Israel Forever

For the week ending 13 December 2003 / 18 Kislev 5764

The Third Element

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

The ongoing struggle of the Jewish State to defend itself against its enemies and of Jews throughout the world to counter the new wave of anti-Semitism has already been foretold in the Torah portion of this week.

The Patriarch Yaakov prepares for his critical encounter with his hate-ridden brother Esav who is approaching him with an army bent on destruction. The steps he takes in self-defense are recorded in the Torah in order to teach the descendants of Yaakov the Jewish People how to defend themselves throughout the generations against the heirs of Esavs hatred the enemies of Jews ranging from the Romans to the rest of Europe and the Middle East.

The diplomacy of Yaakov in sending an appeasing gift is repeated today in all the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians which include appeasement offers of "painful concessions". The military preparations of our forefather in splitting his camp to create two fronts today takes on the form of the Israel Defense Forces and the nations police force guarding many fronts and even carrying the battle into enemy territory.

But what about the third element of Yaakovs preparations?

Our ancestor did not rely on his efforts alone. He was absolutely confident that the outcome of his confrontation with a mortal enemy would be determined by Heaven. Although he realized it was the will of Heaven that he make all the human efforts possible to ensure his survival, he expressed his faith in Heavens determining the finale by turning to Heaven in prayer to "save me, please, from my brother, from Esav".

Are we doing enough today in regard to praying for the security of Jews in Eretz Israel and throughout the world? Something to think about as we strive, as Yaakov did, to guarantee Israel forever.

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