Israel Forever

For the week ending 13 September 2008 / 13 Elul 5768

Double Danger

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

The danger that Israel faces from its enemies within its borders and outside them is attributed by political analysts to the unresolved Israel-Arab conflict. While this is the explanation on the surface, this week's Torah portion offers us a more profound perspective.

The Torah warns that if there is immodesty in dress this will cause G-d to "withdraw from you". (Devarim 23:15) At the conclusion of the parsha there is the command to remember what the Amalekite nation did to our ancestors on their way out of Egypt. This command is preceded by the prohibition against dishonesty in weights and measures. The connection between the two, Rashi points out, is that if we are dishonest in our business affairs we invite an attack from our enemy.

The double danger of immodest dress and dishonesty in commerce is the hidden cause of our insecurity. The wars and terrorism are merely the results.

As Israel's leaders and its armed forces prepare themselves for a seemingly inevitable confrontation with our enemies, it would be wise for them to try solving the nation's problems of security by going to the root of the matter and radically changing the standard of modesty prevalent in our society and insisting on absolute honesty on the part of our leaders and our entire nation.

Only by eliminating this double danger will we truly be able, with Heaven's help, to secure Israel forever.

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