As we prepare for Rosh Hashanah, the ten days of repentance, and the awesome day of Yom Kippur when our judgment is sealed for the coming year, it’s so important for me to tell my readers how much I love the Ribbono Shel Olam, the Master of the Universe.
Why? Because when you love Hashem and are firm about it and focused on it, then it’s unshakeable,
Two weeks ago I decided, on the spur of the moment, to shoot over to Migron and spend the last Shabbos with the residents there before police and soldiers arrived to throw them off the land and out of the beautiful caravans they’d purchased. Fifty families, hundreds of children, had to leave because of a High Court decision.
Ya’akov Katz, “Katzele,” head of the National Union party, told me, “It’s Netanyahu’s fault because he fought against the new ‘Regulation Law,’ which failed to pass in the Knesset and could have bypassed the High Court decision.”
The prime minister felt that doing so would have slighted the country’s justice system and so he prepared replacement caravans a little lower down the mountain.
The people of Migron weren’t crying. They’d fought for six years and lost. They sang joyous songs together and had a big Kiddush while the children played on the swings outside for the last time. (Of course there will be new swings.)
The rabbi banged his hands on the shtender during his speech but summed up with: “This week is Parshas Ki Seitzai, ‘when you go out,’ and next Shabbos we’ll read Ki Savo, when you come in (to the new Migron!).”
And I was thinking, why wasn’t Benjamin Netanyahu there for Shabbos, to identify with the plight of the settlers? It would have been so beautiful!
Anyway, let’s return to my opening paragraph, to how much I love Hashem and why it pays for you to love Him too.
We know Hashem is perfect and His Torah is perfect. Reb Yehoshua ben Prachya says in Pirkei Avos, “You must judge all people on the scale of merit – this is God’s will.”
We know Hashem must keep His own Torah. Thus, when I love the Ribbono Shel Olam with complete focus, I can say to Him, “Please, my Beloved, judge me l’kaf zechut (on the scale of merit).”
He’ll answer, “But I know everything about you. Do you want to see your list of degrading sins?”
I, however, remain focused and say, “Excuse me, I love you, but who gave me my cunning yetzer hara? You did, Abba. I’ll be better in the coming year, but I want You to be better as well, and bring Mashiach and the glory of Israel!”
Now I hear a “sound of silence” from Above, and I quickly interject, “And you can’t say that your nation doesn’t deserve a new light shining on Zion! Because it was the wicked Balaam who told us a great secret about you [Bamidbar 23:21] when he said, ‘He [Hashem] sees no sin in Yaakov!’ ”
And then I smile upward and add, “And in Perek 2 of Pirkei Avos, Hillel states: ‘Do not judge your friend [all of Israel] until you stand in his place [and understand where he’s coming from].’
“You can’t judge me until you come down to my level. I’m human, I kvetch, I need my morning coffee, I have to make a living, but it’s Yom Kippur, I’m fasting…”
When you love Hashem, you discover that you are allowed to speak like this to your Maker.
Years ago at a wedding I found myself sitting next to the gadol Rav Rafael Soloveichik, zt”l, and I got into a conversation with him. He told me “Hashem loves chutzpah” – it’s actually something desired because it proves your faith (based on a Yerushalmi).
And so I urge my readers to come to Yom HaDin with love and chutzpah, like a child to a father. And may we receive a good judgment for ourselves and our charming nation.
And may I remind my readers that while it’s easy to criticize Prime Minister Netanyahu, remember this: Do not judge your fellow man until you understand that you wouldn’t want to be in his shoes for all the honor in the world.Dov Shurin