Wednesday, September 21, 2016

War and its Significance

By HaRav Dov Begon
Rosh HaYeshiva, Machon Meir

“When a great war takes place in the world, Messianic forces are involved... The larger the war in quality and quantity, the greater our anticipation of advances in the Messianic process” (Orot 3, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook). 

There is a connection between redemption and wars, as our sages said, “In the seventh year will come wars. In the eighth year, the son of David will come” (Megillah 17b). “The Master of wars... causes salvation to spring forth” (blessings preceding the morning Shema). The prophets are full of descriptions of the War of Gog and Magog -- that terrible war in which the enemies of Israel suffer resounding defeat in their attempt to conquer Jerusalem, and out of which G-d’s name shall be magnified and sanctified in the world. Indeed, when we recite the Kaddish, we open with, “Magnified and sanctified be G-d’s great name.” And when will His great name be magnified and sanctified? When the enemies of Israel suffer a resounding defeat. G-d’s glory will then be magnified and sanctified in the world, when Israel’s glory is magnified in the world. 

Today we are in a war which began before the State’s establishment, with the first Aliyot to Israel. The symbol of heroism of those days was Joseph Trumpeldor, who sacrificed his life for our hold on the Galilee. Our enemies today make use of the same ploys they used back then. When they were repulsed by Trumpeldor and his comrades, they tried treachery, approaching Trumpeldor with their hands outstretched as if in friendship. Yet once they had penetrated the fortified courtyard of Tel Hai, they murdered Trumpeldor and his comrades.

Now, as well, our enemies are attempting, by means of terror, to weaken and subjugate us, with the goal of driving us out of our land. When they see that they are not succeeding, they make use of the weapon of “peace,” with the aim of taking bites out of our land while planning for the next stage of the war. We can console ourselves and have faith that we will be victorious in battle. In order to be victorious, we need not just tanks and jets, but faith and spirit, as well as knowledge of what we are fighting for, and why. We have to realize that we are fighting in order to sanctify G-d’s name publicly.  

Israel’s hold on Eretz Yisrael and its capital Jerusalem brings light to the world, through G-d’s kingdom being revealed on earth, and through the divine bounty produced. As Isaiah said, “For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of G-d from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3). 

Our enemies are attempting to extinguish the light, but the children of light shall defeat the children of darkness. 

Longing for complete salvation, 
Shabbat Shalom.

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