Colors: Green Color

If you’ve been watching the news from Israel, you are aware of great danger facing the country. Not the enemy from without, but the enemy from within – severe discord among fellow Jews. It is threatening to tear apart the country as never before. I don’t know what Heavenly message was communicated when three sets of brothers perished one after the other, but it seems plain to me that we are being told something about not valuing our brotherhood enough. At the time of Esther’s Purim message – “Gather all the Jews together” – the opposite seems to be happening. We need to reflect deeply on this before it is too late.

As we begin recounting the incredible story of Moshe Rabbeinu once again, a question that bothered me for years (and I am sure that I am not alone in this) is, given the hostility of Pharaoh to the Jews, and Moshe in particular, how is it that Moshe seems to be able to waltz in and out of the palace whenever he chooses? We know from many sources the incredible life and death power that the Pharaohs had over everyone and everything in Egypt and the whole Middle East, including Eretz Yisrael. (Not the subject for today, but historical and archaeological sources prove this beyond a doubt.) So how is it that Moshe was personally exempt from any control by the Pharaoh?

The recent elections in Israel have resulted, baruch Hashem, in an overwhelming victory for the political Right. Between the Likud and the Religious parties, there is a comfortable majority of 64 out of 120 seats likely to form the next government. Now 64 out of 120 might not seem like such a landslide win. But the victory for the Right is, in fact, far greater than that.

We stand before the great holiday of Shavuos – Z’man Matan Toraseinu – the day we finish preparing to receive the Torah. (The Torah was actually given on the seventh of Sivan.) The Torah is the central repository of our values, Ki heim chayeinu v’orech yameinu (It is our very life and the length of our days). While the Torah is infinite, the most significant characteristic that we use to describe it is “Toras Emes,” “the Torah of Truth.” Receiving the Torah could not come at a better time – we live in a world that seems to be dominated by sheker (falsehood). Of course, the world outside of Torah has always contained elements of sheker, but I don’t remember a time in my 60-plus years that we have been bombarded by it on such a constant basis.

 Ah, politics – the national pastime of Israel. Everyone has an opinion – a nation of prime ministers, as the old Golda Meir line goes. After four elections in the past two years, one would think we are inured to really worrying about the outcome, or lack thereof. But this time around, an earthquake is happening, and it is deeply worrying.

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