09 June 2017

Parshas Shelach – TZITZIS … AND WORLD SECURITY

TZITZIS … AND WORLD SECURITY
By Roy S. Neuberger

On May 22, a bombing attack occurred in Manchester, England. A few weeks later, there were violent attacks in London. President Trump and other Western leaders condemned these attacks. The Prime Minister of England stated, “Enough is enough.” But even powerful leaders seem helpless in the face of this growing threat. 

Precisely what is happening and how should we react? How does one achieve security in a world that seems more insecure with each passing day? 

Please listen to the words of Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch zt”l. “Other nations try in vain to achieve political security externally and thriving prosperity internally. They try in a thousand different ways, and do not succeed. We, however, can achieve this simply and surely, by keeping the Torah!” (Parshas Behar) The nations of the world “do not succeed,” but we, on the other hand, have the trustworthy formula for success at our fingertips. 

We should not be surprised at what is happening. I would like to refer once again to the words of the Malbim (quoted in my book, 2020 Vision). Although I have often referred to these words, their relevance to today’s world situation causes me to return to them again and again. Based on a passage in Yechezkel Hanovi (32:17), the Malbim predicts that, in the days before Moshiach, the descendants of Yishmael and the descendants of Esav – that is, the Moslem and the Western super-cultures – will engage in a cataclysmic clash which the Malbim calls “Milchemes Gog Umagog.” This is the war which will end history as we have known it and make way for the world of Moshiach, in which “Torah will come forth from Tzion and the Word of Hashem from Yerushalayim.” (Yeshiah 2:3)

We are seeing the beginning of this massive conflict right now. There is no benefit in blinding ourselves. Statements from world leaders will have no effect; this is too big for anyone to undo. “Hashem annuls the counsel of nations; He thwarts the designs of peoples.” (Tehillim 33:10)

In this week’s Parsha we find the following words, which have been incorporated into the Shema“And it shall constitute tzitzis for you, that you may see it and remember all the commandments of Hashem and perform them, and not explore after your heart and after your eyes, after which you stray.” (Bamidbar 15:39) The tzitzis remind us of Taryag Mitzvos(See Rashi to Bamidbar 15:39).  

What is the subject of tzitzis doing in the parsha of the Miraglim? What do tzitzis have to do with the catastrophic mistake of the spies? 

Everything! 

Tzitzis are the tikkun, the healing remedy for the sin of the Miraglim!

The Miraglim met disaster because they trembled before the inhabitants of Eretz Canaan“All the people we saw were huge! There we saw the Nephilim, the sons of the giant …. We were like grasshoppers in our eyes, and so we were in their eyes …. (Bamidbar 13:32-33) 

One looks at oneself the way one thinks others are looking at us. Since the Miraglim thought of themselves as “grasshoppers,” they felt that they were “grasshoppers” in the eyes of others. 

But we control our fate! Others do not control our fate.

We are supposed to look at the tzitzis. If we focus on the Ribono shel Olam and His Torah, we can fulfill His will no matter how difficult it may seem. When we see the tzitzis, we are filled with the power of Torah and are not afraid of men. Hashem will lift us above even giants! “For with You (Hashem) I smash a troop, and with my G-d I leap a wall!” (Tehillim 18:29-30)

The Miraglim who were obsessed with the “giants” were destroyed because they ceased to focus on the Real Power in the world, the Ribono shel Olam. Yehoshua bin Nun and Kalaiv ben Yefuneh survived because they focused on Reality. Yehoshua carried with him the Torah of his Rebbe, Moshe Rabbeinu. Kalaiv ben Yefuneh went out of his way to daven at the burial place of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov Avinu, so that he could be sustained by the clear thinking of our Patriarchs, who saw through the corruption of the world and cleaved to the Creator. 

“If only My people would heed me! If Israel would walk in My ways, in an instant I would subdue their foes and turn My hand against their tormentors!” (Tehillim 81) 

Recently, Rabbi Osher Anshul Jungreis brought to my attention a powerful statement written by Rabbi Aharon Moshe Shechter Shlita”hRosh Yeshiva of Chaim Berlin, in which the Rosh Yeshiva describes the plan by which the Israeli government plans to draft every yeshiva boy in Israel, a plan which would, G-d forbid, drastically downsize every yeshiva.

My friends, we have to understand what is protecting us! What is our security if not the Taryag Mitzvos? The young and old men who are learning and living Torah are in fact the army which is protecting the Land and the People of Israel. 

In an era in which the false belief systems of the world are engaged in a mighty clash which will usher in the Age of Moshiach, our only hope is to cling to Hashem’s Torah with all our strength! 
We cannot afford to make the mistake our ancestors committed when they trembled before the “giants” instead of trembling before the Ruler of the Universe! 

Let us wake up before our mistakes overwhelm us! There is still time to learn from the tzitzis

Our Parsha concludes with these words: “I am Hashem, your G-d, Who has removed you from the land of Egypt to be a G-d unto you. I am Hashem your G-d!” No one else but Hashem took us out of Egypt and no one else but Hashem will rescue us now, at the end of history! 

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Roy Neuberger, author and public speaker, can be reached at roy@2020vision.co.il.

© Copyright 2017 by Roy S. Neuberger

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