First, I must ask people around the world to pray for the peace of Jerusalem And all Israel. Tonight cities across Israel are being targeted with rockets by the murderous Arab enemy. We in Jerusalem were only regulated to our bomb shelters for about 10 minutes as 4 Rockets slammed the periphery of the Holy City. Hundreds of thousands of our brothers and sisters in the South are spending the night huddled together in fear in their bomb shelters. At this very moment, I am hearing the roar of IDF war planes flying overhead.
May the Almighty spare us any more suffering and allow our holy boys in the IDF to defeat the enemies of Israel and God as we say in our prayer “Arise God and scatter Your enemies and let those who hate you flee from Before You” (Numbers 10:35)
Before I begin, I would like to reiterate that no one may take the law into his own hands. In God’s great mercy we have a strong Jewish State and Jewish Army and all retribution must come forth through those holy vessels. Despite this difficult evening, I must turn my attention to the case of Rabbi Noam Perel, Secretary General of International Bnei Akiva who is undergoing a cruel public lynch not only by the leftists but by Bnei Akiva itself!
Shortly after we learned of the slaying of our three precious children Eyal, Gilad and Naftali, Rabbi Noam Perel who serves as Secretary General, International Bnei Akiva came out with the most natural and Jewish Statement possible. The Rabbi called upon the Israeli Government to send the IDF to take revenge for the murders. The Rabbi was immediately sentenced guilty by leftist politicians, press and even his own movement. Bnei Akiva UK has even threatened to withdraw from Bnei Akiva International if Rabbi Noam Perel is not fired from his position. Bnei Akiva is holding an emergency meeting on Wednesday 7/9/14 to make that fateful decision.
It is very clear that the factions of Bnei Akiva that are attacking Rabbi Perel are not only arrogant, but are ignorant as well. They are arrogant in dictating their “morality” to people who are here in the Land of Israel and living through horror after horror! They are arrogant in dictating their “morality” when they have chosen to abandon the land of Israel and to sit in the (currently) comfort of exile, while we here in the Land of our Forefathers fight for survival? Perhaps they have forgotten the verse from Numbers 32:6 “Will you sit here, while your brothers go to war?”
They are also ignorant because they have no understanding of the Jewish concept of "Revenge". For years, we have been force-fed the leftists post/anti-Jewish attitude of how Jews should respond to the slaughter of our people and it obviously deeply affected our national consciousness. One of the first places we find the concept of national revenge is in Numbers 31:2. God commands Moshe to instruct the Jewish People to take national revenge against the Midianites, as it says: "Take revenge for the children of Israel, against the Midianites; afterwards you will be gathered to your people". However, when Moshe relays this command to the Jewish People he states “Take the Revenge of God on Midian”. Why did Moshe change the wording of the command? Our sages teach us that the honor of the Jewish People is attached to the honor of God and when we are attacked so is He, and so it is true in reverse.
King David also went to war to avenge the honor of God and the Jewish People! When he fought Goliath, he also taught the Jewish People an eternal lesson. As King David heard the taunts of Goliath against the Jewish People and God, he respond in Samuel I, 17:26? "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the ranks of the living God?” This is the very same concept found in Numbers 31:2. David was infuriated that not only had Goliath intended to go to war with Israel, but he even dared to insult us and our God! As King David reiterated in Psalm 144, "Blessed is the Lord, my Rock, Who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war...and rescues me from the hands of foreigners, whose mouth speaks vanity and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood".
In the Tractate of Talmud Brachot page 33, our Rabbis expound on the verse in Psalm 94: "Great is vengeance that was given between the two "letters" (names of God) as it is written: “O God of vengeance, O Lord; O God show vengeance". In its proper time and place vengeance against the enemy is surely a great and tremendous act that sanctifies the name of the Almighty in this world! In Ezekiel chapter 36 it is made clear, that the desecration of God’s name is caused by the trampling and degradation of the Jewish Nation as it says 3 times. "They entered the nations where they came, and they profaned My Holy Name, as it was said of them, 'These are the people of the Lord, and they have left His land.'" When the Jewish People are not in the land of Israel and are trampled by the non-Jewish nations, this is the ultimate desecration of God name.
We are commanded in Exodus 19:6 "And you shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation". In this verse, we see three concepts that relate to Kingship, Priesthood and Holiness. We know three laws regarding the King, High Priest and Torah Scholar (who represent the highest level of holiness and spirituality). According to Jewish Law they all must “look good”. The King must have riches and horses, allowed to marry many wives (although the Torah gives a limit!) and must get a haircut often, also the High Priest must be richer than all the other Priests and be married and the Torah scholar may not walk around dirty and in fact our sages teach in Tractate of Talmud Shabbat 114 “Any Torah, scholar who has a stain found on his clothing it is like he incurs the penalty of death.” Just like the King, High Priest and Torah scholar must look their best or lose their positions (or worse), the Nation of Israel must also look presentable before the Nations because we represent the Almighty God in the world!
On a human level let us not forget what our sages teach about being overly merciful with the wicked. In Kohelet Raba the sage Resh Lakish taught “He who has mercy on to the wicked will end up being wicked to the merciful” and we have lived to witness this today. There are almost no consequences for an Arab who murders a Jew in Israel. He gets arrested, maybe receives 5 or 6 life sentences and sit a life of relative luxury in the Ramle Hilton prison where he also gets a college degree and a masters for free as part of his “rehabilitation”. When a few IDF soldiers are kidnapped the Arab murder walks free and murders again! In this atmosphere, can anyone who lives outside of Israel judge the comments of Rabbi Noam Perel or anyone else for that matter?
The slaughter of our children and the ongoing rocket war against us deserves the strongest response possible and Rav Noam was certainly right. Rabbi Noam’s only crime was to use language that not everyone has the knowledge to properly understand. It is my sincere hope that Bnei Akiva UK, retracts their ugly declarations and instead decide to stand proud in defense of the key principles of Bnei Akiva - Torah and Avoda (Torah study and working the Land of Israel).