Why are they shooting?
In the year 2021, there were 692 mass shootings in the U. S. (CNN) This year is matching that pace. Theories abound about how to react to such a catastrophic phenomenon, for example by restricting the sale of guns. But that does not reach the heart of the problem. We have to ask why a society would destroy itself from the inside.
The irony! The country called the “United States” is not “united” at all.
A culture which does not adhere to the Laws of the Torah is doomed. There are laws for the Children of Israel and there are laws for all mankind. If a culture as a whole rebels against Hashem and His Law, at a certain point the culture will collapse. This happened during the Great Flood and this happened in Biblical Egypt. Throughout history, great empires disintegrated as a result of their own inherent evil.
In Egypt, Moshe Rabbeinu was sent to rescue the Children of Israel and bring them to Har Sinai, where they would receive the Torah. But we must understand that they were rescued only on the basis of “na’ase v’nishma,” their willingness to live by the Torah.
Our rabbis tell us that this will happen again at the end of history. The prevailing world culture will collapse as the result of rebellion against the Torah, the Children of Israel will do teshuva and Hashem will once again make His Presence known to us as He did at Har Sinai. But this time the Shechina will not be withdrawn from this world.
We are seeing this process taking place before our eyes.
There are Seven Mitzvos Bnai Noach, mitzvos applicable to the children of Noach, meaning all mankind. They are: 1) not to worship idols, 2) not to curse G-d, 3) to establish courts of justice, 4) not to murder, 5) not to commit adultery or incest (which means general moral rectitude as defined by the Torah), 6) not to steal and 7) not to eat flesh from a living animal. All mankind is required by G-d to observe these commandments.
Our rabbis tell us that the Great Flood destroyed the world especially as a result of two sins: unrestrained immorality and robbery. These sins destroyed the moral fabric which binds society together. Both are included in the Seven Mitzvos, whose violation is punishable by death.
My friends, the nations of the world have no clue of the mortal danger to which they are subjecting themselves. They do not know why these things are happening. As King David says, “He relates His statutes and judgments to Israel, [which] He did not do for any other nation. They do not know [His] judgments!” (Tehillim 147)
But we, the Children of Israel, have to ask ourselves if WE recognize what is going on.
In Biblical Egypt, those of the Children of Israel who clung to the corrupt culture of Egypt perished in the Plague of Darkness, and the parallel danger exists today! The Torah is telling us these things so that we can protect ourselves when the prevailing culture will collapse in the days before Moshiach.
As the Prophet says, “Gather yourselves … survivors of the nations who carry about the wood of their graven image and pray to a god who cannot save ….” (Yeshiah 45:20) We want to be “survivors of the nations.”
Our Rabbis say that, in the Year of Shmittah, “there will be war …. [and, in the year after Shmittah, Moshiach] ben Dovid will come.” (Megillah 17b, Sanhedrin 97a) I am not a prophet, but this is the Shmittahyear and there is certainly war. The possibility of Moshiach ben Dovid coming right after this year is certainly plausible to a person who looks at the course of current events.
There is hope for us if we cling with all our strength to Hashem and His Torah and reject the alien society around us! May Hashem soon rescue us and reveal the Torah to the entire world!
Har Sinai: Mount Sinai
Na’ase v’nishma: “We will do and we will understand,” what the Children of Israel said before they received the Torah.
Noach: Noah, the father of all nations
Shechina: The Presence of Hashem in the world
Shiva Mitzvos Bnai Noach: The seven mitzvos applicable to all mankind
Shmittah: The Seventh year in the Jewish calendar, when the Land of Israel lies fallow
Talmid Chacham: Torah scholar
Yeshiah: Isaiah the Prophet