web analytics
October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
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.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

We’re All In This Together

Lenny1

My congregants know that I have a “delusion”; I feel that the Parshat HaShavua – the weekly Torah Portion – always has surprising relevance to current events.  In the many years that I have been looking for something to say Shabbos morning, I have virtually never been disappointed in finding that the Sidrah can be used to find inspiration or guidance for what we are going through at any particular time.  This, of course, makes my job as a Rabbi much easier, for which I am eternally grateful.   But sometimes, I am just astounded and sit back in awe.  This past Shabbos was one of those times.

 

This past Shabbos, as we all sat in trepidation over what was going on in the part of Eretz Yisrael known as Gaza, I spoke among other things about Moshe’s exclamation to the tribes of Reuven and Gad.   They had proposed to Moshe that they would like to stay in the trans-Jordan, and forgo their share in the land of Israel, a proposal that infuriated Moshe.  Besides his astonishment that these tribes would , seemingly, dare to repeat the sin of the Spies, who had rejected Eretz Yisrael and caused the entire generation to perish, he had another complaint: האחיכם יבואו למלחמה ואתם תשבו פה

Will Your brothers go to war, while you sit (in peace) here? (Bamidbar 32:6)

 

Where is your sense of duty?  Where is your sense of responsibility for all of Klal Yisrael?  Where is your willingness to put the needs of the Nation above your personal needs?

 

This exhortation certainly applies to us, who live in the relative safety of America, when we think of not only the soldiers who are bravely going into that extremely dangerous hellhole, but also of the population as a whole who are absorbing a constant barrage of thousands of rockets raining down, protected only by Hashem’s miraculous Hand and His help in the amazing efficacy of the Iron Dome.  I asked my audience to think of how this applies to them, and what each of us can do to take part in this national effort.  Whether it means traveling to Israel at this time, bringing chizuk and much needed tourist dollars, whether it means doing our best to advocate for Israel with our elected representatives, whether it means contributing to the many organizations that are bringing help and relief to the soldiers, their families, and the families who live in the areas of the Negev and Ashdod, and most certainly by increasing our kavannah and quantity of Teffilah and Torah , even if it might interfere with our summer vacation plans.

 

But then, at Seudah Shlishit, we had Rabbi Chaim Sendic as a guest speaker, who pointed out a fascinating Midrash.  Earlier in the Sidrah, we read of the war with Midian.   There is a dispute in the Midrash as to how many soldiers were actually drafted for the battle.  One opinion reads the statement One thousand for each tribe, One thousand for each tribe” (Bamidbar 31:4) to say that each tribe gave two thousand for the war effort.  Another opinion, however, says that there were actually three thousand from each tribe: One thousand to fight, one thousand as a rear guard, and one thousand to pray.   Rabbi Sendic asked, “Why was it necessary for the one thousand who prayed to go out to the battlefield?  Surely all of Klal Yisrael joined in prayer at such a time – why was it necessary for there to be a group that prayed right at the battle?”  The answer, fairly obviously, is that one cannot compare the prayers said far from the battle, in relative safety, to those said right near the front.   How much more kavannah and feeling would certainly be infused into those prayers, with the rockets red glare and bombs bursting in air all around them!

About the Author: Rabbi Yehuda Leonard Oppenheimer is the Rabbi of the Young Israel of Forest Hills, and a practicing attorney. He has an extensive background in Jewish Outreach, and is particularly grateful to have been the Rav of Kesser Israel in Portland, Oregon for ten years. He has long and deep connections with the land of Israel, where he lived for many years and where most of his family and children reside, and thus blogs at http://libibamizrach.blogspot.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.

One Response to “We’re All In This Together”

  1. Only Hashem can protect the brave members of Tzahal!

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Do you know where your vegetables grow?
Not So Kosher Shemittah L’Mehadrin
Latest Judaism Stories
Greenbaum-102414

Noach was the lonely man of faith living in a depraved world, full of wickedness.

Parsha-Perspectives-logo

Avraham became a great man during the 175 years of his life, while his predecessors became increasingly wicked, despite staggering knowledge, during their lifetimes of hundreds of years.

Rapps-Rabbi-Joshua-logo

Shem realized that he owed his existence to his father who brought him into the world.

Daf-Yomi-logo

Law-Abiding Citizen
‘That Which Is Crooked Cannot Be Made Straight…’
(Yevamos 22a-b)

The flood was not sent to destroy, but to restore the positive potential of the world.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

Why is there is no mention of dinosaurs, and other prehistoric animals, in the Torah?

Strict din demands perfection. There is no room for shortcomings and no place for excuses; you are responsible.

Surprisingly, my husband and one son arrived home over half-an-hour earlier than usual. I excitedly shared my perfect-timing story, but my better half one upped me easily.

Noach felt a tug, and then heard a rip. His jacket had been caught on the nail, and the beautiful suit had a tear.

Boundaries must be set in every home. Parents and children are not pals. They are not equals.

Noah and his wife could not fathom living together as husband and wife and continuing the human race

The Babel story is the 2nd in a 4-act drama that’s unmistakably a connecting thread of Bereishit

Our intentions are critical in raising children because they mimic everything we parents do & think

A humble person who achieves a position of prominence will utilize the standing to benefit others.

More Articles from Rabbi Lenny Oppenheimer
A Jewish wedding.

Kollel life:A wonderful aspiration, but not the only one that young women should consider.

Lenny1

Here in Israel there are the many who load up their cars with food, and drink and candy and books to deliver them to soldiers and communities in the south.

Will Your brothers go to war, while you sit (in peace) here? (Bamidbar 32:6)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/were-all-in-this-together/2014/07/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: