Rabbi Hagai Lundin
Rabbi Hagai LundinCourtesy

Despite tireless media attempts to create drama in the State of Israel, from a public perspective, we are now in a dry spell. The elections are over, the protests are waning, the budget has passed, and Operation Shield and Arrow is over.

At the same time, it is clear to all of us that the future holds turbulent times. What do we do in such interim periods?

One of the well-known verses from Parashat Behaalotecha – used in some communities as a declaration when taking out and putting back a Torah scroll into the ark – is: "It was when the Ark traveled, Moses said, 'Arise Lord, and may Your enemies be dispersed and may those who hate You, flee from before You'. When it rested, he said: Repose, O Lord among the myriad thousands of Israel".

The Gemara in Tractate Shabbat describes it as a "a portion that divides two separate calamities," that is, a verse that separates chaos from chaos that happened to the people of Israel in the desert. So how can we get strength in between? Rashi replies on the spot: "Return O Lord, this is calming language, and he also says: "return in a tranquil way".

In other words: Relax! This is the time to take out the Torah scroll and learn how God advances His world in tranquility, in the silence below the surface.

So this is what we have to do: not to get excited by noisy headlines about the collapse of the economy, gay pride parades and media rants; we need to study Torah and listen to the real things that happen under the radar: each and every one of us is moving forward in our lives; the believing public is growing; the resources of the State of Israel are now being distributed more fairly and with a more nationalistic and Jewish agenda – and the Torah is winning, returning to repose in tranquility.