17 Cheshvan 5782 / Saturday, October 23, 2021 | Torah Reading: Vayeira
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Making Waves    

Making Waves

Iran attacked Israel; Israel reacted by destroying Iranian missile bases in Syria and boldly penetrating the heart of Tehran and seizing proof of Iran's nukes; war on the way?


The conflict between Iran and Israel is no longer in the closet. Recently, from the T4 airbase in Syria, Iran sent an explosives-filled drone that flew southward from Syria to Jordan, then west into Israel, crossing the border near the city of Beit Shean. There, it was intercepted by Israeli Air Force jets before it inflicted any damage.


Israel retaliated on Aril 9, 2018 by destroying the T4 airbase in Syria, killing seven Iranian Republican guardsmen in the process. Then, on April 28, 2018, Israel attcked again, this time destroying over 200 ballistic missiles on the ground in an Iranian-manned and operated missile storage base, preventing their transfer to Iran's proxy in Lebanon, the Hezbollah.


If that wasn't enough, on Aprl 30, 2018, Prime Minister Netanyahu revealed that Israeli intelligence forces accomplished one of history's greatest intel feats by penetrating Iran's super-top-secret atomic records vault in Tehran and bringing home conclusive proof of their sinister intentions in violation of the so-called nuclear agreement with the west.


Iran now threatens us with both retaliation and annihilation. Will there be war? Some say yes. Yet, we know for a spiritual fact that the more we strngthen ourselves in emuna, the more Hashem will miraculously intervene to thwart our enemies. In the words of my beloved and esteemed teacher Rabbi Shalom Arush shlit'a, "Every emuna book, pamphlet and CD distributed and learned has the capability of neutralizing a ballistic missile." That's where the real war is.


Do Rabbi Arush's words sound like Disney's Fantasy Land? The Torah says definitely not. For every Jew who strengthens him/herself in emuna adds a greater power of deterrence. Iran will be afraid to attack, not only because of the Mossad's phenomenal intel coup in Tehran, but because of what the Torah says in Deuteronomy 28:10 - "And the nations of the world shall see that the Name of Hashem is upon you and they shall fear you." Every emuna book that a person learns and emuna CD that he hears brings him closer to Hashem, where the Name of Hashem reflects from his soul. That's deterrence.


What's more, tyrants never learn. In every generation, a new Haman arises from the seed of Amalek who strives “To destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews from young to old.” (Esther 3:13). Our sages from the Gemara, with their Divinely-inspired wisdom, tell us that this will be the template of Jewish history until the coming of Moshiach.


The Ayatollahs are historically ignorant. Haven't they ever looked at what happened to Hitler, to Sadaam Hussein, and to every other tyrant who entertained the idea of destroying the Jewish people? The tyrants have all vanished, and we’re still here.


The Gemara describes in precise detail the folly of the Ayatollahs and all the other tyrants ever since Antiochus and Haman. They resemble the big waves that come crashing down the shore and then fizzle out.


Rava Bar Bar-Chana, the lofty tzaddik who is famous for his cryptic metaphors containing deep secrets of Torah, tells that sailors told him about a type of tremendous wave in the middle of the ocean that is 750 miles wide and 750 miles tall (tractate Bava Batra 73a). The sailors recounted, “Once during a voyage at sea, a wave cast us so high that we saw a small star from close up, and it looked like a 35,000-pound sack of mustard seed, and if that wave would have thrown us any higher, we would have been burnt from the heat of the star. Another wave raised its voice and bellowed, ‘My comrade, if you leave anything in the world that you haven’t flooded, then I will come and destroy it!’ The first wave then replied, ‘Go see the might of your Lord, for He doesn’t allow me to violate even one extra hair’s breadth of shoreline, for it is written, I have given a border to the sea (Jeremiah 5:22).’”


The great Talmudic commentator the “Maharsha” of blessed and saintly memory explains that Rava Bar Bar-Chana is allegorically telling the history of the Jewish people. The sailors represent the Jews. Each big breaker is another wave of tyrants and troubles that are an existential threat to the Jewish people. The star represents the nations of the world, which like mustard seed, is sharp and bitter, for the schemes they concoct against the Jews are also sharp and bitter. The 35,000-pound sack of mustard seed symbolizes Israel’s never-ending suffering at the hands of the nations.


The Maharsha writes, “The People of Israel are nearly burnt in one diaspora, and suddenly the big breaker dissipates on the beach. In like manner, the trouble that threatens Israel’s existence vanishes as if it never existed, until a new “wave” of trouble appears and seeks to destroy everything that the previous wave didn’t destroy. The new wave crashes down on the beach with a deafening noise, and also vanishes as if it never existed.”


The Maharsha concludes, “The second wave never learns from the first. Likewise, the tyrants never learn from their predecessors and come to destroy the world and Israel. The tzaddikim are symbolic of the shoreline, and they save the generation.”


That precisely explains the Ayatollahs and their threats.


So where's the consolation? Like Rava Bar Bar-Chana says, no tyrant learns from his predecessor. Iran will fall and then some other tyrant will come to power?


The consolation is that emuna will win and overcome all the tyrants once and for all. The good news is that emuna is spreading like wildfire. Like Rebbe Nachman says, emuna will bring Moshiach and Moshiach will win all of his battles without firing a single shot. Wait and see. Soon, amen!



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