Recently, Israel elected a government pledged to restore Torah values. This was a great relief for those who understand that our only hope is Torah and who suffered from the terrible attacks on Torah which had characterized the previous government.
But I want to consider the entire idea of elections.
My friends, do we have the right to vote on Torah?
I would like to quote from my book, “Hold On: Surviving the Days Before Moshiach.”
“Most of us have been raised believing that there is wisdom in the vote of the people, but this is not a trustworthy path. The era of democracy is ending as the world slides into chaos. In Israel, the situation is even clearer. As the Land given to us in the Torah, Israel is by definition the Land in which Torah and the Jewish People are to become one. There -- more than any other place -- it is clear that we cannot live successfully unless we follow the ratzon Hashem, the will of our Creator.
“Who elected Moshe? No one! Moshe was singled out by Hashem as the leader of Israel. Hashem said to him, “Now go and I shall dispatch you to Pharaoh and you shall take My people the Children of Israel out of Egypt.” (Shemos 3:10) “Who elected Dovid? Hashem said to Shmuel, “I have seen a king for Myself among [the sons of Yishai].” (I Shmuel 16:1) This is how Dovid was chosen.
“This is how our leaders are selected, not through an election in which people who hate Hashem appeal to voters and try to shame their opponents. We will have no success if we imitate the foreign cultures who are our enemies. The electoral process stirs up bitter rivalry and puts Torah itself on the ballot.
“I am not advocating suddenly sweeping away the present system. We cannot do that because that path would lead to chaos. As it says, “I shall not drive ... away [the other nations living in Eretz Yisroel] in a single year, lest the Land become desolate and the wildlife of the field multiply against you. Little by little shall I drive them away from you, until you become fruitful and make the Land your heritage.” (Shemos 23:29-30)
“But we have to WANT the proper way of life. We have to daven for the proper way of life. We have to realize that the present system is not the Torah system of government and that, in the days of Moshiach, we will no longer have to endure elections, with one Jew fighting another for power and dominance. This is true especially when Torah Itself is voted upon! This is a terrible chillul Hashem.”
How can we vote on Torah? Is Torah up for election? We are standing before the King of Kings and voting on whether to accept His Torah? What chutzpa!
And I see in the headlines that now there is fighting among the members of the new government. There is still no peace! And while we fight each other, the world is fighting us, everywhere, inside and outside Israel! This is not an accident.
My friends, when … when are we going to get the message!
In this week’s parsha, Yaakov Avinu fights the malach of Esav. In next week’s parsha the brothers fight each other. One fight elevates us; the other destroys us.
When we fight the malach of Esav, the yetzer hara, we are elevated. As a result of this epic struggle, Yaakov Avinu received the name “Yisroel … for you have striven with the Divine and with man and have overcome.” (Beraishis 32:29)
But when we fight each other, we lower ourselves, G-d forbid!
When a Jew fights another Jew, worlds of evil are created. The Chofetz Chaim explains, quoting the Zohar Hakodesh, “There is an evil spirit [named Sachsucha] …. When people speak loshon hara, this spirit travels up to the Heavens and uses the opening created by the loshon hara to bring death, war and killing into the world. Woe to those who awaken this great evil by not guarding their tongues and speech …. These gossipers awaken the great serpent so he can prosecute the Jewish Nation.” (Sefer Shmiras Haloshon)
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Mishlei 18:21) Why is “death” stated first and “life” second? Perhaps because the tendency of the tongue is toward evil. We need to control our speech!
“A child is taught the entire Torah in its mother’s womb, but when it is about the enter the world, an angel comes and strikes it on the mouth, which makes it forget the whole Torah. Therefore [it is written] ‘Sin crouches at the door.’” (Niddah 30b) The Great Enemy -- and all our enemies -- are “crouching at the door,” ready to swallow us alive!
How do we respond? What do we learn from our Father Yaakov?
Dovid Hamelech told us: When “Kol goyim savavuni … when all the nations surround me,” there is only one counsel: “B’shaim Hashem ki amilam … In the Name of Hashem I cut them down!” (Tehillim 118)
Only when we raise the banner of Hashem do we have the right to exist! There is only one goal! Let’s forget politics and all we have learned from the impure nations who surround us. If we march under Hashem’s banner, we will soon see the Geulah Shelemah with the coming of Moshiach ben Dovid and the rebuilding of the Bais Hamikdosh!
Beraishis: Book of Genesis
Chillul Hashem: Desecration of G-d’s Name
Esav: Esau, Jacob’s brother
Geulah Shelemah: Final Redemption
Parsha: Torah portion
Shemos: Book of Exodus
Yaakov: Our Forefather Jacob