "You shall not slander". Law after law is followed by millions of criminal acts that this "certain people" does every single day that prevent them from being "one people" as the King Hashem desires.

 

At this point, you're thinking what a vivid imagination Lazer Brody has. Wrong. This scenario is happening right now, this moment and this very second.

 

Israeli elections have been called for Tuesday, April 9, 2019, only weeks away from the time this article is first appearing. Elections bring out the worst of the Jewish People in the Land of Israel; no wonder the Satan has engineered that the campaign is coinciding with Purim and Passover, the best time in the year for the Jewish People.

 

Scattered and separated – maybe one would expect that the secular parties are in disarray and utter lack of unity, but that the Torah-loyal parties are not. Wishful thinking! Torah ideologists attempted to create a merger between the Sefardi-Haredi party Shas and the Ashkenazi-Haredi party UTJ (Aguda, "United Torah Judaism"). It was a pipedream. How can there be unity between the Sefardi Haredim and the Ashkenazi Haredim when each group is splintered from within? It would require several additional articles just to identify the splinters and explain who they are. In brief though, each of the Lithuanian and Chassidic partners who make up UTJ are also fractured and the feeling is that if you don't have someone from your private interest group in power, then you're disenfranchised.

 

If the Haredim are splintered, don't even ask about the religious Zionists. At the time of this writing, those who don a woven kipa (symbol of religious Zionists) have split into Jewish Home, National Union, Otzma, and New Right.

 

The Satan hasn't finished delivering his argument yet:

 

They fail to keep the king's laws – not only are they failing in keeping the commandments between man and fellow man, says the Satan, but they – both secular Israeli right and left – are trampling the Torah and its laws in the Land of Israel. They both sanction public displays of abomination. They both want to empty out the houses of study and send the Torah learners to a coed army. They both want to legalize public transportation and opening of businesses on Shabbat. And they're both splintered into smithereens, even more than the religious and ultra-religious.

 

Right now, this very moment, the Satan is arguing his case before Hashem and saying, "So You see, Hashem, it's not worth it for the King to leave them alone. Have Iran and Hezbolla rain missiles on them. Let Gaza go crazy and fire away too! Bring on the war, bring on conflict!"

 

I hate elections and I hate intramural hate.

 

Know one thing, cherished brother and sister. I know that this article isn't the happy-ever-after Fantasy Land that you want to hear, but it's true. Every time you harm a fellow Jew or even say something detrimental against him/her, you give power to the Haman/Satan's prosecution argument. That's not we either want of need.

 

We need unity, right now. The elections don't mean a thing because Hashem will decide anyway, no matter who is in power.

 

Let's be one people, not a separated people, right now. Happy Adar and happy Purim!





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