Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Covenant Renewal- Nitzavim Vayelech -Areivus


When the Bnei Yisroel enter Eretz Yisroel they receive a renewal of their Covenant. The first Covenant was given at Har Sinai. What was new about this Covenant? It was the concept of Areivus, that every Jew is now responsible of the sins of his brothers. Every Jew is obligated to help others observe the Torah and to restrain from violating it. As the commentary in the Stone Chumash explains that now they would be liable for transgressions committed openly (Ohr HaChaim) This is essential to the world view of the Jew, for it explains why one may not be apethetic to the shortcomings of others and why public desecrations of the Torah are the concern of every Jew of good conscience.

Atem Nitzavim - You are standing. Moshe empahsized that the people were standing before G-d because the purpose of the Covenant was to bind them to G-d's Torah. Sforno comments that Moshe stressed that they were standing before G-d, Who cannot be deceived. Moshe divided the people into categories to suggest that everyone is responsible according to how many others he or she can influence.

This concept of Areivus justifies my position of speaking out against influential Rabbinic Leaders such as Rav Shteinmen, Rav Kanievsky, Rav Eliashiv, the Admor M'Gur, the OU, Agudath Yisroel of America etc. who have been silent regarding the Roadmap and regarding the disengagement and the Convergence plan. It justifies the obligation of spokespeople of Yesha as well as the journalists in Jewish Media such as Arutz7, Jewish Press, Yated, Hamodia, Nachum Segal, Chofetz Chaim Foundation etc. to challenge this silence. The Roadmap is mutually exclusive to the Biblical promise that Hashem gave Eretz Yisroel exculsively to Am Yisroel. How can UTJ and Shas join an evil government. This evil government is clearly in opposition to Torah. Yet this was overlooked in exchange for bribes be it child support or educational subsidies or political position. . Those that remain silent become silent partners in allowing expulsion of Jewish settlement and settlers, partners in robbing our fellow brethren of their property, partners in destroying family units and cohesiveness, partners in taking away many families means of Parnassa, partners in terrorizing little children with an army of soldiers and last but not least partners in the bloody violence against the youth who were the only ones to stand up for the Torah and for Eretz Yisroel at the risk of their own lives. To sum it all, those that are silent are partners to the humanitarian and security crisis in Israel and partners in the empowerment of terrorism including Hizbollah and Hamas.

For this Hashem says Haster Astir Panai Bayom Hahu Al Kol Hara Asher Asa, Ki Phana el Elohim Acheirim(Devarim 31/18) . But I will surely have concealed My face on that day because of all the evil that it did, for it had turned to gods of others".

The young girls in Neve Dekalim cried bitter tears as the expulsion was happening "Al Tastir panech Mimeni Beyom Tzar Li". Don't hide your face from me on the day of my affliction.

Can we ignore the fact that much of the North of Eretz Yisroel was burnt in this past war with Lebanon? Isn't that a consequence of worshipping idols as well? Or do we simply continue to choose not make any connections to the events of the day and the warnings of the Torah.

Which idols did we collectively worship? My guess is trusting in America, trusting in an evil gov't in Israel that acts as if it is a puppet for America and in believing in our own strenth and power rather than on Torah and Mitzvoth. It is very difficult to place our total trust in Hashem . It's downright scary. Without prayer how can we humanly be capable of passing this test.

Yet all the curses are reversible. We need merely to admit our mistakes, beg Hashem for forgiveness and no doubt Hashem will hear our prayers and reverse the Gezaira. Atem Nitzavim Hayom. Each and every one of us including men, children, women and strangers. Anyone with any kind of influence must speak out publicly for the Torah and against any plans that are in direct opposition to the Torah. Failure to speak out is equivalent to being partners in the desecration of Hashem's name.
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