web analytics
October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



The Strong Into The Hands Of The Weak?

Front-Page-122311

When I first arrived at the University of Michigan, a certain history professor was as-signed as my adviser. He was a religious Catholic from the Midwest. Looking over my tran-script, he exclaimed, “Oh, the Ethical Culture Society. That’s for Jews who are too embarrassed even to be Reform!”

Bullseye! And this from a Midwestern Catholic! How did he know all about us? The truth is, everyone knows about us. Jews are the most interesting people in the world.

I attended Ethical Culture from nursery through high school, as did my mother, her brothers and my siblings. The school was ninety-five percent Jewish, and one hundred percent of those Jews were running away from Hashem and His Torah. To this day (I recently attended a reunion), my classmates are completely divorced from any relationship with their holy ancestors and the Torah that has sustained us since the days of Avraham Avinu.

In this spider’s web I met the girl who was to become my wife. We were miraculously able to extricate ourselves from this quicksand into which so many of our brethren had been sucked. Drowning in meaninglessness, we knew we had to find reality, but we had no idea where to turn. Hashem heard our inner screams and rescued us.

And you think Jewish history goes by logic?

Have we not all had experiences that prove our lives are not controlled by nature, but rather by the Creator of nature?

Do the strong overpower the weak or is it the other way around?

Think about your week. What is the highlight? What gives it meaning? What gives your life meaning? On which day do angels visit your house?

The answer, of course, is Shabbos.

One day overpowers six days. No one needs to prove this; we all know it.

And you tell me it is impossible that Hashem “delivered the strong into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few”?

It’s not impossible at all. It happened on Chanukah. And throughout Jewish history. And in our own lives.

I would like to call your attention to the following passage from my second book, World-storm: Finding Meaning and Direction Amidst Today’s World Crisis. It begins with a remarkable Gemara (Taanis 8b): “Rabbi Isaac further said, ‘Blessing is only possible in things hidden from sight…. Blessing is only possible in things not under the direct control of the eye…. Blessing is not to be found in anything that has been already weighed or measured or numbered, but only in a thing hidden from sight.’ ”

Worldstorm goes on to discuss this passage.

In our contemporary world everything is counted, numbered and weighed, which is why we cannot perceive the spiritual. Comfort is measured by counting money. The value of men and ideas is determined by public opinion polls. The system of government and those who administer it are determined by counting votes. Wall Street is obsessed with counting the value of stocks. Corporations are obsessed with counting everything from paper clips to how many pennies per share they will earn four quarters from now. Sports fans are obsessed with count-ing home runs or baskets, and how much each player is paid. Health is measured in calories and cholesterol. Beauty is determined by the readout on the scale. China enforces a population quota, but a Jewish mother will not tell you the num-ber of her children nor will her husband count men for the minyan.

This discussion is crucial to our existence, and it deserves thought. Why is it that “bless-ing is not to be found in anything that has been already weighed or measured or numbered”?

What is blessing?

Blessing, berachah, comes from Above. It is God’s shemirah over us, His love expressed by the guidance of events in our life. God is exercising His direct influence by giving us what we need. When we live without berachah, God forbid, we are living a hefker existence, subject to arbitrary forces, like a leaf tossed around in the wind. We don’t want to be like the snake in Gan Eden, whose punishment really was that it always has what it needs. Hashem, so to speak, told the snake “I don’t ever want to hear from you. You are on your own.”

If we are under Hashem’s direct scrutiny and care and He directs internal and external forces in our favor, our life will be good in every way. This is what every person who has Yiras Shamayim wants: to live in such a way that Hashem will directly watch over him and take his fate in His Hands in order that he prosper spiritually and materially.

We want Hashem to be involved in our life. He is by definition in complete control. As the Rambam put it in his Thirteen Principles, “I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, Blessed is His Name, creates and guides all creatures and that He alone made, makes and will make everything.” All nature, including time and space and everything within them, belongs to and was created by Him.

About the Author: Roy Neuberger's latest book, “2020 Vision” (Feldheim) is available in English, Hebrew, Spanish, French, Russian, and Georgian. An e-edition is available at www.feldheim.com. Roy is also the author of "From Central Park to Sinai: How I Found My Jewish Soul” (available in English, Hebrew and Russian, and Georgian) and “Worldstorm.” Roy and Leah Neuberger speak publicly on topics related to his books and articles. He can be contacted at roy@tosinai.com or through his websites www.tosinai.com and www.2020visionthebook.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Strong Into The Hands Of The Weak?”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Newly elected Chief Rabbis of Jerusalem: Rav Shlomo Amar (L) and Rav Aryeh Stern (R).
2 New Chief Rabbis Elected for Jerusalem After 10-Yr Hiatus
Latest Indepth Stories
Noah and his Family; mixed media collage by Nathan Hilu. Courtesy Hebrew Union College Museum

Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.

Sweden prefers to ignore its own problems and make trouble elsewhere.

The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.

256px-Israel-Palestine_flags.svg

Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.

Map of Syria-Turkish border area, pinpointing Kurdish border town of Kobani, just taken by ISIS terror forces Oct 7, 2014.

Turkey and Iran the 2 regional powers surrounding the ISIS conflict gain from a partial ISIS victory

Emigration from Israel is at an all-time low, far lower than immigration to Israel from Europe.

Leon Klinghoffer’s daughters: “‘Klinghoffer’ is justified as ‘a work of art’…This is an outrage.”

Do you seriously think that as you kidnap our children we should medically treat and help yours?

Sometimes collective action against the heinous acts of the majority is not enough. The world should not only support the blockade of Gaza; it must enforce the dismantling of Hamas.

The Arab Spring has challenged Jordan with the task of gradual reform with regard to its monarchy.

Israel offered Syria the entire Golan Heights, only to find that the Syrians were demanding MORE!

Israeli hasbara too can be described at best as pathetic, at worst non existent.

A ‘good news’ story from the Nepal avalanche disaster to warm your heart. Take out your Kleenex.

Journalists see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as morality play: Israel=evil; Palestine=innocent

Warsaw Ghetto: At its height, the Nazis walled in some 500,000 Jews within the1.3 square mile area.

While police officers face dangers every day on the job, Jews also face danger in their daily lives.

Carter developed a fondness for Arafat believing “they were both ordained to be peacemakers by God”

More Articles from Roy S. Neuberger

In the recent Gaza war and its aftermath, we saw a totally illogical reaction from the world.

Our rabbis told us it’s going to be very difficult before Mashiach comes. Should we fool ourselves?

The unwarranted hatred among us that caused the destruction of the Second Temple clearly still plagues us.

At the end of the harvest, winter begins. The earth becomes cold and hard, nights are long, and the sun seems far away in the southern sky. The sap ceases to flow in the trees. But in this season of temporary “death” Hashem sends down harbingers of coming life in the form of tal u’matar livrachah – dew and rain for a blessing – upon the earth.

“Logically” speaking, after the millennia of hatred and destruction directed against us, there should not be one Jew in the world today who still keeps the Torah.

They were lining up for gas masks in Israel.

Apparently, at the very time of year we are supposed to be full of simcha, Hashem wants us to be aware of the possibility of danger. Indeed, during the Yom Tov of Sukkos, we read cataclysmic haftaras dealing with the ultimate war, the Milchemes Gog Umagog. Where does that war take place? In the Holy Land, of course, where the eyes of the world are always focused.

At the mikveh they were discussing Egypt.

So many things seem to be unraveling. It’s not just Egypt but the entire Middle East. No, it’s not just the Middle East; it’s the entire world.

What is the relationship between Pesach and Shavuos?
Rabbi Naftali Jaeger, rosh yeshiva of Sh’or Yoshuv, relates in the name of the Ishbitzer Rebbe a striking metaphor:

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/the-strong-into-the-hands-of-the-weak/2011/12/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: