Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Har Nof Massacre: Torah versus Terror and Tears versus Tumah

As I sit and write these words I cannot get the morning’s current events out of my head, the shock and the horror, the pain and the anguish to hear yet again once more of a cold blooded Terrorist attack in Yerushalayim Ir HaKodesh. We have had just too much bloodshed too many holy kedoshim attacked, injured and killed R”L. More orphans and mourners, and more tears and heartache.

The Ohr Yitzchok of Radvil points out that when  Esav wept (27:38) that he lost the Bechorah the Midrash says that because of his tears he merited all the good that he has . Rav Yitzchok of Radvil says that Rav Shmelka of Nikolsberg asked, why do Esav’s tears count for so much? Have we the Jewish people not shed countless tears over our plights and tragedies? Why don’t our tears cancel out Esav’s, like in the laws of kashrus where there is bitul be shishim ? He answers that when two things are similar, min be’mino, then they are not batel, they do not cancel each other out. Esav cried because he was denied the goodness and pleasure of this world. We too cast our tears and cry for the same reason, therefore the tears are the same and they do not cancel each other out, they are min be’mino and are not batel. However  says Rav Shmelka, if we would cry for the end of the exile, for our spiritual needs, for the sake of the holy Shechinah for Hashem Who is with us in exile Imo Anochi BeTzara (Tehillim 91:15) then our tears would be oif a different character and nature and one would cancel the other.
The Ohr Yitzchok disagrees however and he says an amazing thing: The nature of our crying is different. When Esav cries it is a form of protest against Hashem. Why don’t I have this when I deserve it! Why are You denying me what I have rights to?! Even when Esav was granted the goodness of this world look what he uses it for and does with it, what a chillul Hashem. Thus his entire cryin g and tears are of a different nature then ours. When we cry we are not protesting, it is out of our pain that we know we are unworthy and undeserving, we cry because we know we could be better. Thus surely our tears are ayno mino, since they are of a different nature they must cancel out Esav’s. May our tears drown his out and overcome them and bring our redemption.

And Esav went to Yishmael and took Machlas the daughter of Yishmael ben Avraham as a wife. (28:9) The Modzizter Rebbe explains that Esav and Yaakov had similar pedigrees. Their yichus was equal as the children of Yitzchak and Rivka and as grandchildren of Avraham. Esav sought to overcome this and tip the balance in his favor by marrying Yishmael’s daughter. Since Ishto keGufo, since a wife is like oneself (Berachos 24a), he sought thereby to gain an extra bond between himself and his yichus to Avraham.  How did Yaakov overcome this dual bond? He reasoned as follows: What was Avraham’s greatness? Torah! I will therefore attach myself to the root of Avraham’s success by Torah study and therefore the commentary to this pasuk finds a hint that Yaakov hid himself in the Yeshiva of Shem and Ever for 14 years. The way to overcome the unholy bond of Esav and Yishmael is through Yeshiva and Torah. By attaching ourselves to Torah we can trump their “yichus,” and overcome their bond. When the nations surround us and support our greatest enemies and champion cold blooded terrorism over helpless innocent Jewish blood and victims our answer must be Torah and more Torah! Only through our Torah do we triumph.

Rav Avraham Shmuel ben Rav Aharon Goldberg HY"D Z"L
Rav Aryeh  ben Rav Shlomo Kupinsky HY”D Z"L
Rav Kalman Ze'ev ben  Rav DovBer Levine HY"D Z"L
HaRav Moshe ben Rav Yitzchak Twersky HY”D Z"L