By HaRav Dov Begon
Rosh HaYeshiva, Machon Meir
(Ed. note: Rav Begon gave this shiur in 2013. Given the events of the past week, it resonates today even more than it did then)
“The Canaanite king attacked Israel and took some captives” (Numbers 21:1). Rashi
explains, “He captured only one maidservant.”
What was the people’s reaction to the capture of the Israelite maidservant? They
vowed to wage all-out war against the Canaanites, and that is what occurred.
For the sake of one maidservant does one have to go to war? Here the Jewish People
displayed their solidarity and unity, all of them as one man, with one heart. They had a
strong awareness that someone who hurts one Jew hurts them all. They related to each
individual Jew as an inseparable part of the aggregate. The pain and sorrow of each
individual were not a private matter, but a problem demanding the responsibility and concern
of the whole nation G-d had so lovingly selected. Such was the spirit that lived in the people.
The call of the hour is to strengthen our nation’s solidarity. It is only natural that every
single Jew in Israel and throughout the world should feel responsibility and concern and pain
over the plight of every other Jew, wherever he may be. This is especially so regarding those
Jews who face daily danger that their blood will be spilt like water, in our settlements, in the
streets of our cities, and in the dark cellars where they are being held captive by Lebanese
terrorists. A Jew must feel that when someone hurts a Jew, we and our whole nation are
being hurt. In order to strengthen solidarity, it is not enough to feel. We must also do. We
must visit the settlers and help them, adopting them and hosting them and their children.
Let each man encourage his neighbor, and through this will be fulfilled the blessing,
“Blessed are You, O L-rd, who smashes our enemies and defeats the wicked.”
Looking forward to complete salvation,