Rabbi Hagai Lundin
Rabbi Hagai LundinCourtesy

Almost every morning we wake up to a headline about hatred; always from one side. From the same people who for years have been venting their anger on the State of Israel. The excuses change – the economy, the settlers, Bibi, the judicial reform, the haredim, Bibi again, the hostages – but the hatred remains constant; the contempt, rioting and arrogance that is permitted only to these "masters of the land".

I personally have no discourse with them or influence on them, I don't think anyone has.

The question is, how is our public – the ones studying Torah, serving in the reserves, settling the land and donating kidneys – supposed to deal with pathological hatred?

At the short-term tactical level, we must of course do everything we can; to make our voices heard on every possible platform and not allow the forces of hatred to set the tone. Hagai Luber said it well in his article that "no one will burn my country" and expressed the feelings of many.

At the same time, I suggest not to get too excited about these people. On October 7th, the majority of the Jewish public in the State of Israel proved that it loves the country and its traditions. There are enough healthy forces that serve the people of Israel under all conditions; we can work with them and together win.

This Shabbat we will read Parashat Hachodesh "this month," in which we learn how the Jewish calendar is determined by the Jewish people. "Israel sanctifies the times," in simple words: time is in our hands, time is on our side.

At the long-term strategic level, we will drown out hatred in a demography of love. The healthy communities in the Jewish people are growing. The systems are changing slowly. In the most critical system, security, the change is already evident. In the upcoming recruitment cycle, thousands of post-high school yeshiva students, Hesder and religious pre-military preparatory schools (including my son) are going to enlist. Their friends – loyal Israelis from various sectors who humbly come to serve the country – are already serving as Israel's defensive wall. Time is on our side.

The bad will pass

Goodness will prevail

With God's help

This Tuesday is the first day of the month of Nisan, the month in which time was actually born in the Jewish world: "This month [Nisan] is for you is the beginning of months, it is the first for you of the months of the year" (Exodus 12,2).

What is time? Time is our ability to mark a process. When there is time, we specify a certain point that serves as a starting point from which to move forward, time is the ability to mark movement and progress.

The concept of time did not exist in much of the ancient world. The pagan lived in a unmeaningful cycle of life: birth, work, death, repeat. Although primitive man noticed the transition between the seasons, counting years and marking the beginning of a new stage were not in human consciousness.

In the pagan world, there was nowhere to advance, no process. Man was trapped in an eternal Sisyphean cycle with no possibility of breakthrough; or in other words: slavery. Slavery is a mental reality of despair that sees life as a dead end, and inevitably leads to pessimism. On the other hand, the freedom that the children of Israel acquired during the Exodus from Egypt is the capacity of spiritual renewal and the ability to break through the cycle of time.

In other words: optimism and perspective; the ability to discern how history is not circular but moves and progresses in the process.

At the time we are now in, it’s possible to feel at a dead end: the war in the south is bogged down; a threatening situation in the north and in other fronts; social tensions, and economic and international threats are upon us.

But we can also look at time differently: the State of Israel has awakened from its slumber; the threat in the south has largely been removed; Israeli society is immeasurably better prepared for the war on the other fronts; the economy is robust, contrary to all pessimistic forecasts; heroism and unity initiatives are surfacing all over; the far left has been pushed aside; and there is a likely scenario that the war will turn into strengthening Israel's international standing as an ally of Sunni Islam.

Time will tell how the campaign will develop, but one thing is certain – time will tell for the better.