Thursday, July 06, 2006

Try as They Might...



BS"D

YESHIVAT HARA'AYON HAYEHUDI
Jerusalem, Israel
HaRav Yehuda Kroizer SHLIT"A, Rosh Yeshiva

PARSHAT BALAK
12 Tammuz, 5766/7-8 July, 2006


TRY AS THEY MIGHT

As the Jewish people began their approach to the Holy Land after being in the desert for forty years, the nations began to sense, both consciously and unconsciously, that the Redemption was at hand, and they all pulled together to try and stop the process.

At first, they thought that militarily they could stop the Jewish people from entering the Land, as we see at the end of Parshat Chukat: "Then Edom went out against him with a vast multitude and with a strong hand. So Edom refused to permit Israel to pass though his border and Israel turned away from him." The nations were in a panic to stop the Jews from entering the Promised Land and would do all in their power to stop her. Next came the king of Arad, who warred against Israel and captured a captive from her. They were then wiped out, as Israel came up against the king and destroyed them. It was then that Moav, too, like Edom, did not let the Jewish people pass though their borders, making Israel take a roundabout route and delaying us even further.

The Amorites were next up to bat against the Jews, as the Torah tells us: "But Sihon, king of the Amorites, did not permit Israel to pass and Sihon assembled his entire people and went out against Israel." And as the Jewish people passed into the valley by the border of the Amorites, they waited for them on top of the mountains and said: When Israel will enter to pass though we will come out of the caves that are in the mountains above them and kill them. Hashem then performed a miracle for His people and brought the mountains together there and killed off the Amorites right then and there. And Israel settled in all the Amorite cities.

And still, the nations had not learned the lesson that they could not stop the Jewish people and the Redemption process. "And Og king of Bashan went out against them, he and his entire people, to do battle at Edrei. They (Israel) smote him, his sons and all his people until there was no survivor left of him and they took possession of his land". No might could stop the will of Hashem, to bring His people into the Land that He promised to His children.

And then along come Balak, king of Moav and he was very frightened, and frantically he runs to the prophet Bala'am to help him stop the Jews from entering the Land. Here we see a new tactic by the nations, understanding only too well at this point that they could not defeat the Jews militarily. So they try a new approach: The weapon of the mouth. In the time of Bala'am it was by trying to curse us. But the nation of Israel is a blessed nation, and the words of a non-Jewish loser prophet had no effect on us; quite the opposite - all of his curses turned into blessings for us.

Today, too, as the nations of the world have begun to see the Jewish people returning to her Land just as prophesied by the prophets, they, too, have been doing all in their power over the years to stop us from returning to and settling the Land, knowing only too well that the Redemption of the world is at hand and that they then must face the bitter music. The music that they have been playing against us for so long.

At first they came against us in war, whether it was the War of Independence in 1948 or the wars of 1956, 1967, or 1973. At that point, like the nations before them, they also realized that they could not defeat us militarily, for the living G-d of Israel was fighting for His people, as He has done before. Seeing that they could not overcome us that way, they, too, have now turned to the weapon of the mouth, trying to destroy us in stages, to wear us down, to let us hear what we want to hear. Still, like Bala'am, their words will ultimately have no effect on us; the opposite, we will use their words against them. And, try as they might, the nations will not be able to stop the process which Hashem started some 60 years ago.

With love of Israel,
Levi Chazen

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