Weekly Inspiration

Do Not Be Afraid, My Servant Yaakov
January 18th, 2024
Do Not Be Afraid, My Servant Yaakov

My dear friend, Reb Shloime Feldinger, had a penetrating insight into current events. 

Megilas Esther tells us how Haman ha Rasha was able to secure a decree against our people, which even Queen Esther was unable to overturn, because a royal decree could not be anulled. So how did she save Am Yisroel

Queen Esther asked Achashveros to allow the Jews to fight back! 

That, in addition to fasting and teshuva, was able to save Am Yisroel.

Until that time, Am Yisroel were not permitted to defend ourselves! 

The Gemora states, “If the Jewish People repent [in the days before Moshiach] they will be redeemed, and, if not, they will not be redeemed.” Rabbi Yehoshua questions how it could be that the Jews will not be redeemed! He then answers his own question and says, “Rather, Hakadosh Baruch Hu will appoint a king over them whose decrees will be as harsh [as those of] Haman, and the Jewish People will repent.” (Sanhedrin 97b) 

The idea is that, if we do not do teshuva in the End of Days, a king will be appointed over us who will make evil decrees and try to prevent us from defending ourselves, and this will bring Am Yisroel to teshuva. Reb Shloime applies this Gemara to the current matzav, when Israel is being called before the so-called International Court of Justice, accused of “genocide.” The complainants are seeking an “injunction” to prevent Israel from defending itself. 

Does this sound familiar? This is what happened in Shushan ha Bira, where we were not allowed to defend ourselves! The world wants to attack and then prevent us from defending ourselves! Talk about genocide! The entire world is against us!

But Hashem will intervene. 

“Do not be afraid, My servant Yaakov … for I shall save you … and your offspring from the land of their captivity…. Though I shall make an end of all the nations where I have scattered you, of you I shall not make an end. I shall punish with justice, but I shall not destroy you completely.” (Yirmiah 46:27ff; this week’s Haftara)

The Novi assures us that Hashem will save us. But we have to understand the gravity of the situation. The present situation is a worldwide time bomb which could explode at any minute. We have to cry out to Hashem the way our ancestors cried out at the Yam Suf!

“The children of Israel cried out to Hashem …. Moshe said to the people, ‘Do not fear! Stand fast and see the salvation of Hashem that He will perform for you today.… Hashem shall make war for you and you shall remain silent.” (Shemos 14:10ff)

Today we are also surrounded. 

The entire world is presently inundated by the presence of “pe’re adam,” the wild men descended from Yishmoel. They are multiplying rapidly. Someone showed me an article stating that the mayors of nine major British cities are Moslem, including London, Birmingham, Leeds, Blackburn, Sheffield and Oxford! And … teaching about the Holocaust is now prohibited in England because it “offends” the sensibilities of the Moslem population.

This is occurring around the world! 

Rabbi Chaim Vital stated that “at the End of Days, Israel is destined to experience the Ishmaelite exile. This fifth and last exile will be the most difficult of all.” The Zohar states that “no exile will be as oppressive … as the Ishmaelite exile.” (Both quotes from the sefer “The Ishmaelite Exile”)

The fact is, my friends, that, no matter how successful our efforts in Gaza, this is only the tip of the iceberg. The presence of Yishmael is a worldwide threat against which it is logically impossible to fight. There is no way of meeting this threat! 

No way, except …. by turning towards the Master of the Universe “b’chol levavcha … with all [our] heart, with all [our] soul and with all [our] resources ….”

I ask mechilla – and my tefillos are far short of what they should be – but I experience deep pain when I see people open other seforim during davening as if the words of Anshei Knesses Hagdola are insufficiently important. 

Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky zt”l would not look up from his siddur during davening. He was taught by the Chazon Ish that it is ossur to learn at that time. He kept his finger on the place during chazaras ha shatz. (Artscroll, Reb Chaim)

How are we going to survive unless we cry out to Hashem to save us!

Rabbi Yaakov Galinsky wrote, “Instead of hating … the Arabs, who are nothing more than Hashem’s agents … we need to appease Hashem’s anger, which is behind their actions.” (Parshas Vayeira) We have only one hope: “Ain od milvado … Only Hashem!”

Hashem will make war and we will see the downfall of all our enemies, but only if we reach out to Him from the depths of our soul. “On that day Hashem saved Israel from the hand of Mitzraim and Israel saw the Mitzri’im dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great hand that Hashem inflicted upon Mitzraim and the people revered Hashem; they had faith in Hashem and in Moshe His servant. (Shemos 4:30) 

May we see the Geula Shelemah soon in our days!



Anshei Knesses Hagdola: The great men and prophets who composed our prayer service
Bnai Esav: The surrounding culture 
Chazzaras ha shatz: Repetition of the standing prayer
Davening: Praying
Hakadosh Baruch Hu: Hashem, G-d
Matzav: Situation
Mitzraim: Ancient Egypt
Mitzri’im: The Egyptian people
Novi: Prophet
Ossur: Prohibited
Rasha: Evil person
Shushan ha Bira: Where the story of Megillas Esther occurred



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