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If I Were The Devil
By Paul Harvey  

I would gain control of the most powerful nation in the world;
I would delude their minds into thinking that they had come from man’s effort, instead of G-d’s blessings;
I would promote an attitude of loving things and using people, instead of the other way around;
I would dupe entire states into relying on gambling for their state revenue;
I would convince people that character is not an issue when it comes to leadership;
I would make it legal to take the life of unborn babies;
I would make it socially acceptable to take one’s own life, and invent machines to make it convenient;
I would cheapen human life as much as possible so that lives of animals are valued more than human beings;
I would take G-d out of the schools, where even the mention of His name was grounds for a lawsuit;
I would come up with drugs that sedate the mind and target the young, and I would get sports heroes to advertise them;
I would get control of the media, so that every night I could pollute the minds of every family member for my agenda;
I would attack the family, the backbone of any nation. I would make divorce acceptable and easy, even fashionable. If the family crumbles, so does the nation;
I would compel people to express their most depraved fantasies on canvas and movies screens, and I would call it art;
I would convince the world that same-gender marriage is natural, and that their lifestyles should be accepted and marveled at;
I would convince the people that right and wrong are determined by a few who call themselves authorities and refer to their agendas as politically correct;
I would persuade people that religion is irrelevant and out of date; the Bible is for the naïve;
I would dull the minds of believers, and make them believe that prayer is not important, and that faithfulness and obedience are optional;
I guess I would leave things pretty much the way they are!


The Zohar (Chelek 3, 176) writes that when Korach incited a coup d’état against Moshe, he challenged “peace” itself. In so doing, he also challenged Shabbos and Torah, both of which are referred to as peace.


What does the Zohar mean? How can one physically challenge “peace” and what is the connection with Shabbos and Torah?

The Nesivos Shalom explains that peace is not merely the absence of divisiveness and discord. G-d created the world so that it exists based on a joint giver-taker relationship. The moon reflects the light of the sun, and the earth is nourished from the rain which descends from the sky, etc. Human relationships, primarily the male-female relationship, also contain this type of synergy. The male’s role is to provide, while the female’s role is to accept what the male contributes and to then enhance and develop it. The world itself also includes this form of relationship, as it is merely an anteroom to the World to Come.

G-d is the only “force” that is completely sovereign and independent. The rest of creation, however, requires a dynamic giver-taker relationship. On a spiritual level, too, every generation is guided and led by its leaders who are privy to a greater level of clarity of Torah knowledge. Therefore, the masses must look to its sagacious scholars for guidance and direction about the Torah’s expectations in every given situation. In fact, the transmission and perpetuation of Torah has always been from teacher to student, father to son.

The Zohar explains that all physical blessings are granted as a result of Shabbos observance. The Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh (Bereishis 2:1) explains that when G-d created the world He only instilled it with the ability to exist for six days. After that time, the world should have instantly reverted back to a nebulous wisp of nothingness. It was only the observance of Shabbos which infused the world with a resurgence of energy that allowed the world to exist for another six days, and another, and another…


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Rabbi Dani Staum, LMSW, is a popular speaker and author as well as a rebbe in Heichal HaTorah in Teaneck, NJ. He has recently begun seeing clients in private practice as part of the Rockland CBT group. For appointments and speaking engagements, contact 914-295-0115 or Archives of his writings can be found at