11 Cheshvan 5781 / Thursday, October 29, 2020 | Torah Reading: Lech Lecha
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A Separate Peace    

A Separate Peace

As long as anyone demands we sell our Land, our Holy Temple, our Torah, or our soul, we don’t need anything from them. Peace with Hashem is all we ever need...


A Separate Peace 

I love programming.  


It’s a thrill to labor intensely on something that will only happen if you get it absolutely 100% right. Even though there are a variety of ways to program something, unless it meets the standards of the language perfectly, it won’t work.  


Case in point: For whatever reason, I decided to put a Sonnet by Shakespeare in place of some code. The moment I hit run – a tsunami of red flew across my screen: 

Line 1 – syntax error.  

Line 2 – syntax error.  

Line 3 – syntax error. 

Error 981a –computer language for “What the heck were you thinking?” 


It teaches an amazing lesson.  


Food for Thought 

A religious family invites nonobservant cousins for Rosh Hashanah dinner. The cousins want to show their gratitude so as a surprise, they bake dessert. Everyone enjoys a festive family meal. Right as the hosts are serving parve ice cream and fruit, the cousins surprise them with a chocolate cake.  


Are the hosts right to remove the cake or should they respect their cousins sincere desire to help? 


Of course, they have to be as grateful as possible. They also have to find a way to balance their empathy and kindness with what they must do next: 


Remove the cake from the table 


Doing what feels right is like putting Shakespeare inside a computer program. It ignores the proper syntax of what G-d requires of us.  


There comes a point where what feels right pushes up against what is right and at that point there is only one option.  



Did We Forget Thee O Jerusalem? 

The great example is the recent peace deal with the United Arab Emirates.  


Hailed as the first “peace for peace” deal with an Arab nation, we still agreed to give up annexing the Land that Hashem gives to us, as stated clearly in almost every line of the Book of Devarim, the Book of the Torah we are reading right now.  


One of the pillars of this deal are the tourist opportunities for Arabs to visit Al-Aqsa. Somehow building in East Israel (the West Bank) has stopped with no plans to resume. One can only wonder what was “agreed to” as part of this contract.  


Would the King of Saudi Arabia replace the Kaaba Stone for a Crucifix in return for $1 trillion from the Pope?  


Would the Pope replace Saint Peter's Basilica with a big Buddhist Monastery for $1 trillion? 


Did we just institutionalize the Temple Mount as an Islamic Cultural Center for a round of venture capital? 



A State of Faith 

The Book of Deuteronomy says, Man does not live on bread alone (Devarim 8:3). Hashem feeds us. Every time we eat, we recite a blessing recognizing that the only reason why we have something to put into our mouths is G-d.  


If we don’t get rescued by investment money from Abu Dhabi, Hashem will send us something else. If we make repentance, He can send something a lot sooner. In Deuteronomy, Hashem also tells us that if we follow His mitzvot, we will lend to many nations, and not borrow.  


Selling out the Temple Mount for money is selling Hashem out for money.  


GDP has nothing to do with gross domestic product. It means G-d’s Daily Provision.  


The Arab world must understand that any peace treaty is fleeting. It will be broken – by us. We will continue to pray for the rebuilding of our Temple and when Ben David comes, Al-Aqsa will be obliterated. All of the Land will be part of the Jewish Kingdom and we could care less what you, the Palestinians, Europeans, or CNN feels about it.  


What Hashem decrees to happen now, mankind cannot postpone. What He decrees to happen later, man can’t hasten.  


As long as anyone demands we sell our Land, our Holy Temple, our Torah, or our soul, we don’t need anything from them. Peace with Hashem is all we will ever need – even if the nations are against us.  


* * * 

David Ben Horin lives in Israel with his wife and children. 


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