Demonstration in Bnei Brak
Demonstration in Bnei BrakItamar Carmon

Make no mistake. There's a battle raging within Israel, from enemies without, brother against brother from within and a battle for honesty of the inner heart. Don't be so sure that the downfall of the Jewish people is from without: within is equally as potent. The Erev Rav - the mixed non-Jewish multitude mentioned in the Exodus story and the continued on to the sojourn in the desert- that left Egypt are alive and well, plaguing every generation, this one as well.

Moshe endured a class-action lawsuit after leaving Egypt which prompted Yitro to advise him to set up a multi-tiered court system. Who brought this suit? The Erev Rav had a claim, says the Midrash. They wanted the money back that was taken from them in Egypt. But weren't they wholehearted converts that would be overjoyed to give it to those Jews who endured the slavery? No.

G-d told Moshe not to take the Erev Rav out of Egypt, but Moshe chose to take them. They of course were responsible for the Golden Calf and complaining in the desert. Much suffering befell the Jewish people because of the Erev Rav. They are reincarnations of previous generations, originally stemming from a few children of Adam that were begot not with Eve.

Nonetheless, they have the power to bring down the Jews in equal or if not to a higher degree than Eisau and Ishmael. We are told that they prevent Moshiach ben Yosef from appearing and that they are relentless in their purpose.

But, let's say I find you a speaker that preaches piety, but only in order to gain attention and honor. Is he part of the Erev Rav? Perhaps. We are in a generation of darkness where underlying motivations are concealed. The true righteous one will hide his meritorious actions just like G-d who acts in a concealed manner.

So what is there to do when the Arabs are infiltrating Israel with razor-sharp knives, shooting on roads and murdering Jews, Iran is looking to annihilate us, a brother versus brother, haredi versus secular war is being encouraged by the well-funded Israeli anarchists and jealousy and honor fill the heart?

Perhaps we can analyze the purpose of the Egypt experience. G-d had to put us through such a hard exile to mold us so that He could then extend His love to us. Work brings refinement. The Erev Rav experienced the miracles, but they were not slaves. Can they be blamed for not becoming righteous? They didn't work as the Israelites did. But, wait,the trible of Levi didn't work either. But Levi felt the slavery of their brothers, naming their children with words that connoted bitterness, just as they felt.

As mentioned, Adam gave birth to the Erev Rav with other children not begot by eve. If we reference the verse that says Man (Adam) was born to toil, then we have the tikkun for the Erev Rav (begot from Adam): Work.

There's a baseline of toil when it comes to the Jewish Torah tradition, mesorah. It's not enough to identify as Jewish, but the texts must be opened as well, and necessary toil must be put in to understand them.

Besides Egypt being a place to mold us, the Torah's purpose is to refine us as well. The ten dibrot, ten commandments, reminds one of the saying that the Torah"s purpose is to mend the briot (humanity).

Every haredi and non-observant Israeli needs to check themselves to ensure that there's no deceit in their heart and that there's no deficiency in Torah knowledge. Otherwise we will destroy ourselves. Our outside enemies are usually dictated by our inner actions as much of our upheaval throughout history was based on our assimilation, laxity and impure intentions.

The nation of Israel is at a turning point, but we have prevailed in the past. There is no Jew who doesn't relate to Passover. Why? Because it was above nature, miraculous. But realize that the Erev Rav didn't work as slaves and therefore, though they experienced the miracles, they were decimated. Instead of hatred, taking a look inside of ourselves and doing the necessary work can make the difference to bring together a nation characterized as the Chosen People.