12 Kislev 5781 / Saturday, November 28, 2020 | Torah Reading: Vayeitzei
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The Iron Elephant    

The Iron Elephant

Political activism is like using tons of explosives to try and penetrate a reinforced enemy bunker. But if you have a key, you can sneak right inside the front door…


A group of mighty seven-foot tall Watusi hunters were walking home to their village at the end of the day's hunt. They reached a narrow clearing, but there path was blocked by a big truck. The chief said to his ten fellow tribesman, "Come, let's push this iron elephant out of our way." They pushed and pushed, but the truck barely budged.

Suddenly, a European-looking man in a safari suit emerged from the jungle. He saw the Watusis trying to push his truck out of their way, and offered in perfect Watusi dialect, "Excuse me, gentleman; I'll be happy to move the truck out of your way. In fact, it will be my privilege to give you a lift back to your village."
The chief and his tribesman were flabbergasted. Not only did they refuse to believe that the frail-looking European could succeed in moving an iron elephant on his own, but to carry them back to their village, all eleven of them? He must be deranged, they thought.
The European produced a key chain from his pocket, and waved it before the chief's nose. "With the aid of this modest key, I shall move the truck and carry you home!"
"Labumba!" said the Watusis to each other, spinning their forefingers around their foreheads, indicating that the stranger was a fool.
The European unlocked the door to the truck, climbed aboard, put the key in the ignition, turned the switch, stepped on the gas, and VARROOOOOMM! Scared out of their wits from the roar of the 425-horsepower Detroit engine, the Watusis scattered in eleven different directions, mostly up. Now, watching from the treetops, they saw the iron elephant cruise merrily away, with no one even pushing...
To this day, the Watusi chief is still scratching his head: "How could a little key move an iron elephant, when eleven mighty Watusis could not?"
* * *
Hashem gave me the above amusing parable in the middle of one of my personal prayer sessions. Pondering the moral of the story, it has a lot to do with current events.
Most of us aren't much smarter than the Watusis. We think that we can accomplish something only by physical means. Oftentimes we push for something and knock our brains out, yet we achieve minor results, that is, if we don't do damage to ourselves first. It takes tons of explosives to penetrate a reinforced enemy bunker, but if you have a key, you can peacefully walk right in the front door. Oh yes, we all have a general belief that there's a G-d in heaven who runs the show, but few of us really believe in the power of prayer - that Hashem really listens to us. Otherwise, we'd be putting a lot more effort into sincere prayer and spirituality.
The “disengagement” from Gush Katif proved just how much political activism and demonstrations are an utter waste of time and energy. From a spiritual standpoint, they’re as ridiculous as the Watusis and the “iron elephant” that won’t budge.
Prayer is the tiny little ignition key that can move the iron elephant where the mighty hunters could not.
Elements from without and within seem to be threatening continued Jewish presence in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem. But, directing anger and frustration at the President of the United States or at the Prime Minister of Israel is just as silly as the Watusis trying to move the iron elephant.
Here’s the good news: prayer overrides the heads of state, that is, if we believe in our own tremendous power. The more we believe that Hashem listens to our prayers, the more Divine sympathy we stimulate. The entire decree against Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria is none other than a Heavenly ploy to stimulate our sincere prayers. Remember, when the wicked Haman decreed to destroy the Jewish people, Mordechai and Esther didn't waste their time blocking camel caravans in protest. They prayed, and the rest is history.
King David could look foreign kings in the face with no fear, as he said in Psalm 119, “I shall speak of Your testimonies before kings, and I won’t be ashamed.” King David was the master of prayer. His mastery was passed down through the generations to his descendant, our beloved Rebbe Nachman of Breslev, may his holy memory intercede on our behalf, amen. Rebbe Nachman is the Master of Prayer, and we – as his followers - carry the torch of prayer and live by its light.
The Master of Prayer can look the President of the United States in the face and say, “With all due respect, sir, you neither run the world nor decide the borders of Israel. Hashem does both. We wish you all the very best…”
As soon as we realize that Hashem runs the world, we save so much time and energy and suddenly become at peace with everyone. We can save our homeland by increasing our prayers and strengthening our emuna. Now, just relax and have a great day!
(We invite you to visit Rabbi Lazer Brody’s award-winning daily web journal, “Lazer Beams”)

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  Good to remember
Karen7/23/2009 8:07:24 PM

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