Yom Kippur Kotton, Erev Rosh Chodesh Kislev 5773 BS’D
“How goodly are your tents, Yaakov, your dwelling places, Yisroel! An open request to all Morai Horaah Bi’Yisroel, on the urgent need to eliminate Chillul Tefila Bifarhesia from our Shuls
We are urged to review our individual behavior after we suffer any mishap, even merely stubbing ones’ toe, in order to correct the behavior which caused the suffering in the first place. The sudden devastation experienced by the Orthodox Jewish communities of the northeast United States needs our intense undivided, uninterrupted, concentration, so that the religiously offensive behaviors can be identified, studied and corrected in a timely manner. Nachpisa dirochainu vinachkora,vinashuva. We need to act with haste in order to prevent “Sandy Two” in America and “Iran One” in Israel. Pirkai Avos (C 1, M2) teaches us that the world stands on Torah, Prayer (avoda) and acts of human kindness. On Rosh Hashanah we proclaim that the evil decree meted out by Hashem can be averted through sincere Teshuva accompanied by fasting, Prayer, and acts of Kindness. Am Yisroel excels today in individual and organizational chesed as well as support of, and learning Torah. Jewish Communal prayer unfortunately has been halachickly challenged since the era of the Bais Hamikdash (maseches Sukkah discussion about seating arrangements to minimize conversation).It has deteriorated steadily over the centuries and has caused our nation great harm. The advent of portable communication devices introduced into our society over the last fifty years has steadily corrupted our prayer and strained our direct conduit to our creator. The ubiquitous “Smart” phone has found a place next to our tefilin, in our pockets, holsters, and most devastatingly, in our minds, during davening.
Chillul Tefila Bifarhesia, as well as halachicly challenged verbiage and dress, are external manifestations of a critical lack of personal yiras shomayim which has lethal consequences for the communities in which it is rampant as well as for the nation as a whole, if there is not a strong , determined , halachicly perfect plan to universally correct these behaviors. If we don’t achieve the required level of Yiras Hashem on our own, Hashem brings tragedy, which forces His yirah upon us. (Meshech Chochma parshas Bichukosi) The Shulchan Aruch hints at the lethal consequences for Chillul Tefila Bifarhesia by using the term Gadol Avon Miniso, which is alluding to Kains’ killing of Hevel over a Korban. Prayer has replaced korbanos today as our avoda to Hashem. Aaron’s sons were put to death by Hashem for their improper prayer. The Mishnah Berura in multiple places describes shuls being destroyed or converted into avoda zara because of the public desecration of prayer in shul. (Shuls are not destroyed in a vacuum. Jews suffer greatly when this happens. The yahrtziet of Kristallnacht, which was within 48hrs of Sandy’s New Jersey landfall, was on November 9-10, 1938. The 16th and 17th of cheshvan,5699. 100s of shuls and 7000 businesses were destroyed as well as homes looted and 91 Jews murdered and some committed suicide.) The Tosfos Yomtov composed a special blessing for those who avoid Chillul Tefila Bifarhesia, as he was convinced that the death of 300,000 –600,000 Jews during the Chmielnicki massacres of 1648-49 (Gezairos Tach va Tat -5408-5409) were because of improper Tefila. Improper or casual Tefila performed in public is a Chillul Hashem which reflects a communal nadir of Yiras Hashem. The offender is punished as well as anyone who had the opportunity to reprimand and correct this avaira .If someone remained silent and did not rebuke the offender, he shares in the punishment for the aviros committed by the michalel Tefila, just as he would get a share in the sichar of the repentant individual. (minchas chinuch hochaich tochiach). Hashem is obligated to correct this with a harsh gezaira which will instill the acceptable level of yiras Hashem in us and thereby perform teshuva for our intransience.
Three hundred years later in the same geographic area 6,000,000 Jews were murdered among them 1,500,000 children. In Sefer Tuvecha Yabiu volume 2 page 321, the Holy Rebbe of Gur the Imrei Emes Zatzal, explains the horror as being caused by the lack of yiras shomayim which manifested itself through Chillul Tefila Bifarhesia. He further explains the relative sparing of the Sephardic communities as being due to their being scrupulous in praying Kihalacha. (For many more examples visit www.halachafortoday.com/archives-2/nottalkingduringdavenig) The American Jewish Yearbook placed the total Jewish population of Europe at about 9,500,000 in 1933.If the reason Hashem put the Final Solution into force was because of a lack of yiras shomayim, as evidenced by Chillul Tefila Bifarhesia which facilitated the mass defection of Jews from orthodoxy, why were only 6,000,000 Jews killed? What event happened to reverse Hashem’s Final solution to the halachickly wayward Jews of Europe? The only formula that we have to reverse a negative decree is Tishuva, Tefila,and Tzedaka. The small letters in the Rosh Hashana machzor on top of each word are teshuva accompanied by fasting, kol which is sincere prayer, and mammon which is acts of human kindness. In order for Hashem to save us from the midas ha din we brought on ourselves He had to create opportunities for our grandparents to complete the required elements of teshuva, prayer and acts of kindness in order to reverse the Final Solution decree, which was cast over 9,500,000 Jews. Only then could the midas harachamim replace the midas hadin. My maternal grandmother Miriam bas Harav Alexander Zishe Friedman Hashem Yinkom Dama, got off the train at Auschwitz with my sickly 13 year old uncle Shimon hy”d as well as my mother Chaya Leah bas Harav Chaim Tzvi shlita and four of her sisters; Etu,Dori, Dina and Chana. They were immediately separated into different line by Mengele yimach shimo vizichro. As she became aware of her predicament going down the path to the gas chamber she turned to the oldest daughter, Etu, and instructed her to keep the sisters together, always, no matter what. The sisters’ staying together despite Nazi orders to the contrary is why all 5 sisters survived the war. She was well aware that she was going to her death. How did Hashem help our grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts and uncles, reverse the gezaira of the Final solution and thereby save the remaining 3,500,000 Jews? The acts of chesed that were performed by our grandparents are legendary. Every child of a survivor has their own unique story of how their relative was mikadaish shem shomayim in the extreme hell of the camps trying to help others survive. The loud, confident “Shema Yisroel” and singing of “Ani Mamain” on the lips of the Kidoshim as they gas entered their lungs and brain attest to the Kol, the Tefila needed as a vital component to reverse the Final Solution decree. Hashem had Kol (Tefila) and tzidaka (gimilut chasadim). Teshuva was needed for Hashem to stop the Final Solution before its completion. For which avaira did they need help to achieve the highest level of teshuva? The Rambam explains in hilchos teshuva, the method to achieve the highest form of teshuva which then can turn avairos into mitzvos. The example he gives is that if a man had a forbidden sexual liaison with a woman and regrets his action, it is not enough; he must be in the same situation with the same woman and not transgress. Then he has achieved the highest level of teshuva possible. We are unaware of any mass movement of baalay tishuva in the camps. People didn’t start keeping Shabbos or kashrus or tahars mishpacha en masse. My grandmother and your grand relative entered the gas chamber along with 200-400 other people. They were told to undress.(mikva) The fear is escalating by the minute. There is still some ridiculous irrational hope that they will live. Once the zyklon b is dropped into the chamber and the fumes begin to permeate the chamber, there are no more thoughts of survival for the Jews in the room. Uniformly when the doors opened the bodies were stacked in a mound to the ceiling with the children at the top of the pile. My uncle Shimon ben Harav ChaimTzvi hy”d as were all the children in any gas chamber passed from loving parents to strangers to try and at least save the children by getting them to a safer place. Their collective effort and prayer was that even though they knew that they were about to die, that their children should survive. The gas chambers were created by Hashem to create a perfect public prayer service, in order to facilitate teshuva for the avaira of Chilul Tefila Bifarhesia. The gas chamber was in reality a shul with all the components of Tefila kihalacha. People came together in awe and fear of Hashem. They performed chesed by trying to save the children with their last bit of strength. They prayed in loud focused voices “Shema YisroelHashem Elokainu Hashe Echud!”They had perfect kavana. Nothing distracted them from the knowledge of Hashem’s authority over all things. Their prayer was that the Jews outside the chamber should survive to live halachikly correct lives. There was no idle conversation. No talk of politics, sports, lashon hara or learning torah at that time. Millions had to go through this teshuva process in order to atone for the nearly 300 years of Chilul Tefila Bifarhesia since the time of the Tosfos Yom tov (gezairos tach va tat), in 1648. Once a complete tishuva (tishuva gemura) for chilul Tefila bifarhasia was achieved along with the acts of human kindness and sincere prayer for the salvation of the remnants of European Jewry, the requirements to reverse the gezaira were met allowing the remaining Jews to be saved. Chillul Tefila Bifarhesia has lethal consequences.
Hashem utilizes the tremendous power of Tefila Bitzibur Kihalacha to benefit Klal Yisroel. If transgressing it has lethal consequences, then the result of sincere Tefila bitzibur Kihalacha is Hashem listening to our needs and saving our lives. The Yom Kippur before the 1973 “Yom Kippur War” It was decided in Shomaim that the Arabs would conquer Eretz Yisroel. When next in Israel, I suggest that you visit Yad Lisherion. This is a tank base with a museum of all of Israel’s Armor from 1948 up to the current Merkava Tank, the captured Arab armor from all the wars, a history of Latrun the fort, as well as its role in History dating back to Yehoshua. There is a wall with too many names of the soldiers killed in tank combat, a dimly lit, quite unused chapel, and a small movie theater to watch movies about the Tank Corps. In the back of the base is a circular Gazebo like structure with metal walls. On each of these walls is described a segment of the 1973 war and what happened battle by battle until the end of the war. The first panel illustrates the situation on the ground at the onset of the war. The Egyptians had 100,000 soldiers, 1,300 tanks and 2000 guns and heavy mortars. The Jews had 450 soldiers of the Jerusalem Brigade spread out over 16 forts the length of the Suez Canal. They had 290 tanks divided into three armored brigades in all of the Sinai. Only one of these was deployed near the canal at the onset of the war in all of Sinai. In the North the Jews had 3000 troops, 180 tanks and 60 artillery pieces. The Syrians had 3 infantry divisions with large armor components comprising 28,000 troops 800 tanks and 600 artillery pieces the next day Syria added 2 more armored divisions. There is no need to walk any further. Eretz Yisroel was supposed to be conquered by the Syrians and Egyptians with the resultant death and destruction of the Jews living in Eretz Yisroel. This was the gezaira in shomayim. Hashem had to help us utilize his “teshuva formula” in order to save Eretz Yisroel and all the Jews living there. Militarily it was a brilliant Arab plan. Attack on a day when almost all Jews are weak from fasting, soldiers on leave for the holiday, a surprise attack on two fronts. Any explanation of Jewish military strategy is nonsense. According to natural law the Arabs should have had a tremendous victory. How did Hashem help us to reverse this awful gezaira according to His rules which are not subject to change? Kol (prayer), Teshuva (repentance), and acts of kindness to fellow Jews is what’s needed to reverse the midas hadin and bring about the midas harachamim. In order to facilitate a Jewish victory Hashem put in the minds of the Arabs to attack The Jews on Yom Kippur. On that day nearly all Jews in the world are fasting even if they are otherwise not yet observant. This is the one day where there is true achdus, which is defined by the holy Chida (megilas esther; kinos es kol hayihudim), as all Jews doing the will of Hashem, which perforce creates unity in the service of Hashem. Most Jews spend time in Shul on that day. People who are not careful with chilul Tefila Bifarhesia during the year are quite on this awesome day. In America we heard about the war early enough on Yom Kippur day, so that all our tefilos were for the safety of Am Yisroel and Eretz Yisroel. There were selfless acts of bravery by Jewish Soldiers who fought on while gravely wounded or severely burned. Soldiers who willingly stayed in the battle knowing they would die, in order to keep the enemy from advancing to civilian populations, preventing the hell and torture that would follow if the enemy had succeeded . Over 2,600 Jewish soldiers died. Their deaths were viewed in shomayim as the ultimate act of chesed, combined with the proper focused Tefila of the Rabim in accordance with halacha, created a Kiddush Hashem in all shuls and brought about the needed teshuva for chilul Tefila. Halachikly correct communal Prayer, complete tishuva accompanied by fasting, and unbelievable acts of courage and human caring and kindness brought about the reversal of the midas hadin and saved Am Yisroel. The power of Tefila bi tzibur hihalacha is immeasurable. Because Hashem listens to our communal Halachikly correct prayers and saves us as His Power is immeasurable.
On September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center was attacked by terrorists who flew fully fueled jetliners into the two buildings. 2,606 people were killed. There were only approximately 15,000 people in the towers that particular day. On any given day upwards of 100,000 people could be inside the buildings.(Wikipedia). The potential for a huge number of casualties was mitigated by Hashem having the attack happen during Elul and specifically during selichos, when our communal prayer is strong and Hashem is close and we are contemplating teshuva. Tefila bitzibur kihalacha saves live.
Communal prayer, Tefila Bitzibur Kihalacha, has been flawed for scores of generations. The introduction of technological communication devices into Hashem’s Temples has taken halachickly challenged, marginally acceptable prayer, and plummeted it to unprecedented depths of public anti-Hashem behavior. The universal acceptance of these devices, replete with kavana disrupting ring tones, web surfing krias hatora and email/texting during chazoras hashatz has almost succeeded in rupturing our life line to the Ribono Shel Olam. Let us try to imagine the “pain” we are causing our creator by the careless, unthinking use of technology in Hashem’s “face”, during our thrice daily conversations with Him. We are taught that we are not created as asexual human adults so that we can learn how to relate to Hashem properly through the relationships one has experiencing the life cycle. We are commanded to love and fear our parents as they raise and care for us. We use this experience as adults to understand the Ahava and Yirah we are supposed to exhibit with regards to our relationship with Hashem, who cares for us personally. Jewish marriage lived in accordance with halacha provides insight into the concept of fidelity. The successful marriage then provides the tutelage to grasp the concept of “Hashem Achud”. That in our minds Hashem has no competition. His importance supersedes any other relationship; that of our child, spouse, even the love of one’s self or the love of things dear to us.(Aruch Hashulchan,orach chayim, siman 1,sk-6).
The Bal Haturim in Parshas Kidoshim explains the juxtaposition of the mitzva(243) of “ahavas yisroel,viahavta liraiacha kamocha” with the negative mitzvah (244) of “kilai bihaima”(the admonition not to breed different species of animals).He says that from here we learn that it is halachickly incorrect for a man to be preoccupied with thoughts of a different woman (or wife when polygamy was in practice)while engaging in intimacy with his wife, because of the mitzva of viahavta liraiacha kamocha. This mitzva is explained as “do not do to others what you do not want done to you “even though she would be unaware of his stray thought. Prayer is when we are “intimate” with Hashem. We are commanded to prepare ourselves prior to Tefila by toiling in ridding our minds of distracting thoughts. Once any Tefila has commenced we are obligated to eliminate physical distractions and to strive for kavana, proper intention and understanding of the words we are uttering to our creator. We are instructed specifically and under which extreme circumstances we are allowed to violate the Tefila, such as a non-Jewish king greeting us, because of possible lethal consequences. (shulchan aruch ,orach chaim, simanim; 96,98,101,104) We have introduced electronic devices into Hashem’s temples. Their mere presence, as well as their unrestricted use in all modalities, whether silent or audible, whether talking, listening, sending, receiving or surfing, violates our “intimacy “with Hashem. He is aware of our stray thoughts. Our actions proclaim that there are more important, and interesting happing’s in our life, than spending quality time with our creator. Our actions tell Hashem in his “House” that he is not “Achud” in our hearts and minds. Those other relationships are more important than our relationship with Him at the moment. During Tefila, either it is all about Him or we are two timing the Aibishter. Our Hashem is a jealous G-d. Impinging on the concept of Hashems oneness is akin to Avoda Zara. This is punishable by death. When it is a public unopposed practice in most minyanim on most days, it is viewed in shomayim as a rebellion. Such action has dire communal consequences. During the Sotah process (wife accused of infidelity) Hashems name is erased. Sandy’s, Hashem sent, torrents of Shaimos erasing water, should be viewed as an accusatory challenge to our religious fidelity to the Ribono shel olam. Before ringtone interrupted conversation was accepted by the gentile world as normal, I had the following experience. I had asked one of my adult children to meet with me one night for a serious conversation on a specific topic. It was late at night and I was making my point in calm, focused, controlled manor at our kitchen table. Suddenly eye contact was broken, there was some fidgeting and a star tec cell phone was produced. Bad timing “was all that was said and the call was over. I can still feel the rage which erupted from me at the audacity of the phone not being shut prior to our conversation, let alone answering it during our conversation. I felt that I was not important enough, respected enough, appreciated enough for all my hard work that went into raising this child. I asked for the phone that I had paid for and broke it into pieces with my hands. Our conversation was over. There was nothing to say. We are now used to electronically interrupted conversation. Hashem is not.
In our prayers we state that “there is no forgetfulness before Your Throne of Honor”. This is a problem for us. It means for Hashem every prayer -interrupted ringtone, vibe, email, text, search, and conversation, is as outrageous and offensive as the first beep from a beeper 50 years ago. Our adversaries in shomayim collect every electronic violation and bring it before the Throne of Honor and ask Hashem what is He going to do to correct the insurgency promulgated by His Chosen people.
Roby Flegman the president of The Bais Medrash of Harborview, Lawrence NY, in a shiur on Tifila Bitzibur related the following .The Brisker Rav, Rav Yitzchak Mirsky, writes about the power of Tefila by gentiles. In his sefer” Hegyonay Halacha” page 167 he writes that Hashem hears the prayer of the gentile nations. If the Jews are numerically minuscule as compared to our numerous adversaries and they are praying for our destruction, what chance do we have? In particular the Arabs pray to the same god, and we share a common ancestor. They pray 5 times a day in public and without excuses. In order to benefit us in face of overwhelming odds, Hashem has given us a gift unique to the Jewish people. Tefila Bitzibur Kihalacha. No other nation has it. When ten men join together and pray a simple prayer as prescribed in the Shulchan Aruch it creates a holy power untouchable by any nation. Its power is infinitesimally greater than the same ten men praying individually, or any multitude of gentiles praying whether together or not. They do not have Tefila Bitzibur. It is ours alone to give us an advantage in the religious wars being waged in shomayim and being played out on earth. He quotes Hagri”z Sloloveichik: “the gathering of Jews transforms the individual people into a ‘kahal’, a uniquely Jewish entity. No matter how many gentiles band together they cannot create a ‘kahal’.They do not have Tefila Bitzibur- communal prayer. Ziaka,cried out to Hashem during Tefiloh Bitzibor never goes unanswered. It is our holy, Hashem given, nuclear weapon. Hashem is orchestrating world events to help us realize the need to perform sincere heartfelt teshuva for the public desecration of communal prayer which is a barometer of our inadequate yiras shomayim, in order to save ourselves from our heavenly competitors and earthly destruction. On August 9, 2001, fifteen people were murdered by a terrorist in Yerushalayim in a restaurant called Sbarro. Ben-Zion Nemett in his essay “Remembering Shema Yisroel” relates his daughter Shiras recollection of the event while she was recuperating from lifesaving trauma surgery, in the Recovery Room, Intensive Care, Sharray Tzedek Medical Center, in Yerushalayim. “Daddy, what about that family that was right in front of us in line for pizza? What happened to them?” Ben-Zion is reluctant to discuss the answer given the emotional storm he was experiencing as well as concern for the negative impact the news would have on his frail, recovering daughter. Shira persisted “Daddy how is that family?” He asked his daughter why she is asking specifically about them. Shira answers that when the terrible explosion occurred, the children were seriously injured. They were actually burning. Then one of the small ones cried, “Daddy, Daddy, save me!” The father, who had once been a talmid at the Ponevitz Yeshiva in Binei Brack, commanded him; “Don’t worry, say with me the Shema Yisroel; Shema Yisroel Hashem Elokainu Hashem Achud!” “And suddenly there was quite, Daddy.” The author, a child of a Holocaust survivor equates Mordechai (age 43) and Yitzhak (age 4) Schijveschuurders’ Shema Yisroel with that of the Kidoshim who perished in the gas chambers of Europe (www.aish.com/jw/id/48891492.html). We are moved to tears by their Kiddush Hashem, but we have not absorbed the message of the need to make every tefiloh a Kiddush Hashem. Mordechai Hayihudi saved am Yisroel by gathering the Jews together and convincing them to do teshuva , fast and pray for Esther’s success. Yitzchak was the willing korban in the Akaida. He most represents Tefila-Avoda amongst the Avos. The father- son public Shema Yisroel duet at the time of their violent death serves to draw our attention to the desperate, urgent need to improve our daily Shema Yisroel. If our tefiloh is not a Kiddush Hashem, it is a Chilul Hashem. So the tzoros-grams keep coming looking for an address that will accept the challenge to stand up against the status quo of Chillul Tefila Bifarhesia,elevate our yiras shomayim, and lead Torah Jews back to public perfection in Tefila and thereby stop Hashem’s onslaught against the Orthodox Jewish family and Eretz Yisroel.
The” Monsey butcher “was found out on the14th of Elul (sept 6-7 2006).He was a revered person who led the prayers on the Yomim Noraim and gave shiurim. He had a stellar reputation. He sold treif (Nivailos) chickens to many different orthodox communities .We are taught that eating nivailos is “mitamtem es halev”. That it interferes in a qualitative measure with ones spirituality. Tefila is avodas halev. Hashem sent the Monsey butcher as a mida kineged mida. We distanced Hashem from us by ruining tefiloh with our public disregard for the halachikly proper tefiloh. He distanced Himself from us by having us ingest prayer (heart) altering fowl which interferes with our ability to get close to Hashem. The fraudulent butcher who led the prayers and taught the classes was Hashem’s way of telling us that our prayer and torah study are challanged and that our failings will have wide repercussions and affect many different observant communities. Over the last 15 years Hashem has been steadily increasing the gizaros against our families. Our daughters have been afflicted with the “shidduch crisis”.(Family’s not being formed) Once they do get married they have a good chance at being part of the “divorce crisis”. If the marriage is successful large numbers of our children have to go through very expensive shalom bayis challenging fertility experiments, potent medicines and procedures in order to have a child. Once the child reaches their second decade they have increasing possibilities of being recruited by the off-the-derech movement present in every orthodox community. We have to worry about getting them into Yeshiva, staying in Yeshiva, who is his Rebbe, and how to pay for the privilege. Substantial wealth has been removed from the international orthodox community. The young orthodox Jewish, cancer, medical horror show doesn’t stop. Single frum women in their 30’s are freezing eggs for a possible insemination later in life if marriage ever happens. This is the beginning of Kares. Hashem is systematically attacking our families and homes Mida Kineged Mida.Because of our insufficent yiras shomaim we have disrespected, disrupted and abused His House’s for centuries. Over the last 15 years through the unrestricted participation in the digital revolution, we have ruined whatever vestige of communal prayer decorum that had remained.
Leiby Kletzky was murdered Monday of Parshas Pinchas. 2011. Pinchas saved Am yisroel from the chilul hashem dejour by executing the Nasi of shevet shimon and his paramour in public in order to protect Hashem from public desecration. Leiby was put on this earth by Hashem to warn Am Yisroel of the consequences of their unacceptable behaviors in private and public due to deficient yiras shomaim exhibited by chilul tefila bifarhesia. Yehuda Kletzky known as” Leiby” was a young boy who was abducted and murdered by a stranger after Leiby asked him for directions on his way to meet his mother after day camp. After leads produced a likely suspect police went to the murders apartment. They arrived to an open door, and when they asked Aron (the murderer) where the boy was, he nodded toward the kitchen. There the police found blood-soaked carving knives and bloody towel bags. The boy’s severed feet were found in the freezer. He then told police that rest of the dismembered remains where to be found in a red suitcase in a dumpster on 20th between 4th and 5th avenue. The autopsy found that Leiby had been drugged with narcotics, anxiolytics and anti-psychotic medication prior to being to being smothered, causing death by asphyxiation. (Wikipedia)
Yehuda Kletzky a”h was chosen by Hashem to be a literal korban to atone for and to warn the Jewish people of the impending disaster headed their way because of their being michalail tefiloh bifarhesa which expresses an underlying lack of proper yiras shomayim. He was killed and then dismembered as a korban. His mouth was covered so that his cries for help would not be heard. Hashem is telling us that our Tefilos (todays Korbanos) will not be heard unless swift corrective action is taken. His remains were put in a red suitcase. This alludes to a special Korban, The Red Heifer or Para Aduma. This is a rare korban brought to spiritually cleanse people who are tamai mais, people who came in to proscribed contact with a corpse, further linking capital punishment with transgressions involving Korbanos or prayer. Hashem put the thought in the mind of the killer to place Leibys severed feet in the freezer in order to be found, studied and commented on by our sages. When asked where the boy was, he pointed to the freezer which contained only Leibys feet. The rest of his body parts were elsewhere. This action is not explainable by any fetish. The murderer did not have a preoccupation with with feet. Hashem is directing our attention to failure to perform mitzvos related to feet, specifically Parshas Aikev.
In the Torah we are admonished to be especially careful with mitzvos Aikev.(PARSHAS HAYIRA) Mitzvos we tread on with our heels (feet) and don’t perform properly. We convince ourselves that they are minor infractions of little or no consequence. Parshas Aikev has within it the following commandments: 428-to refrain from enjoying a covering or accessory to avoda zara in order to keep us distant from alien worship: 429-not bring vile objects into our home in order to distance ourselves from transgressing.430-bircas hamazon:431-to love converts and to have pity on travelers who are out of their element and feel like a stranger.:432-to fear Hashem constantly in order not to violate the mitzvos.433-to serve Hashem with duties of the heart which is tefila:434-to befriend and learn from talmidai chachomim so tha we will get closer to and understand Hashems ways.:435-to swear in Hashems name when we need chizuk in performing a positive commandment or refraining from transgressing a negative command.
Avoda Zara is anything that detracts from our challenge to view Hashem as the effector of all wealth and health, and all aspects of life, except for fear of heaven. The portable communication technology found in all our pockets fools us into a sense of exaggerated self-importance. We feel we can control our environment, spouse, children and business though our nonstop messaging. The presence of these devices let alone their use in Hashems mini temples is a denial of his omnipotence. Subservience, humility, and the profound realization that Hashems greatness is beyond the most illustrative imagination is the prerequisite for meaningful tefiloh. Mitzva 428 speaks to the need to eliminate technology from shul as its presence detracts from our acknowledging Hashem’s greatness. Mitzva 429 warns us about use of any of these devices in our homes, without well thought out restrictions on their use so as to keep us from transgressing in our homes, the next holiest place in Jewish society after shul. The recent internet asifa was a well-intentioned mistake. It reveals the inadequate understanding of the uncontrollable desire associated with all that is available on the internet. Would any Rav abrogate the halochos of yichud for me and my secretary if I assured the Rabanim that I have surveillance cameras and would be scared of something that would be caught on tape? Ain aputropus li arayos. No one is trusted when it comes to arayos .So we can’t be our own shomrim and buy our own filter system. Independent hashgacha is needed, as if our homes were a steakhouse, to ‘keep the evil out of our midst”. Mitzva 430 is the requirement to recite bircas hamozon after eating. This is a tefiloh of thanks and recognition that Hashem provides sustenance to the entire world with chesed and rachamim. That he provides for all living flesh. In bircas hamozon is the biracha of hatov vihamaitiv, which is our remembering to Thank Hashem for not letting the dead of the Beitar rebellion rot and ultimately allowing their burial. Beitars warriors lost against the Romans when they became haughty and self-confident in their own power and cunning thereby minimizing Hashems credit for doing it all. The technology of today empowers us individually and as a society more than any other advancement in world history. We are seduced into thinking that we our powerful, controlling and very important. Any upswing in our perceived self-importance comes at the cost of minimizing Hashem’s power in our eyes. The dead of Beitar warn us to rid our shuls of these devices and work to understand our puniness and complete dependence on our creator for our existence. After 9-11 there were Jewish families who prayed fervently for a piece of dna to bury.
Mitzvos 432 to fear Hashem always and 433 to daven to Hashem are temporally recorded in the Torah, because they are intimately related. Tefila, prayer to Hashem for all things, health, wealth, safety and happiness is a public expression of one inner Fear of Hashem (yiras shomayim). Collective public flaunting and demonstrative disrespect of the Halachickly correct Tifila bitzibur is a public proclamation of the communities lack of yiras shomayim. This deficiency leads to further public anti halachik behaviors which are reprehensible to our creator such as nivul pe(disgusting speech) and provocative dress by otherwise orthodox Jews. Private use of the internet in our homes and offices defines our level of yiras shomayim. The previously unheard of widespread viewing of pornography by men and women in our community leads to halachickly unacceptable behaviors by married couples let alone the unmarried ones. No self-arranged filter is going to stop these acts. There must be a communal hashgacha that controls our viewing as it controls the places where we eat. The portable new technology provides the vehicle for rapid deterioration in our tefiloh bitzibur, acceleration of anti g-d behaviors and ultimately our collective societal punishment and exile. We must find the resolve to remove the technology which is destroying our connection to Hashem from our shuls and develop a uniform “Halachik Guide to Cell Phone Use “for use outside the shul, from which no exception will be tolerated. Mitzva 434 to get close to talmidai chachomim so that we will accept the musar needed to save ourselves from self-destructive behaviors. The ability to function in our community without a strong lifelong close relationship with a Rav allows for distancing oneself from the prime source of hadracha and musar needed by every Jew and a diminishing of one’s yiras shomayim to pitiful levels over time. Mitzva 435- Hashems wish that we should swear in His name to help us overcome psychological,and political barriers which keep us from performing mitzvos and shutting our phones and mouths during tefiloh. These are the messages encrypted in the Hashem scripted death and dismemberment of the kadosh, Leiby Kletzky. There was nothing random about the event. Michalail Tefiloh Bfarhesia, representing an unacceptably low level of yiras shomayim, has lethal consequences. Our Rabonim warned us about world events. The volcanic ash which grounded numerous flights, the Japanese Tsunami and nuclear mess, the earthquake in Brooklyn, the flood in Louisiana these are all warnings for Jews to get their act together and do teshuva. Yet an obvious warning for us to leave our homes last year with Irene as well as this year’s Sandy were not viewed as heavenly musar and warnings of what is still to come. Why? In Pasrshas Aikev, Mitzva 431 is the commandment to love the convert as we were converts in Egypt. Perhaps more telling is the emphasis in the “Chinuch’ to have mercy on a Jew who is displaced from his home as he is compared to “stranger” in a distant land. He goes on to say that because of these interpersonal expressions of mercy Hashem will treat us with compassion and mercy. Sea Gate, Far Rockaway, Cedarhurst and Bayswater are now synonymous with evacuation, homelessness, shaimos, and becoming “gayrim”, staying by other people and being uprooted from one’s home. This is the galus the meshech chochma warns us about. We in America are past the initial founding generation, the building generation; even the expanding generation is behind us. We are up to the comfortable generation. This is the time we get into trouble as we start emulating the ways of the goyim around us and we lose the feeling of being strangers in a strange land. This is when Hashem creates great wind and waves to uproot us again to another land where we have to rebuild yet again and thereby save us from being destroyed by Hashem for desecrating His Torah by following in the ways of the goyim around us. The flooded, destroyed, desecrated homes, shuls and Yeshivos of Long Beach, Belle Harbor, Sea Gate, Far Rockaway, Bayswater and Cedarhurst are no less holy korbanos then Mordechai and Yitchak Schijveschuurder and Leiby Kletzky. They were put through their unique ordeal to get Am Yisroel to wake up in and find ways to increase our yiras shomayim and perfect our avodas hashem. This will ensure that there will be no need to for Hashem to make waves, noise, or select anymore korbanos to get our attention. The purpose of these tragedies is to get us to find and fix what’s wrong in each of us and collectively so that we will have a Hashem blessed bright and happy Torah filled future. Not to sit around and cry over the “things” that were lost without rectifying what caused the catastrophe in the first place. The tonnage of shaimos collected during mar cheshvan supersedes any single collection since the churban in Europe. The number of shuls and yeshivos closed because of physical destruction in one 24 hour period is only eclipsed by Kristalnacht 74 years ago to the week. We are in a very dangerous predicament with regards to the Ribono shel Olam. Three months after the biggest siyum in world history Hashems’ fury removes gemoras, meforshim, rishonim, acahronim, Rambam, shailos utishuvos from our homes, shuls and yeshivos. This action is eerily reminiscent of the Mishnah in Succoth about rain on the first day of Succoth. It is as if the servant brought the king a goblet of water and the king poured it on the servants head. It bespeaks the “rage” the creator has for our current behaviors. It would seem there is what to criticize with regard to Torah learning, praying, shuls and Yeshivos based on the pattern of destruction wrought by Sandy let alone all the prior korbanos with which Hashem has tried in vain to get our attention.
We are in a state of denial. We keep pointing to the stats. 90,000 at “The” siyum, 2 million art scroll shasim sold, more people learning than ever before. Incredibly we are saying that the reason for the spiritual paper and brick carnage is to elicit great acts of chesed on behalf of Klal Yisroel Jew to Jew and this will make Hashem happy and bring Moshiach! We are stuck looking at the damage of the current devastation as a final act not as part of a continuum of reflective action on the part of Hashem. We erroneously believe that the worst is behind us and now it is time to rebuild. Who says so?
The second Bais Hamikdash was destroyed because of sinas chinam (lack of viahavta liraiacha kamocha) and because Jews did not bless the Torah before studying it (both of these offenses are in the group of avairos which is defined as “bitul asay” minor, Parshas Aikev infractions).This can be explained as a schism or uncoupling between the study of the Torah and Avodas halev, which is prayer, as well as studying the Torah but not letting it affect our persona to become more holy.
Rav Shimshon Dovid Pincus in his sefer Shiarim Bitifila in his preface pages 8-19 describes the mechanism of effectual tefila and bemoans the fact that yeshiva student’s don’t “shteig” in tefila as they do in Gemara study. He describes proper tefila pursued with zest to get close to our creator, as the” key” to open the gates to the “otzar”of sichar for all the learning and masim tovim that we have accomplished. Exemplary tefiloh during the times of ikvisa dimishicha is needed in order to bring moshiach, by tapping into the sichar from the beginning of time. Ones growth in Torah learning is to be matched by a lockstep increase in study and improvement in prayer. If the tefiloh ingredient is absent, there is no ability to tap into the sichar potential from all the learning that has been done. He is not even discussing anti halachik tefila behavior. Our neglect of proper tefila over hundreds of years and our active destruction of communal prayer by bringing the “minyan” into the digital age while we simultaneously increased the enrolment in Daf Yomi to unpresedented levels of participation has succeeded in “uncoupling” tefila and torah. This perpetuates the raison d’etre of the temples destruction. It is as if we destroyed the Temple ourselves. The speakers at the siyum hashas did not address the cell phone tefila crisis at all. The siyum was viewed in shomayim as one big party to encourage the status quo of learning without tefilo kihalacha. Ahavas Hashem without commensurate Yiras Hashem is unacceptable to the Ribono Shel olam as much today as it was at the time of the temple. The asifa on the internet further enraged Hashem as it dealt with kosherizing the internet for use in our homes without a plan to “filter” technological devices and keep them out of shul. The lack of public outcry against this ever-present constant chilul hashem at these Rabinically promoted events is interpreted as acceptance and promotion of the status quo. The non-confrontational allowance of these public desecrations without challenge by fellow mispalilim or the rav spreads the web of responsibility for the cell phone violation to the entire minyan and on to the entire community. Hashem has been kind. He warned us of impending galus for our “tefilo chutzpa” with the Irene evacuation warning. It was ignored. He brought Sandy 1 and Gaza 2 as evacuation galus warnings and property damage, yet there is no public outcry or unified rabbinical message to stop obvious public anti Hashem behavior. The severity of the next Heaven sent wave is unthinkable. Start thinking about the “why” and we will get to Hashem friendly solutions which will avert any further need for celestial rebuke.
The Yetzer Hara was created by Hashem in order to tempt us. Our challenge in this life is to use our Hashem given Bichira Chofshis to perform Hashems will at all times and outwit the designs of the Yetzer Hara and thereby merit all the eternal rewards promised to us. Hashem eagerly anticipates our winning this internal battle privately as well as collectively as a nation. Although the Yetzer Hara in truth wants us to succeed in outmaneuvering him, he takes his job very seriously. (Aruch Hashulchan siman 1 sk 1-16). In current times, viewed as ikvisa dimishicha (footsteps of Mashiach) the spiritual stakes are very high. We are in the end game, final quarter of Jewish history. We have a coveted position as having earned the right to be known as Hashem’s chosen people. Although we are a numerically insignificant population of perhaps 2-2.5 million orthodox Jews in the world, our influence in shomayim is huge. Our enemies seek to sully our reputation so that our merit in this world as well as in the next, eternal world is diminished.
The Yetzer Hara came up with a brilliant plan to destroy Am Yisroel. He knows that there are two major avenues for Jews to reap eternal mitzva rewards. Mitzvos performed between man and Hashem and those performed between man and his fellow man. He knows from Pirkai Avos that the “big three” temptations that will get somebody to leave this world as well as he next, are jealousy, pursuit of personal honor and social advancement, and lust. He is aware that an obvious overt temptation in public would never succeed. The generations who persevered though historical mayhem and torture proved our nations resolve to keep Kosher, Shabbos, and to study and keep the Torah. Any public anti-mitzva campaign was silenced by the generations who kept the faith even on pain of death. To achieve his goal the Yetzer Hara introduced technology into the world as bait for the Jewish people to get “hooked” on. He has gotten us to sin on a large scale by slowly introducing technological communication devices into society that appear innocent and do not readily reveal their anti Torah purpose until they have infiltrated and destroyed the man-man as well as the man-god relationship. Technological devices seem to exist outside of halacha. The sefer has yet to be written on the halachickly correct way to use a home phone, a business phone, a bedroom phone, a beeper, a cell phone, a smart phone or emergency services radio. This is how he was able to slowly over the last 100 years get observant Jews used to absorbing any new communication devices without asking for Halacik direction for their proper use.
When electricity was invented and light bulbs found their way into our homes, there was great rabbinic debate as to how to incorporate this new technology into halacha. When the phone was introduced into the home increasingly during the 20th century there was none. The advent of the beeper allowed for portable communication outside the home. Initially used by only “important “professionals such as doctors or important officials, their use became commonplace that even teenagers and “regular “people utilized them to communicate at will. The doctor being “beeped” in shul was viewed as a good thing as he of course was off to save a life. The question posed to the Rav as to whether a doctor on call should stay home with his beeper and not take the chance on disturbing tefiloh bitzibur was not asked. It certainly was not publically ostracized or criticized by any religious body. As beepers became commonplace being “beeped” was perceived as an important albeit not life threatening event that was viewed as an acceptable interruption in one’s conversation or prayer. No shealoh was asked or public, firm, rabbinic opposition to this practice was raised.
Portable phones were the next techno wave that provided instant communication with the specific person of interest at will, 24 hours a day. Aside from little stickers and signs being posted in shuls there was no outrage or continuous, persistent campaign to define the halachik parameters of proper use of these ever-present phones either in shul or in everyday life. The cunning of the Yetzer Hara is evident in his providing the internet to us on our home computer first. It was a diversionary tactic. Provide limitless pornography at ones fingertips 24 hours a day and the Rabbis would respond with speeches and passion about the horror and gehainom that await anyone who sees it. We were very busy trying to figure out how to keep the good on the net and keep the bad out. We had parental controls so that we could decide what level of visual sewage we would allow into our individual homes. The rabbinic response was fractured. From keep it out at all costs, to suggesting we figure out for ourselves what to let in. All the while the increasing use of phones interrupting our daily conversations with each other as well as with Hashem continued unchecked. Shul, chupa, funeral, shiva, shiur, bris, sheva brochos, all being violated by cell phone use and no isur attached to the behavior. No unified rabbinic decree on how and when to use a cell phone, when should it be on or off, who should have access to you at and at what times and under what circumstance.
If you are talking to me and expect my undivided attention, you would not want me to interrupt the conversation to speak to someone else. If I interrupt our conversation to answer my phone, and I would not want you to answer your phone under the same circumstance I have violated the Torah positive commandment of viahavta liraiacha kamocha .This is a bitul asay of a Torah commandment. Each and every time a conversation is interrupted there is another bital asay. Add to that texting or emailing someone else while conversing with one another and the number of Bain adom lichavairo violations per minute are beyond human ability to count. Hashem keeps score. He disdains interpersonal violations more the man-god violations. The Yetzer Hara has succeeded in tripping us up so that we are trouncing with both feet on this concept of bain adom lichaivairo which Hillel said was the foundation of our religion. This is the same severity of the biblical violation that brought down the second Bais Hamikdash.
By calling it a “smart phone” the yetzer hara tapped into our ego. Who doesn’t want to be smart? And look at all the mitzvos I can do with my smart phone. We seduced ourselves to all the benefits of instant contact with anyone in the world at any time. We delude ourselves into thinking that we are in control of our situation and those around us. The smart phone is all the Yetzer Hara wanted it to be. It provides status to the holder. His importance is evident by the phone ringing or the email pinging for all to hear. It provides Kol davar asur 24/7 for any lust imaginable or real. There is always a new one coming out with new better features so that people are envious of each other’s phones no different than fancy cars or houses. We are on a path to self-destruction unless there is an immediate, unified halachik prescription for proper use and enforcement of the rules for these devices under all circumstances so as to eliminate the man-god violations in shul and the man-man infractions in society.
Hashem appoints leaders and uses them to do his bidding on this world. When Ahmadinejad addresses the world on Yom Kippur Jews should take notice. This was a Hashem orchestrated event programed to get our attention. It is clear that Jews the world over are in great peril from the menace in Iran. He frequently speaks of the Jews annihilation. His strength comes from our sins. Bibi Netanyahu is likewise Hashem’s puppet speaking on the world stage the day after Yom Kippur. He spoke of a red line. After which action would be taken. Who is he talking to? It is to be viewed as a message from Hashem to us that there is not a lot of time left for us to wake up and perform teshuva for our obvious failings as a nation. This is a message about a potentially lethal outcome if we don’t act with alacrity to reverse course on the offensive behaviors that have brought us to the brink of divine retribution. Our Hashem always acts for our benefit. In preparation for the recent Yom Hadin he maneuvered to give Am Yiroel an advantage over our foes here and in shomayim who are pointing to our egregious sins and demand our downfall in the accordance with His midas hadin. We have been taught that the death of a tzaddik is michaper or purifies our sins. We also know that the world stands on Torah, Avoda and gemilus chasadim. In order to save the Jewish world from a negative gezaira commensurate with our capital avairos, He performed a heavenly, anticipatory, blocking maneuver. Late in the past year as we were in our annual national mourning period in remembrance of the destruction of the Temple he collected 3 souls. Their holiness was required to offset the national lack of merit coming into Yom Hadin, and buy us time to return to Hashem in earnest. Three tzadikim each outstanding and unparalleled in their unique service to Hashem were called upon as korbons to save Am Yisroel. Our loss of the Gadol Hador, Rav Eliashivs zt”zl on 28 tamuz, 5772 was not a consequence of disease or old age, rather a specifically timed event to maximize zichusim for klal Yisroel. His death alone plus the tremendous traffic stopping levaya as well as the surge in Torah study performed in his honor brought tremendous positive weight to the scales of life and death on Yom Kippur. Rav Eliashiv represented the amud of Torah needed for the world to continue. Zev Wolfson ztals” selfless, humble, lifelong actions to intercede at the highest level of government to save klal yisroel physically, and promote worldwide kiruv and torah study, as well as recruiting others to join in his effort is unparalleled in world history. His petira in the month of Av near the Yom Hadin served to reinforce the Amud of Gimilas Chasadim needed in shomayim to promote the Jewish cause and silence our naysayers before the kisay hacavod on Yom Kippur. According to Rav Shimshon Pincus the ultimate power of tefiloh (our current day avoda) is achieved by someone who pursues advancement in Tefila with the same zest as he pursues learning Torah. He explains that one’s growth in Torah study must be paralleled by equal achievement in tefiloh study and perfection. We are each judged by our Creator according to accomplishments achieved with our individual, Hashem given talent. Our sages relate that upstairs in shomayim it is an olam hafuch, an upside down world. People thought to be outstanding, languishing in the cheap seats and plain or simple folk, enjoying Heavenly orchestra seating. This makes sense in the world of purity and truth. Those who maximized their potential are elevated and those who squandered their intellectual gifts are demoted. Moishy Reisman zatz”l was niftar in the week before RavEliashivs petira. The selfless, devoted, caring, loving, of a cadre of special people, together with the communal achdus resultant from the nonstop mitzvos performed in his terminal care accompanied by chesed, tefiloh and learning by the bitzibur, prolonged his short life, so that his death could be beneficial to klal yisroel coming into the Yomim Noraim. Moishy z’tzl was a simpleton. He was intellectually challenged but he had the aptitude to pray and to study very basic halachos and Mishnah. He attended shiurim that were beyond his intellectual grasp and kept notes and records of his classes. He attended minyan regularly and promoted Tefilaa kihalacha as he understood them on the people in his vicinity in shul. He was on time and scolded those who came late or talked inappropriately. On his last morning, as early as Halachikly possible, Rabbi Yakov Reisman (Moishy zatzal”s father) had Moishy put on tefilin and recite Shema with a minyan present as his nishama departed. Moishy zatzl”s last ‘shema’ joined the shema of all the previous korbanos whose life and death were mikadaish shem shomayim and protected klall yisroel from harm.
Hashem brought Moishy ztzl into this world as a test for his family. Would they work to help him achieve religiously all that his limited intellect could absorb or would they give up and settle for minimal growth, thinking that his was a wasted minimal life, not worthy of exceptional effort. It is clearly evident to all who interacted with Moishy zatzl that his love of tefiloh and zest for torah knowledge were equal and each received his maximum effort. This achievement, credited primarily to his special holy parents as well as his brothers and sisters, his Rabaim, and the shul members who befriended and supported him in creative and unique ways, propelled Moishy zatzl to the Tzadik staus and a front row seat in shomayim. Olam hafuch. Hashem utilized the avalanche of mitzvos created by all who cared for and promoted Moishy zatzal from birth to early but very timely death to save Am Yisroel from the negative gezaira due to improper tefilo. Moishy zatzl is the third amud, representing Tefiloh or avoda, needed to complete the formula of torah avoda and gemilus chasadim to keep the world standing. This earthly unlikely trio makes perfect sense in shomayim. Hashem leveraged the zichusim gleaned from the misa of these tzadikim immediately prior to the advent of the New Year in order to spare great loss of Jewish life from Sandy’s waves and Gaza’s Rockets. Tefilah Bitzibur Kihalocha is always answered by Hashem.
After his death it became evident that the Tefilin he had cherished were pasul due to the “nylon” scandal perpetrated by Jewish Tefilin makers. Hashem sent this message to point to our collective inadequacies in tefilo. It is as if Hashem is ungluing himself from us due to our insincere prayer. Tefiloh Bitzibur Kehalacha must be strived for in each shul at every tefilo opportunity. Moishy zatzl” life further emphasizes the ability of every Jew to excel in Tefiloh. His Ahava of learning Torah was matched by perfection in Yirah expressed though tefiloh kihalacha everytime. He set the bar over which we all must hurdle.
The global Jewish nation is in a perilous state. We need rabbinic leaders to lead us back to Hashem with an organized systematic efficient plan. In order to succeed we need a private kiruv kirovim effort that is reinforced publically. Our collective existence is at stake. Sheairis Hapilaita doesn’t have a proscribed number. The notion that Moshiach is around the corner and that we can coast with the status quo until the shofar sounds must be dispelled. My mother does not recall a rainbow in the sky when she was liberated from Auschwitz. Our public rejection of yiras shomayim expressed by repeated desecration of Hashems torah through improper tefiloh, halachickly unacceptable dress and language, coupled with private halachickly deviant sexual behavior and financial indiscretions is fodder for divine retribution at a level most can’t fathom. The Purim episode, although chronologically ancient, is a practical mass Teshuva model which we can emulate.
Rav Moshe Feinstein ztvk”l in Dorash Moshe asks why is the holiday named Purim? The holiday name expresses the theme of the mitzva corresponding to the particular holiday. The name Purim seems to be glorifying a trivial part of the story. Rav Moshe zatzal explains the reason for the name is so that we should not act complacent when we have plenty. Rather we should pray as we did before the shefa biracha, realizing that our mazal can change in an instant as it did for Haman Harasha. Rav Moshe points out that this is the great lesson in emunah to be gleaned from the name Purim and that it why it is a perfect name for the holiday. The message from Rav Moshe to us is to daven like its 1939 or 1948 or 1973. We cannot be complacent and act as if the status quo is unalterable. We have enemies out destroy us collectively and individually but we act as if we won the war already. Rav Moshes advice should wake us up to the fact that just because the Kotel is in our hands today doesn’t mean that it can’t be taken away tomorrow. This is true for every other aspect of life as we know it, here and in Eretz Yisroel. We are still in galus. We have not crossed the moshiach finish line yet. Our lives on this earth are in jeopardy due to our religious shortcomings. Hashem’s wanton destruction of His holy Torahs, sefarim, shuls and yeshivos better wake us up that nothing is sacred when the midas hadin is engaged. Mordechai was faced with a similar dilemma in Shushan. He was aware of Hamans “final solution”.Mordechai rent his cloths and donned sack cloth. He then went out in the city and cried out loud as this public wail is favorable in shomayim as opposed to private prayer and to alert other Jews to follow suit. They individually fasted and said kinos .Some changed into avalis garb. Esther is made aware of the dire situation and arranges to comunicate with Mordechai. Mordechai gives her musar and tells her that her hishtadlus is to save Am Yisroel by going to the king against protocol and beg on behalf of Klal Yisroel. Esther is a prophetess who understood clearly what was at stake. She knew that her only hope of reversing the gezaira against the Jews was through tefila, tishuva, and gimilus chasadim Each aspect had to be pursued to perfection.She knew that through the power of Tifila Bitzibur Kihalachcha she and all the Jews would be saved and that the opposite, tefila bitzibur shalo kihalacha or chilultefila bifarhesia would seal the gezaira and all would be lost. The reason given for the decree against the Jews was because they enjoyed the Kings seuda at which the kailim of the Bais Hamikdash were used to enhance the party.This was an avaira of collective lack of yiras shomayim which became evident as they became intoxicated and their thoughts became public.In order for the Jews to perform the highest level of teshuva for a public desecration of Hashems name she had to recreate a public venue whereby the Jews would be tested. Will they have perfect Yirah while they are gathered together and behave with Halachikly perfect tefiloh,and not use the meeting opportunity to plot there own schemes at survival or not.This is the element of Teshuva that Esther achieved by comanding kinos es kol hayihudim. Bring the Jews together in the Bais kenesses.The next element was gemilus chasadim which she attained by ordering the Jews “tzumu ali” fast for me. The Jews fasted for 3 days straight “for her” which was a courageous act of gemilas chasadim. They fasted for her protection and success in her mission to see the king unannounced which indirectly also helped their own case.The last obvious element is that of sincere heartfelt tefiloh which verbalizes the yira-thought that only Hashem can save us.Only Hashem and his Torah is the truth “emes”.As we believe that Hashem is aware of our thoughts,He witnessed our complete Teshuva for public chilul Hashem by performing public kiddush Hashem through Tifila Bitzibur Kehalacha. In order to achieve an audience with the “King” in shomayim, one needs ziaka bitzibur kihalacha. Hashem will always heed communal Ziaka performed in halachik perfection. She was well aware of the pitfalls of gathering Jews together for prayer as their level of yirah was not as it should be as they were not fearful of Hashem at the party in the presence of the kailim from the Bais Hamikdash. A gathering of Jews together for prayer is either a kiddush hashem, exhibiting our communal yiras shomayim bifarhesia with halachikly perfect tefilo or a chilul hashem bifarhsia if we do not act with halachik reverence in his House. That is why she chose her words carefully. She commanded Mordechai:”kinos es kol hayihudim”. She did not want people doing their own thing, some with sack cloth and some not, all individually doing what they thought was proper for the situation. She ordered that all Jews be brought together to harness the power of tefiloh bitzibur. The Chida hakadosh points out that the word” kinos” is found in only one other place in Tanach. In Koheles in perek 3 pasuk 5 it says “a time to spread out stones and a time to” kinos” gather stones together. The pasuk before states;” a time for crying at time to laugh, a time for hespaidim and a time for dancing”. The pasuk after states;” a time to hug and a time refrain from intimacy”. Gathering of stones are used for marking graves which is associated with tears and hespaidim over the dead and prohibition against intimacy. Spreading stones around are used to mark property lines for construction of a new couples home. It is a time of dancing and intimacy. Tefilo bitzibur is either a kiddush Hashem or Chillul hashem, each with its own resultant reward or punishment. Esther knew that gathering the Jews together was very risky as their level of yiras shomayim and bitachon were suspect as that is what got them into this mess in the first place. Esther said that she will go to the king and if she lost, she lost. Kasher avaditi avaditi. She set up the scenario as such: If the king upon seeing me points his gold scepter in my direction she will know that the Tefila Bitzibur on her behalf resulted in a kiddush shem shomayim and that the teshuva was accepted and the tefilos answered and that she just had to play out her hishtadlus role and follow Mordechai’s script to reverse the gezaira. If the king did not raise the golden scepter she would be put to death immediately losing olam hazeh.(avaditi-1) The second loss( avaditi-2)is the loss of her olam haba because she caused a tremendous chillul Hashem bifarhesia to occur when the Jews came together at her behest and they did not pray properly which caused a chilul hashem for which one cannot perform teshuva. She will have lost her olam hahba as well. Tefila Bitzibur kihalacha saves lives.
Our nation needs an army of Mordechai’s to motivate, educate and seduce people back to a proper level of yiras shomayim. Everyone is responsible for the nishamos under their influence. A Rav is a Hashem chosen leader to care for and nurture the balabatim under his charge. Every effort must be enjoined to eliminate Chillul Tefiloh bitzibur by eliminating technology from shuls. We need a uniform, universal, simple, enforceable plan to be instituted simultaneously in all shuls. Umi yodea im le es cazos hegata lirabanus!!! There are many behaviors that need to be corrected in today’s orthodox Jewish society. The most pressing is Halachikly correct tefila bitzibur as that will allow us to beseech the Ribono shel olam for help correcting the other violations. It will serve to spread the Yirah to other behaviors that require urgent Tikun. Chanukah is the last, last chance to improve the gizaira of Yom Kippur. Let us all strive for workable a solution to elevate communal Yiras shomayim and bring pleasure to our Creator.” Mi Lahashem elai!”Moshe Yosef Werzberger