Every morning we pray to Hashem to protect us from negative individuals and cruel happenings:
May it be thy will, O Lord my God and God of my fathers, to deliver me this day and every day, from arrogant men and from arrogance, from a bad person, bad compulsions, from a bad companion and from a bad neighbor, and from any mishap, and from the jealous eye, from slander, informers, false witnesses, unjustified hate, libel, unnatural death, difficult illnesses, evil experiences, heavenly accusations, from a hard judgment, and from a hard opponent, whether he be a son of the covenant (a Jew) or be not a son of the covenant, and from the punishment of Gehennom.
Even before the day begins there are 20 threats we have to take into account on the personal level; not withstanding other dangers and enemies that are just around the corner. And we raise our eyes to the heavens; “our Father, our King what kind of a world did you place us in?”!
In general, questions are better conceived and more accurate than the answers, but now so close to Rosh Hashannah the questions become more desperate and the answers more necessary. But in fact, the answer to the question “what kind of a world did Hashem produce”, is readily available in your own home. But not where the mezuzah is, not even on the bookshelves - but right under your feet.
If you have a beautiful, rich colored floor carpet or a stunning nature scene tapestry on the wall, turn them over to the left side; what do you see? Strings and knots, cords and wire links, loops and tangles, netting and padding; but nowhere do you see the breathtaking waterfall which is on the other side of the fabric.
Hashem’s creation is like a huge tapestry that contains this world and Olam Haba. The strings and knots, cords and wire inks, loops and tangles, netting and padding are the mitzvot that we actively fulfill which create the earthly stitches that are assembling the spiritual Olam Haba on the right side of the sanctified tapestry. Every stitch is advancing the building of Olam Haba to the point the Creator had pre-determined a fraction of a particle of a second before the big bang.
Life is indeed a very narrow slippery bridge whose floor is broken, but Hashem provided the Jewish nation with protective side rails. Upon each slat in the rails there appears the name of a Talmudic tractate and on every connecting joint there appears a page of the Talmud.
The bad people are the excess material that is produced from the valuable fruit of our labors, like the excess material of the tapestry artist.
This world and life are great gifts Hashem has given to Am Yisrael. Don’t take even a second for granted and don’t waste time. Learn Torah and fulfill Hashem’s mitzvot - these are the building material for your Olam Haba.
Shana Tova to all Am Yisrael.
Aisav needs Ya’akov’s protection!
If anyone has reservations regarding the special relationship of the Creator and the human descendants of Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya’akov, as improbable as it is, he would be well advised to open last week’s newspapers that posted the following news item:
“The Israeli Ministry of Defense, German Federal Ministry of Defense, and Israel Aerospace Industries will sign the landmark $3.5 billion defense agreement, marking Israel’s largest ever defense deal.”
Israel? Are these the children and grandchildren of the Jews who only 80 years ago were being gassed to death and then turned into dust and ashes in the crematoria at the hands of the German people who perpetrated the most brutal crimes against humanity?
Eighty years ago, not even a madman could have conceived the idea that we would be providing military equipment to protect the lives of the children of Aisav (Esau) who sought to rid the world of the Jews.
Short of Hashem calling out from the heavens that He loves the Jewish nation, the historic turn-around of Aisav needing the protection of Ya’akov is adequate proof, if anyone needs it, that we are truly God’s chosen people. And the corollary message to our enemies that they will commit national suicide if attempting to interfere with our return to our holy land.
Rabbi Nachman Kahanais a Torah scholar, author, teacher and lecturer, Founder and Director of the Center for Kohanim, Co-founder of the Temple Institute, Co-founder of Atara Leyoshna – Ateret Kohanim, was rabbi of Chazon Yechezkel Synagogue – Young Israel of the Old City of Jerusalem for 32 years, and is the author of the 15-volume “Mei Menuchot” series on Tosefot, and 3-volume “With All Your Might: The Torah of Eretz Yisrael in the Weekly Parashah” (2009-2011), and “Reflections from Yerushalayim: Thoughts on the Torah, the Land and the Nation of Israel” (2019) as well as weekly parasha commentary available where he blogs at http://NachmanKahana.com