An Open Letter to Klal Yisrael: Urgent Call to Action in This Time of Crisis

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”We must unify all Jewish People through Torah, Tefillah, and Acts of Kindness amid this crisis: This is our wake up call to fortify our spiritual armor against enemies, both external and internal.”

Shalom Aleichem,

We find ourselves in days of sorrow and tribulation, following the abhorrent terrorist attacks that began on the festive day of Simchat Torah, purportedly orchestrated by Hamas and with suspected involvement from Iran. During times like these, we must remember the teaching of Rabbi Akiva who noted that love for one’s fellow Jew is a fundamental principle in Torah (Torah Ohr, Leviticus 19:18). This call to unity is not merely sentimental; it is vital, as the Talmud says that baseless hatred was the reason for the destruction of the Second Temple (Talmud, Yoma 9b).

Our sages have long emphasized the gravity of national unity, saying, “Klal Yisrael arevim zeh bazeh” – all of Israel are responsible for one another (Talmud, Shevuot 39a). It is perhaps our internal divisiveness, the lack of love and respect for one another, that has made us vulnerable to external enemies.

The enemy does not just exploit our physical vulnerabilities but also seeks to capitalize on our spiritual weaknesses. This makes our response to this crisis not only one of strategic defense but also one of spiritual and ethical elevation. Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, in “Mesillat Yesharim,” argues that it is our moral and spiritual character that defines our worth and capability to stand against adversity (Mesillat Yesharim, Chapter 19).

As the Talmudic sage Rava would say in moments of crisis, “I, however, am like olive oil that rises above all liquids; I will rise above all the deeds of the wicked Romans” (Talmud, Berachot 35b). We too can rise above the actions of wicked enemies through acts of kindness, charity, and Torah study. As Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai said in the Zohar, acts of kindness help to reveal the divine attributes of Chesed and Rachamim (Mercy) in the world, acting as a counterforce to the Gevurah (Judgment) that seeks to accuse us (Zohar, III, 133b).

Let us not succumb to the “fear of man” that can prevent us from doing what is right in the eyes of HaShem. The fear of man is a snare, but he who trusts in HaShem is set on high (Mishlei 29:25). It is our lack of emunah (faith) and bitachon (trust) in HaShem that hinders our collective spiritual energy. Rabbi Moshe Cordovero in “Tomer Devorah” reminds us that trust in HaShem is integral to proper conduct and spiritual alignment (Tomer Devorah, Chapter 2).

Therefore, let us fortify ourselves not just with physical defenses, but by strengthening our commitment to Torah study, acts of kindness, and charity. Let us remember the teaching in Pirkei Avot that says the world stands on three things: Torah, the service of HaShem, and acts of kindness (Pirkei Avot 1:2).

In the merit of these actions, may we see the fulfillment of the prophecy that HaShem will grant us “a time of relief, and He will have compassion upon you” (Deuteronomy 30:3).

In the same vein, it is imperative to remember that true unity goes beyond mere cooperation. Rabbi Shimon Kessin, in his teachings on the interconnectedness of the Jewish nation, elaborates that our unity should mirror the divine Unity — absolute and without any form of division. Just as HaShem is Echad, so too must the Jewish people strive for a unity that reflects that Oneness (Deuteronomy 6:4).

The Rambam states that in times of crisis, it is a mitzvah to cry out to HaShem and to sound the trumpets as an act of Teshuva (Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Taanit 1:1). In other words, our response should not only be physical but also deeply spiritual.

The Baal Shem Tov taught that the individual soul is a “part of HaShem above” (Likutei Amarim, Tanya, Chapter 2). This notion is not merely a mystical idea but a call to action. Our acts of kindness and charity serve to rectify the collective soul of the Jewish people and by extension, the entire world, thereby fulfilling the teaching that all creation is a single organism (Midrash Tanchuma, Kedoshim 10).

In the realms of science, concepts like Quantum Entanglement tell us that particles can be interconnected in such a way that the state of one instantaneously influences the state of another, regardless of the distance separating them. Similarly, our actions, thoughts, and prayers are deeply interconnected, influencing the spiritual and physical realms in ways we can hardly fathom.

In conclusion, let us heed this call to action. Let us be united in our love for one another, our love for Torah, and our love for HaShem. Only through such unity can we hope to withstand the challenges that face us, drawing upon the timeless wisdom of our sages and the eternal strength that comes from adhering to the path of Torah and Mitzvot.

May the light of unity dispel the darkness that seeks to engulf us, and may we merit to see the coming of Mashiach, speedily in our days. Amen.

B’Ahavat Yisrael v’Emunah “With love for Israel and faith.”

Al Kein Ne’kaveh,
– Dovid

A Tefillah for Unity and Divine Protection
Master of the Universe, may it be Your will to strengthen our hearts and enlighten our minds, so we can discern and uproot the negative influences within us that parallel the spiritual essence of Amalek. Help us to identify and eliminate the triggers that cloud our judgment, hinder our spiritual growth, and lead us down paths away from Your Torah.

Grant us the wisdom to discern the ‘way’ of Amalek, the moments when we are vulnerable, the times when we are faint and exhausted, and grant us the fortitude to safeguard our spiritual integrity during these times. Let us be mindful of the ‘hindmost’ aspects of our lives—the corners of our hearts where we lag behind, and strengthen them so that they too may serve Your exalted Name.

Inspire us to cultivate a fortress of faith and a stronghold of Torah study and mitzvah observance. Guide us in Your Torah so that we may preempt the Amalek within us by filling our lives with spiritual purpose and holy pursuits. Let us recognize our personal ‘danger zones’ and illuminate them with the light of Your Torah, so that there is no darkness left for doubt or despair to reside.

May we merit to see the day when Amalek is eradicated from the world, a day when Your name will be One and Your kingship will be accepted by all.

In Your precious Torah, through the words of our sages, we have been given the blueprint to nullify the influences of Amalek from within us and the world around us. May we be successful in this endeavor, as it is written: “You shall wipe out the memory of Amelek from under the heavens; do not forget!”

Let us turn our efforts of eradicating the internal Amalek into offerings before You, a sweet savor that rises to the Heavenly Throne, nullifying any negative decrees and bringing us closer to the final Redemption. Amen, Amen, v’Amen.

(Likkutei Sichot, vol. 14, p. 86)

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