Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Price of a Miracle

We often take for granted the fact that we, the Jewish people, live on miracles. The Jewish people in Israel especially exist on a higher-than-nature plateau that defies any natural course of events. Only an idiot would attribute Israel's existence to military might and so forth. On a military level, as we evr-so-painfully see despite the recent Gaza war, Israel still has no technological/military answer to missile warfare, with missiles still falling in the south of Israel, from Ashkelon to Sderot and all points in between. The Hamas missiles are a tiny threat compared to the quantity and quality of the Hizbolla, Syrian, and Iranian missiles aimed at every square centimeter of our beloved Holy Land this very moment.

People have the mistaken impression that we can sit back and do nothing while Hashem gives us miracles. That's wrong. The miracle of Purim was only after Esther said to Mordechai (Esther 4:16), "Go gather all the Jews... fast for me, don't eat or drink for 3 days and 3 nights; I and my handmaidens shall fast likewise." In other words, the entire Jewish people made complete teshuva and returned to Hashem.

The existential threat of this generation is just as bad as it was in the time of Haman. Achmedinejad and Assad's designs together with their proxies Hamas and Hisbolla, as well as global Islamofascist objectives, are no different than Haman's platform. Although we don't know what our own politicians stand for, since they promise one thing before elections and quickly change their minds after the elections for political expediency, our neighbors are not politically expedient. They have a clear political and military agenda that's based on the destruction of the Jewish people, just like Haman. The words "Israel" and Zionism" are only excuses for the desire to kill Jews.

Every Adar, Hashem renews the of the miracle of our survival. That's what the joy of Purim is all about. Yet, miracles have a price tag - they behoove us. When there's no teshuva to pay for the miracle, Hashem must take a public sacrifice from the greatest and purest tzaddikim of our generation. That explains the brutal murder of Erez Levanon during his personal prayer to Hashem exactly two years ago in Adar, and the barbaric massacre of the 8 Mercaz HaRav boys during their Torah study last year on Rosh Chodesh Adar.

Who needs more martyrs? Let's gather all the Jews and commit to genuine teshuva. If that's too hard, let's help spread emuna in the world. We can start by teaching the bedtime "Shma Yisrael" prayer to every Jewish child we know. Here is the The Shma Prayer in PDF with the original Hebrew, transliteration, and translation; send it to everyone you know. Our sages tell us that the mitzva of saying Shma Yisrael" alone is enough to save us from any and all calamity. Happy Purim week.