An Open Letter to the People of Israel: Unity, Justice, and Divine Direction in Turbulent Times

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“This letter, draws upon the eternal teachings of the Torah to address the pressing issues of our times.”

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Shalom Aleichem,

As I pen this letter, my heart is filled with profound reverence for the sacred Torah and unshakeable humility before Hashem, the Creator and Sustainer of all. We are a nation that has stood at the crossroads of history, bearing the covenant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, tasked with a divine mission that transcends the boundaries of time and place. As we navigate the complexities of our generation, it is imperative that we recall the eternal teachings of our Torah and seek guidance from the wisdom of our forefathers, reminiscent of the discernment of King Solomon and the righteous zeal of King David.

Our beloved Torah teaches us extensively about the treatment of others, including our enemies and neighbors, and delineates the conditions under which we are to inhabit and hold stewardship over our Promised Land. The Book of Exodus reminds us, “Also you shall not oppress a stranger; for you know the heart of a stranger, seeing you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 22:21). This profound command compels us to reflect on our actions and attitudes towards those who dwell among us, whether they share our covenant or not.

Yet, as we look around, we find a distressing lack of true leadership—leaders who govern with the fear of Hashem and adhere to His commandments. The Prophets, whose writings echo through the ages, warned us of such times. They spoke of leaders who turn away from the Torah, leading the people astray, and of the dire consequences that befall a nation that forsakes the path of righteousness.

In these challenging times, our actions have not only national but global implications, affecting the sanctity of Hashem’s name and delaying our collective redemption. The Torah commands us in Leviticus, “You shall follow My ordinances and keep My statutes and walk in them: I am Hashem your God” (Leviticus 26:42-45). Our sages taught that peace, justice, and righteousness are the foundations upon which a holy society is built. Yet, we find ourselves at a juncture where these pillars are often overlooked, and the pursuit of personal or nationalistic ambitions clouds the divine instructions laid out for us.

The implications of our current leadership’s decisions, particularly those concerning the treatment of strangers and the stewardship of the Land of Israel, resonate deeply with the prophetic warnings about moral decay and the erosion of divine values. Jeremiah lamented, “For the shepherds have become brutish, and have not sought Hashem; therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered” (Jeremiah 10:21).

Our return to the Land, as promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is contingent upon our adherence to the covenant with Hashem. Deuteronomy 30:1-5 speaks with clarity about our dispersion and eventual gathering, predicated on our return to the Torah and obedience to its commandments: “And it shall come to pass when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither Hashem thy God hath driven thee, and shalt return unto Hashem thy God” (Deuteronomy 30:1-2). This passage not only emphasizes our physical return but underscores a spiritual return—a collective repentance and rejuvenation of our covenantal obligations.

Leviticus 19:33-34 instructs us not just in matters of legal justice but in the broader application of mercy and humility: “And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am Hashem your God.” These commandments are foundational, reminding us that our interpersonal conduct and societal structures should reflect the divine attributes of justice, mercy, and unconditional love.

The need for righteous leadership cannot be overstressed, especially in times when the ethical fiber of society is tested. Numbers 27:16-18 provides a poignant example when Moses asked Hashem to appoint a leader over the community, “Let Hashem, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation, who may go out before them, and who may come in before them, who may lead them out, and who may bring them in; that the congregation of Hashem be not as sheep which have no shepherd.” This request highlights the critical role of leaders who are not only administratively capable but spiritually attuned to the needs of their people and committed to guiding them in accordance with Hashem’s will.

As we reflect upon the establishment of modern statehood in the land of our ancestors, we must consider whether our actions align with the scriptural mandates and the prophetic visions laid out for us. The debate is not merely political but deeply spiritual, involving questions of divine timing and human agency. Are our efforts to establish sovereignty in the land a fulfillment of prophetic destiny, or do they risk presuming upon Hashem’s timing and purposes? These are not questions that can be answered easily or without deep communal introspection and consultation with the full spectrum of our sages and texts.

In a world fractured by conflict and misunderstanding, the Torah’s teachings on peace and unity are more pertinent than ever. Psalm 133:1 beautifully encapsulates the value of harmony among brethren: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” This unity, however, must be rooted in righteousness and adherence to divine commandments, as without these, any semblance of peace is superficial and temporary.

The collective responsibility of our community in these turbulent times is immense. Each member of the community plays a pivotal role in hastening our redemption, as elucidated in Leviticus 26:40-42: “If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers… If then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept the punishment of their iniquity: Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob…” This passage teaches us that redemption is not only a divine act but also a response to our collective moral and spiritual state.

As we ponder our return to the land of our forefathers, we must also consider our approach to those who currently dwell in the land. The ethical mandates provided in the Torah require us to treat all inhabitants with justice and compassion, reflecting the divine attributes of mercy and righteousness. This approach is not only a requirement of our faith but a necessity for the long-term peace and stability of the region.

In light of the teachings of the Torah and the wisdom of our sages, I urge all members of our community to engage in sincere introspection and renewed commitment to our covenant with Hashem. Let us strive to embody the values of justice, mercy, and humility in all our dealings, both within our community and in our interactions with the world at large.

Let us also pray for and work towards the appointment of leaders who embody these values, who can guide us with wisdom and foresight, ensuring that our nation not only survives but thrives in accordance with Hashem’s will. May our efforts be a catalyst for the divine blessings promised to our ancestors, bringing us closer to the ultimate redemption.

As we conclude this letter, let it not be an end but a beginning—a call to each one of us to rise to the occasion, to fulfill our divine duties, and to hasten the day when “nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4). Let us move forward together, with one heart and one purpose, under the guidance of Hashem.

May Hashem bless us with wisdom, unity, and peace.

Shalom and blessings upon all of Israel.

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