And yet, how can we pass up "Zos HaBrachah" - the blessing!
"This is the blessing with which Moshe, the man of G-d, blessed the Children of Israel
before his death" [33:1], and we don't take time to study it! Shouldn't we
stop to hear all the nice things he tells us?
His last words are, "you are fortunate, Israel - who is like you, a nation
delivered by G-d, Shield of your help...?" [33:29]
The Chofetz Chaim compares Moshe to a military commander, when he sees the
difficulty of the battle, and realizes that the morale of the troops is
falling along with the constant barrage of arrows, rocks or bombs landing
around them. He goes out during the next lull in the fighting to give them
words of encouragement: "remember that you are fighting on behalf of the
Crown; when victory is yours, every one of you will receive riches and
honor, for you have placed your lives on the line for the sake of the King!"
Yet as encouraging as those words might be, when two kings wage war, every
soldier knows that only one side can win. The commander on the other side
is busy saying the same thing. How can words such as "when victory is
yours" serve their purpose, when everyone is thinking about the possibility
But when one "wages war" on behalf of Torah, G-d's Crown - when he or she
pushes aside distractions in order to study Torah, battles the temptation
to gossip, and forces open his or her hand to give charity - there is no
such problem. There is no fear of losing. And, yes, when circumstances
compel us to confront forces detrimental to Jewish spiritual and moral
values, then too there is no fear of losing - for "Your Right Hand is
glorified with strength." [Exodus 15:6] HaShem has promised us that Torah
is eternal, and thus the war will be won eventually. The rewards are 100%
This is what our commander, our Rabbi Moshe, who - through his direct
contact with HaShem - was able to see the entirety of Jewish history, told
us on that day. "You are fortunate, Israel," because your war is on behalf
of G-d and Judaism, and there is no question that you will win. "Who is
like you, a nation delivered by G-d," because since your deliverance is
from G-d, it is certain.
"Jewish Continuity" is neither question nor cause, but historical fact. We
go forward, certain that the Jewish people will grow and flourish. Our only
concern, which is quite grave, is to determine how many of the current
generation will come along for the journey. How many will continue in a
Jewish path, and how many will disappear?
This is not going to be a short battle. All around us, we are hemorrhaging.
Let us not fail to realize that the battle is happening, right now. And no
one is exempt.
But since this is a "war" fought for HaShem, every soldier can be certain.
Every good act will be rewarded. Every Jew contacted, every dollar invested
to ensure that Torah is learned and valued as it has been for 3,300 years,
is guaranteed reward. Let us go forward and "fight" together, with confidence!
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