Israel Forever

For the week ending 20 November 2010 / 12 Kislev 5771

The Third Strategy

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

In his preparations for meeting with his archenemy Esav, the Patriarch Yaakov developed three strategies to avoid being destroyed by his hate-filled brother and his four hundred henchmen.

In this week's Torah portion we learn of his dividing his camp into two as a military strategy, of his sending a generous gift of animals as a diplomatic gesture, and of his praying to Heaven for deliverance from the hands of Esav.

In the history of the State of Israel we have tried both war and diplomacy to achieve peace for the nation which, like Yaakov, finally returned to its homeland. The ongoing tension with our neighbors proves that neither of these has totally achieved this goal.

What about trying prayer?

The Israel government recently released the minutes of the Cabinet meeting which took place 34 years ago in which it was decided to go ahead with the daring rescue attempt to free Israeli hostages held by Arab terrorists in Uganda. There was great concern about the chances of success of this undertaking which proved to be the miraculously successful Entebbe Operation. Yisrael Galili, a secular leftist minister, asked that the religious ministers should pray for its success.

In the Ohr Somayach Beit Midrash, as in many synagogues throughout Israel and the world, special Psalms are daily recited for the safety of Jews living in Israel, in addition to the prayer said thrice daily by every praying Jew for the redemption of Israel. Perhaps if Jews like the late Yisrael Galili would themselves join in such praying, we would soon see the peace which Israel seeks forever.

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