As the scary, tumultuous events of the Israel-Hamas conflict unfold daily, we see before our eyes the fulfillment of many Biblical and Midrashic forecasts. About Yishmael, the Torah tells us, “Yado vakol v’yad kol bo – His hand will be into everyone, and everyone will be in him.” It has long been understood that the phrase ‘everyone will be in him’ refers to the global need for oil from the Arab kingdoms. But, what does ‘yado vakol’ mean, that his hand will be into everyone?
Many were shocked by the behavior of the elite and Ivy League colleges, how they failed to protest vehemently against open antisemitism, how they told their Jewish constituents to stay low, instead of coming out with figurative guns-a-blazing at the horrific behavior of the anti-Jewish sentiment.
Well, don’t be too shocked. In the last few decades, the lowest estimation is that the elite and Ivy League colleges received eight billion dollars in Arab funding. A whopping four billion dollars came from Qatar, the source of the recently proclaimed ‘Global Day of Jihad.’ We were all appalled at the Cornell professor who was “exhilarated” over the Hamas attack. Why should we be surprised when Cornell alone received 1.5 billion dollars in Arab funding? This is the fulfillment of yado vakol. The Arabs have their hands influencing all over.
Yado vakol is not just in the area of education. It’s also in the political arena where Arab funding has been funneled into different campaigns, influencing the selection of political leaders who further spew rhetoric such as “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
When we hear about a United Nations resolution after the Hamas atrocities of October 7 condemning all violence against all civilians, thus equating Hamas’ and Israel’s actions, and giving no room for Israel’s right of self-defense or no room for the condemnation and outrage against the unprovoked murder and torture by Hamas of children, women and men. We see the fulfillment of that which it says in the Medrash Tanchuma in this week’s parsha Toldos (5), “Such is the might of one sheep standing among 70 wolves,” and what Reb Yehoshua ben Levi concludes with his soothing, “Great is the Shepherd (Hashem) that saves the sheep from them.”
When hundreds of thousands gathered in London, the UK capital, for a Palestinian anti-Israel rally. And in Washington, DC, also hundreds of thousands chanting “Lift the siege on Gaza now,” and, “Palestine will be free.” It reminds us of some very important truths. As the Torah prophesized in Bamidbar (23:9), “Hein am levadad yishkon u’vagoyim lo yis’chashoav – We are a nation that dwells apart, amongst the nations we are not important. As the great Netziv, zt”l, zy”a, interprets, “If we stay to ourselves and keep our laws, we will dwell securely. But, if we assimilate, they will not give us any value.” As the famous saying goes, “When the Jew doesn’t make Kiddush, then the goyim make Havdalah.” This means that if we don’t sanctify ourselves by our behavior in our fulfillment of the Torah, the goy will actively shun us and denigrate us. We also see openly before our eyes the clear fulfillment of halacha b’yadu’ah, “She’Eisav sonei’h es Yaakov.”
There is another vital lesson. Many impressionable young Jewish minds have been swayed by the opinions of hundreds of thousands of liberal minded Americans. They have been influenced to believe that alternate lifestyles like LGBTQ are completely acceptable. For, after all, thousands of people are accepting and lauding such ways of life. It should be an eye-opener to many of them, that hundreds of thousands (many of the same liberal woke persuasion) can come chant and applaud the behavior of Hamas who entered homes and cold-bloodedly gunned down entire families. How the same liberals go around pulling down pictures of kidnapped hostages. How Black Lives Matter champions can glorify pictures of Hamas terrorists, may their name be erased, coming on hang gliders to attack.
Rav Avigdor Miller, zt”l, zy”a, once said that you might think that in order to not believe in Christianity you need to study Christian theology. He roundly debunked this. Rather, he said, all you need to do is look at the many Christian leaders who promoted the blood libels, or the many crusaders who represented the church while murdering and raping Jewish families as they were carrying the cross. Rav Miller also recommended not to pay attention to the behavior of the masses. He was once asked why Hashem allowed Islam to be born. He explained that when the faith of Christianity was introduced, many people said, “How could it be wrong? Look how many millions have embraced it.” So Hashem introduced Islam which also had millions of adherents. Then, since one had to be wrong, we can accept that they both are wrong.
Once again, the young impressionable Jewish minds affected by the woke persuasion should take a good look into their Jewish souls and realize the lunacy of those chanting “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” essentially espousing the obliteration of Israel. They should say to themselves, “Just like this is garbage, a lot of what else is liberal ideology is equally foolishness and futility.”
I will end off with the last Baal HaTurim of parshas Chayei Sarah (25:18), on the words of the parsha where it says, “…Al pnei chol echav nafal,” that Yishmael lived among all of his families. The Baal HaTurim writes, “And the next posuk (the first posuk in parshas Toldos) says, ‘V’eileh toldos Yitzchak,’ to teach us that when Yishmael falls, at the end of days (emphasizing nafal, fall) then will sprout the Moshiach, son of Dovid, who is from the offspring of Yitzchak.” The holy Baal HaTurim is telling us that it won’t be a peace treaty or a two-state solution. Rather, Yishmael will fall and Moshiach ben Dovid will come.
May we all, speedily and in good health, see this time in our days.
Transcribed and edited by Shelley Zeitlin.