24 Av 5781 / Monday, August 02, 2021 | Torah Reading: Re'eh
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Shalom Arush with the News    

Shalom Arush with the News

We are obligated to remember the countless wonders that Hashem has done for us throughout the ages, whether deserved or not, and especially the miracle of Chanukah...


Translated by Rabbi Lazer Brody
“Shalom – this is Shalom Arush with the news: everything has been wonderful, everything is wonderful, and everything will be wonderful.”
If any other newscaster tries to tell you otherwise, don’t believe him.
We only have to step into a shop or someone's home, let alone your own home, to be invaded by the radio or TV "news."  Some people have a half dozen TVs in their home, with Fox and CNN gabbing from morning till night. It’s not the good inclination who is their chief news editor, so guess who’s brainwashing you all day long.
Here’s a rule of thumb: good news comes from the good inclination, because with emuna, we know that everything comes from Hashem and that it’s all for the best. What could be better news?
Bad news come from the evil inclination; he wants to convince you that things are bad. There is no greater heresy.
Did you ever make an inventory of what proportion of the news is positive? That scheming yetzer hara (evil inclination) hopes to inject you with so much anxiety and negativity, you'll land smack in the middle of a dark cloud of heaviness.
Putting a newspaper in your hand is like putting poison in your hand. TV is even worse. After a stressful workday, “Moshe” loves to sink back and relax in front of the TV with his wife and the kids. Donning his news reporter's cap, Mr. Yetzer Hara exclaims, "Hey Moshe, you want to feel happy? Forget it. Did you hear the news today?”
Now comes the evil inclination with his headlines: Another scandal of moral turpitude has rocked the Government; the UN has again condemned Israel; 25% of the population are below the poverty level while the rich elite are getting richer; Hamas and the Jihad now have Iranian missiles that can reach anywhere inside of Israel; don’t forget Hezbollah in the North; ISIS is on our southern border. The USA and North Korea are about to push red buttons. Another mass killing... The whole world is in turmoil and everyone is blaming us..."
So Moshe goes on with his diabolical daily news, with all the negativity prowling the airways of the world.  The yetzer hara has now firmly entrenched himself in Moshe’s mind by way of the TV and the news. “Moshe,” says the evil inclination, “If you don’t get blown up by our enemies, then you won’t be able to make a living. Throw in the towel. And you have dreams of being happy? Nobody’s happy! Forget it – life is hopeless."
The real war has just started. If the TV keeps playing, Moshe will be convinced and then he’ll fall into despair. Nothing destroys health and livelihood like despair. So if there were no real problems until now, look out! Soon, Moshe will really have reasons to worry and cry, thanks to the daily news. He should have been putting his energies into the daily daf (page of Gemara).
We all must tell the yetzer hara, "Get out of my life." Slap him right in the face!  If we don't kick him where it hurts – right in the center of the TV screen - the yetzer is going to land us right in the center of a dark cloud of heaviness, sadness, threats and worries, the inflation, wars, and personal disasters piled on. Pretty soon our limbs are going to feel like a heavy ton of lead we can't lift. The yetzer puts a ball and chain on our feet. Once we have got that dead weight feeling, we're in his prison. And then, G-d forbid, we're neutralized, plunged into dysfunctional mode by sadness, worry, and trepidation, unable to meet our daily challenges.
Let’s stand firm. We don't need to hear the self-fulfilling prophesy of the yetzer hara's doomsday address. His propaganda distorts reality. It comes over as truth, but in reality it's all a pack of lies.
Each time the yetzer appears, trying to knock us down with his twisting of the truth, we have an obligation to God and to ourselves to remember the countless mighty works Hashem has done for us throughout the ages, whether deserved or not. Hashem saved us from the Greeks with the miracle of Chanukah. Who could say we deserved it? Hashem took us out of slavery in Egypt. Who could say we deserved it? Hashem delivered us from Haman in Persia and is miraculously bringing Jews from all over the world back to Israel. Who could say we deserve it? That is Hashem's love and kindness.
Here’s another good news item. Even though Moshiach is not yet here, the light of Moshiach is already shining; the light of Moshiach is emuna. You are welcome to bask in it and spread it to others.
You see – there’s nothing but good news!

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