Israel Forever

For the week ending 29 March 2008 / 22 Adar II 5768

Cleaning Up the Mess

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

“If a child dirties the palace of the king its mother is obligated to clean up the mess.”

This is how our Talmudic Sages explain the role of the Parah Adumah (Red Heifer) in atoning for the sin of the Golden Calf.

This Shabbat Jews throughout the world will hear the special reading of Torah chapter about the Red Heifer in addition to the regular weekly portion. In his commentary Rashi explains how the Sages interpreted every facet of the requirements for a qualified Red Heifer as corresponding to the nature of the sin of the Golden Calf – the mother cleaning up the child's mess.

After the long awaited report of the Winograd Commission pointed out the mistakes that were made during the Second Lebanese War by people in high places, it is the responsibility of those people to clean up the mess that they made. Perhaps the first step is to abandon their exaggerated confidence in the ability of even the best army to protect Israel without relying on faith in G-d.

While we look forward to the improvement of the Israel Defense Forces we pray that G-d will give it the power to secure Israel forever.

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