Newsletter

STRENGTHENING OURSELVES DURING CHODESH ELUL

Roy Neuberger - Sep. 06, 2019


As I write, we are still mired in the crisis generated by the New York State Board of Education’s attack on our yeshiva system. It is not just New York. I saw a recent note regarding a Chabad school in Florida, where the regional public schools are threatening to close a program in which hundreds of Jewish children have used school facilities for over a decade. And what about England? Why are we being threatened around the world?

 

My friends, this is no accident.

 

It is the Month of Elul and we are counting toward Rosh Hashana. These are the days of teshuva and we have to take stock. I believe that we are required to focus clearly on the havdalah (the contrast) between the surrounding culture and our own. As we say after Shabbos, “Blessed are You, Hashem … Who separates between Israel and the nations….” The world around us is staggering and swaying in buffeting winds. In order to preserve ourselves and everything we value, we must hang on to the words of Torah.

 

“Rabbi Elazar was asked by his students: What can a person do to be spared the travails of Moshiach? [And he responded], One should occupy himself in [the study of] Torah and in acts of kindness.” (Sanhedrin 98b)

 

The Gemora in Sukkah (52b) advises, “If the [yetzer hara] engages you, draw him into the bais medrash. If he is like stone, he will dissolve, and if he is like iron, he will shatter.” The Satmar Rov zt”l wrote, “even those who have left the Bais Medrash can be reckoned as still being there if their thoughts are still there.” (Yated Ne’eman, 22 Av)

 

This is our lifeline. When we say every day, “Place these words of Mine upon your heart and upon your soul, bind them for a sign upon your arm and let them be tefillin between your eyes…” (Shema) we have to know that this is referring literally to our survival.

 

I trust that the Days of Moshiach are close and I trust that they will be perfect … but I am concerned about how we can survive until then.

 

“In the period which will precede the coming of Moshiach, insolence will increase and costs will soar … the government will turn to heresy and those who dread sin will be despised and truth will be absent. Youths will shame the faces of elders; elders will stand in the presence of minors… a man’s enemies [will be] the people of his household…. Upon what, then, can we lean? Upon our Father in Heaven!” (Sota 49b)

 

The time has come to prepare for the Days of Judgment which are coming upon the earth. This Month of Elul is our chance to strengthen ourselves. May we all live to see the wondrous days which are described by the Prophet: “Arise, Oh Yerushalayim … Behold! I have taken from your hand the cup of … My fury. No longer shall you drink from it again. But I will put it into the hand of your tormentors …. O Zion, don the garments of your splendor!” (Haftaras Shoftim)


 

Recent Posts


Tags

heavenly gates Hebrew salvation sanctity America Chanukkah Aharon Sodom Europe evil Hashem Sukkah Jewish bris milah Tisha b'Av murder ethics Terror Attack in Jerusalem seder High Holy Days idolatry Rashi Galil Creator sacrifices flood Tu b'Av Tu b'Shvat Zechariah Purim Jerusalem Eve Ezekiel Sephardi Eglon fires pain Esau fault Garden of Eden gossip liberation Yom Kippur Protective edge Matisyahu angels Angel of Death Jeremiah Moshiach United Nations Joseph spies King Solomon Israel prophets automobiles locusts secret earthquake Holy Ark chessed logic repentance Malbim Midrash eternity miracle Passover Seder Chofetz Chaim Mount Hermon sun holiday Earth Sukkos terrorist Ten Commandments Moshe cries Maimonides Solar eclipse slavery kiddush Father in Heaven New Moon synagogue shmittah Miriam mitzva Prophecy war Raiders of the Lost Ark eternal Jew Second Temple Jewish People Moshaich yeshiva Red Heifer tears Western Wall Babylonia kinneret Rome Abraham Ishmeal Amalek fear angel Abrahem Faith yarmulke materialism commandment matzos Shavuos prophet repent God alone Holiness enemies siddur Judgement Day prayers Passover Chol haMoed Holy Temple Red Sea Rebbe Macabees End of Days Tefillin tremors Golus Judaism media King of the Universe Genesis Jews Adam Samuel Psalm messiah Children of Israel Ammon Moab Tallis survival Magog peace kosher Elul Mordechai cholent India Maccabeans stones Canaan Exodus Bilaam moon Beit Hamikdash Matriarchs Hagar exile Tzuk etan judgement soul heavenly throne paradise patriarchs'matriarchs Gog Yaakov Nation of Israel Lunar eclipse Sarah compassion Ruth King David minyan Golan Ashkenazi menorah plague Ishmael forefathers purity Shushan Jewish festival Teshuva patriarchs Psalms night Blame Final redemption Achashveirosh dreams prayer kesuba shield of Abraham spirituality Bais Hamikdosh stars world to come Torah portion light Hasmoneans Geula self-worship Shechina Rosh Hashana Day of Atonement Holocaust Amram Babylon song water Sea of Galilee Chafetz Chaim Torah brotherhood bird evolution meraglim Boaz Parsha Land of Israel chaos redeemer Samuel the Prophet Jewish holidays persecution fragrance Temple Mount rabbi Sefiras haOmer miracles Zion, Angel Isaac Chanukah slaves G-d Song of Songs Isaiah death esrog Egypt Solomon blessing hubris Sages Rebecca Yerushalayim missiles Leah creation Miraglim darkness lights rosh chodesh incense Haman Heavenly Mercy Balak Benjamin Ishamael rain king danger David terrorists ancestors Western World terror culture Judah holy 2020 Vision trees Torah scholars Pinchas idol High Priest Banias tablets redemption mikveh Zion Jacob Baku Laban Dead Sea prayer book Zohar sin Golden Calf keys Pharaoh Lot priests shofar three weeks prophet Samuel Holy land Esther heaven bible leprosy Edom Mount Sinai Greeks Divine presence terrorism Repentence Mount Zion Noah biblical Rabbi Akiva Temple pray tabernacle spiritual Rabbis Rachel violence Sabbath Talmud Shabbos Rosh Hashanah Moses barley mitzvos Day of Judgement Master of the Universe Avraham mikveh, Sabbath deluge resurrection evil inclination

Archive