Five terrorist attacks in one bloody day. My Facebook newsfeed is full of anger.
Demand the world take action against Palestinian terror!
Expel the Arabs!
What is wrong with our government?! We’re getting slaughtered in the streets.
Joe Biden, go back. We don’t want you here!
I get it. Really I do.
At the same time, looking at the big picture, I’m convinced that, spiritually, this anger, while understandable, is woefully misplaced.
We are in the period of Jewish history known as the End of Days. We can feel the breath of Moshiach (the Jewish redeemer) on the back of our necks. This time, immediately before our final redemption, is referred to as the Ishmaelite Exile by our Sages. It’s the last exile of the Jewish people, and it has a very specific purpose.
The Hebrew expression kochi v’otzem yadi means “my strength and the power of my hands”. It comes from the Book of Devarim (Deuteronomy 8:17).
As a nation, we’re still stuck in the illusion of kochi v’otzem yadi. We still believe that human efforts are sufficient to solve the problem of Muslim terror. As long as we think there is a diplomatic, military, economic or political solution, we have failed to learn the lesson this stage of history is trying to teach us.
We haven’t learned to turn to God.
We still believe in and rely upon our human prowess too much. So God sent us the problem of Muslim terror, exactly because the kind of terrorism that Israel suffers from is a problem we will never be able to solve on our own.
Anger at the government, anger at the Arabs, is missing the point. God is running the world. And He’s turning up the heat, so to speak, pleading with us to recognize that we need Him. To save precious lives, to prepare us for Moshiach, we need, very quickly, to come to the understanding that Ain Od Milvado – there is truly nothing besides God.
Everything we are living through is intended to increase our faith, to prepare us for the final redemption. We are being called upon to recognize that we are absolutely helpless. Only God can destroy this enemy.
We need to take reasonable security precautions on a human level. Of course we do. But we must open our eyes and understand that the most crucial task before us is a spiritual one.
We must learn to recognize the limits of our capabilities. We must learn that it is time to live our lives according to the last Mishna in Tractate Sotah which teaches, “We have no one upon whom to rely, except our Father in heaven.”