Let me make it very clear, that the war and fighting that I am supporting in the below article is not of a physical nature in the least. The IDF is the only Jewish body that should be taking up arms of any sort.
“כי תצא למלחמה על איביך… וראית בשביה אשת יפת תואר” (דברים כא:י,יא)
“When you will go to war against your enemies… and you will see a woman who is beautiful…”
When the Jewish People go out to fight their battles against the evil, seductive forces which try to eat away at us and destroy our People, the Torah prescribes a fantastic solution – Don’t fight her, just marry her!
The Be’er Mayim Chayim, the Rebbe of Chernavitz asks, why does the Torah say כי תצא למלחמה? The pasuk could have just as easily said, “,כי יהיה לך למלחמה””when you will have a war with your enemies…” What’s the difference if we go out to war or if the war comes to us? Ultimately, it is the same war!
We can safely say that over 3,000 years after Sinia and the writing of “כי תצא למלחמה על איביך” the Jewish People continue to be forced into battling their enemies. No matter where we go or what we do we find ourselves in a constant war of survival, spiritual and physical. At times, we naively ignore or downplay the war, but it always looms, lingers and then openly emerges.
As opposed to Israeli Jews who have been experiencing war for the last 100 years and know all too well the realities of כי תצא למלחמה, I feel tremendously bad for unaffiliated, secular Jews on college campuses that barely know that they are Jewish and know so little about our Faith, and nonetheless they are attacked verbally and at times physically for who they are and what they represent. But those are places which are in most need of remembering that the war does not end. Even the non-Jewish grandson (a non-Jew the son of a non-Jew) of Kirk Douglas (a Jew) meets hatred and Anti-Semitism when he goes for a swim in a hotel pool in Southern California just by donning a Star of David necklace.
Herzl, the way I understand him, is personal hero of mine. While, he was dearly lacking in many ways (613 ways) in terms of understanding who we are and what we are meant to be doing in this world, after thirty five years of life with only nine left to live, he woke up and went to war. With the help of the Dryfus affair in 1896, Herzl keenly realized that there is a war out there and “the father of political Zionism” waged a vicious counter attack. From that point onward he tirelessly devoted the rest of his life, which surely killed him at a young age, to establish the Jewish State.
Herzl went to war and he no doubt won. He won because the Torah promises that when a Jew goes to war – “When you go out to war, Hashem, your God, will deliver him into your hand.” (the rest of verse 21:10 in Devarim) This is especially true when it comes to matters of war in Eretz Yisrael, milchemet Mitzvah!
We are promised that when we actively fight for Jewish spiritual and physical survival, when we fight the Yetzer Hara we will win. All we need to do is make an honest attempt to go out and fight with all of our heart and all of our soul. When we do so Hashem will surely be B’Ezreinu.
Unfortunately, not only is an overwhelming majority of the Jewish world not going out to fight, we have not even made the first move to prepare to go out for the fight. We are tired, worn out and uninterested in fighting anymore. In that case, the war will come to us and will surely lose battles.
Take Ariel Sharon Z”L as an example. After a prized career as an IDF general and success in politics, he decided instead of continuing to go to war, a Torah mandate, he retreated. He pulled-out and all that happened is that the war came to us. Ten years, three wars and a much stronger Hamas later we are still at a loss of how to deal with the tunnels that continue to be dug from Gaza into Israel. The tragedy is that for most of his life Sharon understood what we have to do and only crashed at the end of his life.
KI TETZE L’MILCHAMA falls out in Elul screaming out to the Jewish People during the heart of the month of Teshuva to wake up and go to war! Let us do a tikkun for Herzl and start by being warriors in 613 ways.
Fighting the forces within our People that cause inner erosion is also a meaningful objective.
About seven months ago I wrote an article in response to heretical comments made a radio talk show host from Voice of Israel (may it rest in peace). This week, I hosted a visitor, Chaim from Yerushalayim who came to check out Adam and our program. He had done “sound” for the radio station in the past and had worked with this same “atheist rabbi”. We discussed how pained we are by the public statements, which were very recently put to writing, deviating from the Torah. I sent Chaim the article that I wrote seven months back thinking that he might like to hear my response. The next morning I found that not only had he posted it on Face-Book as a response to the heresy but it had attracted much attention with tens of comments. (Even better, over 1,000 people visited http://orosheladam.net/ in three days!)
I am happy to hear more comments and responses. Here is the link to the article posted on Face-Book: