Shalom WWP family,

There have been so many posts lately – news and especially opinion pieces.
Everyone has one. Everyone agrees with some and disagrees with others.

Someone wrote me hate mail the last couple of days. You see they are not Jewish and anti-Zionist and anti-American and anti-Fox news and wanted me to know that they are boycotting anything to do with Israel. I decided that this must be a socially-conscious human being and so opened the discussion – hoping to show them the error of their ways and the misguided-ness of their genuinely good character trait of compassion.

Not to be.

They hate Israel. Any force or action is justified in the face of being occupied. Ok I thought. This is the world. This is just the reality – just breathe. I walk around Jerusalem with a constant lump in my throat from the uncertainty of the situation – when it will end and we can go back to enjoying life and summer ‘vacation’. A pain in my heart from the knowing how many families are sitting shiva and are are also missing their Abas at their Shabbos tables weekly, either through ending their service or continuing it. And, most evidently, an existential anguish from knowing that there is no real solution here – I can’t convince anyone of true morality. I can’t even be sure that we are being moral – do the Israeli leaders get Torah psak on their every move and so know they are doing Hashem’s will at every moment? I don’t know if eliminating Hamas will lead to more problems, I don’t know if ending the war will lead to more deaths. I know nothing and it is not clear what is a win except for peace on earth and Mashiach…

Here we go again – that frustration and anguish over the “unfairness of life”. No different test than my husband tragically dying in a beautiful moment. We all know that nothing is fair according to what we think of fair. We get what we need spiritually – in order to overcome and achieve our spiritual potential. Same story, different station.

ISIS destroyed the prophet Yonah’s tomb the other day in Iraq. I thought it was strange, since they already did it by hand a week or two ago but they felt the need to drive the point home again by also bombing it to bits and then videotaping and posting it. It was a bit extreme. I decided perhaps Hashem wanted us to pay attention to it for a reason. So I popped open the book of Yonah – journey of the soul – based on the Vilna Gaon’s Kabbalistic teachings of the story of Yonah – as a parable of the soul’s journey in this world. According to the Gaon, the story is a metaphor for the soul who doesn’t want to come into the world, but is forced to do its job anyway.

The first two pages I read said the following:

A Jewish soul sits blissfully in the next world and does not want to go down. In the world in which it must be sent, it may be confused by the temptations of the body and pleasures that will make it lose its beautiful neshama essence. But, also, and more specifically pointed to my current struggles – it must face the test of challenges and of the antagonism of the nations. Built into this world in which a Jewish soul travels is the hate of the nations surrounding it. A Jewish soul is here to keep the mitzvos and bond with Hashem through it all the while enduring the challenges from within and from without – like a sailor navigating a ship against great waves trying to swallow it.

This sea -that is currently making me sea-sick by the way, is exactly the way it was designed in order for this soul, and your soul, to accomplish its purpose. Just ride the wave Batya, I say. Ride the wave – it is meant to be this way. You are fighting the stage – get back to your character and improve your mitzvot – it will make the reward only that much greater. No need to feel pain over the absurdity of world opinion and dislike – it is perfectly instrumented and purposeful to Hashem’s plan. You mind your business and Hashem will mind His business.

With love from the holy land and with immense prayers for victory and peace,

5 responses to “Torah, Existential Angst and the War (please spread)”

  1. petlover1948 says:

    may yu and your family be blessed with peace, and good health

  2. Margie says:

    Thank you as always for sharing both your personal pain and loss and yet somehow turning it around to give us chizuk and hope!!

    When I read about Jonah’s tomb, the first thing that crossed my mind was how Hashem wanted Yonah to go and tell the people to do Teshuva. Yonah was frightening and never dreamed they would listen to him. They were waaay to forgone. So he ran away. But Hashem found him n gave him another chance and said the people would indeed listen and do Teshuva! And they did n Hashem did not need to destroy Ninve.

    So.. My instinct thought was Hashem was giving us a message that HE and WE thought Am Yisroel could NEVvver be unified.. Never been in Achdus.. Never deserve Moshiach

    . BUT.. I felt the message was Yona is not needed anymore to convince us! Am Yisroel .. And ESP you who live there are seeing Achdus n mitzvos and Chesed in ways nevvvver even dreamed of!! So.. It’s ok Yona! My people love each other, they don’t need yr Mussar anymore.. I am getting them closer n closer to the Geulah n Mashiach! Halavei.. Amen!!

  3. Karyn Bogart says:

    We must say the Prayer for the IDF & pray from the Book of Psalms …
    It is so easy to be overly confident …
    Keep writing, smile at your children, soon it will be the Shabbat . . .
    Kol Tuv, from Chava Chana (Karyn) in nyc

  4. Tzvi says:

    Thank you. Please keep inspiring us.

  5. Julie says:

    Thank you for sharing!

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