Part 7 - Guarding the Brit and Guarding the Land of Israel
A person, for a simple pleasure lasting a quarter of an hour, can destroy himself from this world and the next.
Rabbi Nachman of Bresslov
More than the desire for money, more than the desire for power, is the sexual desire. How important is the mitzvah of Shmirat HaBrit? How hard does the Yetzer Hara try to get you to sin? Rabbi Nachman, along with many other great Rabbis state that this is the greatest challenge man faces in his lifetime. The Zohar, or the Book of Jewish Mysticism, states that almost all references to the Brit are references to the act of sexual purity. They are references to the organ we circumcise in order to enter the Covenant with Hashem. When we circumcise ourselves, we are dedicating ourselves to being a Holy people. This mitzvah keeps us a part of G-d’s Chosen People. The forces of evil don’t want that – they have been commissioned by G-d to destroy us. Only in exerting ourselves to defeat these forces do we earn merit from Heaven and bring down light to the earth. The Satan, and his forces of evil, most notably the yetzer hara (the evil inclination within us that urges us to sin) do everything they can at every moment to sin, or procrastinate mitzvoth.
The Satan uses all his might in this realm. This is where the biggest battle between good and evil is waged. To redeem the world, a Jew is commanded to bring down light. We do this by defeating evil. The most effective way to heal the world is to fight the evil from within you. We will all be surprised to one day find out how much good we did to other people, and other places, by simply winning a battle against thinking one sexual thought.
This battle we wage against this desire is fought all throughout our lifetimes. Even the holiest sages and tzaddikim had to fight these temptations. Rabbi Akiva was subjected to these tests. Joseph HaTzaddik (son of Jacob) was tested when he was a teenager – talk about pressure! Every Jew has to answer these challenges one way or another – nobody gets a free ride.
As hard as it may seem to combat these urges, it is not impossible to defeat them -- even in today’s world. If you think that the only people who have a chance are those who live in ultraorthodox communities, think again. There are many Jews who live and work in the heart of cities like Manhattan or Tel Aviv who maintain their sexual morality. They guard their eyes in the street, their speech with colleagues, and are known in the office as polite to the women, but not too forward. Don’t fall under the misimpression that it is only the people who have been observant all their lives who can do this. There are many Hozrim B’tsuva (returnee’s to the faith) who, months after they spent night after night in the bars and clubs doing things that weren’t appropriate, successfully took on this mitzvah. Taking on the mitzvah of Shmirat HaBrit is even harder after you have personally experienced the pleasures of sexual misconduct. However, there are people who have successfully made the transition – and enjoyed the spiritual rewards of having to fight this ‘double urge.’
Unfortunately, because the world has become such a sexual place, the infection of sexual misdeeds have destroyed souls of our brothers and sister from every walk of life. From the Haredi Jews to the most secular “Reformers”, we have all fallen prey to this. How do I know that “ultraorthodox” Jews are guilty of this sin? Because there are very honorable, and humble members of that community who have shown great strength in admitting their misdeeds to public audiences. They have done this to get help personally, and to let people know that they are not the only ones who fight these urges. The battle for sexual and spiritual purity is one that we fight alone, but we do it with the support of our brothers and sisters from all walks of life.
As we struggle to reach and maintain a positive level of moral awareness – the greatest possession of the Jewish People is at stake. When to wrestlers fight in the ring, they are fighting for a championship belt. When we step inside the cosmic arena against the forces of evil – something infinitely more important is at stake:
According to the Zohar, our safety and security in the Land of Israel is dependent upon the fulfillment of this mitzvah.
The Hebrew letters for both the words Brit and the Land of Israel demonstrate the link between the mitzvah and the land.
There are four names given to the Land of Israel: Eretz Yisrael, Eretz Tzvi, Eretz Kedusha (Land of Holiness), and Eretz Chaim (Land of life). Take the last letters of each word, and you have Mem, Yud, Lamed, and Hei. These letters spell the word Mila, which is the mitzvah of Circumcision, and subsequently, the constant guarding of this mitzvah throughout ones life by observing the laws of sexual purity.
Now take the first letter of each word. You have Yud, Tzadee, Chet, and Kuf. These letters spell Yitzchak. Where does this come in to play? What does Yitzchak have to do with these specific mitzvoth?
Yitzchak was the first Jew to accomplish two special mitzvot. He was the first man to have his Brit Milah at the proper time. Avraham had his at the age of 99. His two sons. Yishmael, had his Brit at the age of 13. His younger son, Yitzchak, was the first Jew ever to have his Brit when he was 8 days old, the time specified by Hahsem. Yitzchak was also the first Jew ever to spend his entire life in the Land of Israel.
The very letters of the Brit and the Land of Israel clearly demonstrate the metaphysical link between the two. As long as the Jewish people guard the Brit, Hashem won’t let anyone disrupt our peace and security in the Land of Israel.
That means we can do things right here, and right now, to strengthen the security of our brothers and sisters living in the Holy Land.
Is it really such a mystery that 80% of the biblical Land of Israel is either disputed territory, or in the hands of the Arabs? At the same time, 80% of the Jewish people are not performing mitzvoth? It is entirely possible that of the 20% of Jews who are following the Torah, most of them not aware of the laws of shmirat habrit, or are simply not following them. In the 20% of the Land of Israel that the nations recognize as the undisputed borders of the Jewish State, life isn’t without serious security dangers. Along with the looming threat of missiles raining down from Lebanon, Syria, or Iran, Israeli Arab workers, long seen as harmless, are stealing tractors in Jerusalem with the intent of running over innocent civilians.
We stare at the divas on the internet and fantasize. We flirt with the women in the office and go for the hookup at the bars. We pollute our souls, and the soul of Israel. At the same time, we blame our collective woes on Shimon Peres and the Kadima party, never allowing for the possibility that they may not be the only ones to blame for our problems.
Tempting the Jewish People with sex to weaken us is nothing new. Our enemies have been trying this for thousands of years. In the Book of Numbers, as the Children of Israel were traveling the dessert on their way to the Land of Israel, King Balak was mortally afraid. Fearing the loss of his kingdom, he sent for the greatest non-Jewish prophet of his day, Bilaam to protect him. Bilaam had the same prophetic abilities as Moshe. Like Moshe, he knew the secrets of the world. Balak requested from Bilaam help in wiping out the Children of Israel.
What did the evil prophet Bilaam order Balak to do? Did he tell him to build a big army? Did he tell him to strike a treaty with the Jews? What about a massive propaganda war on the local TV networks? Did he tell him to do that? No. Bilaam, as great a prophet as the greatest prophet that ever lived, knew exactly what to do to destroy the Jewish nation. He knew that the secret wasn’t physical. If Hashem is on the side of the Israelites, Israel can’t lose. The secret to defeating the Jewish people was not to hit them physically, but to hit them spiritually.
Bilaam tried to curse the Jewish People. But Hashem said no, Israel is a Blessed nation, and there is no reason to curse them. The written Torah focuses on the fact that Bilaam failed to curse the Jewish people and we were unaffected by his efforts to harm us.
That’s not what happened. Bilaam failed to harm the Jewish People with his curses, but he succeeded with his other tactic.
What was his most fierce attack? The one that actually succeeded?
Bilaam attacked the very essence of the relationship between Hashem and His children by sending in tens of thousands of sexy Moabite and Midianite women to have relations with the Israelite men. He never attacked with troops, or artillery, or any type of military strategy. The greatest non-Jewish prophet in the history of mankind knew where to hit us – he tempted us with the sins of sexual immorality.
When the generation of the dessert was put to the test of sexual morality, it was a battle of life and death. Most Jews passed the test. Many didn’t. When Bilaam and his army of ancient divas was done, 24,000 men committed acts of sexual abominations with the alien women. Hashem sent a plague that killed all of them. More Jews died in Bilaam’s attack than in all of the modern State of Israel’s wars combined.
Over 4,000 years, there has always been a sizeable part of the world that has been bent on killing us. Today is no different. The Jewish People and the State of Israel have enemies both subtle and direct. The war between the nations and Israel is constantly being fought on two fronts, both physical and spiritual.
What commenced with the attack on us by the nation of Amalek on us right after we left Egypt is happening today.
Over the last 2,500 years, Israel’s biggest enemy has been the nation of Edom. Edom is the nation that came from Esau. Esau was Jacob’s brother and as the Torah tells us, Esau hates Jacob. The same holds true for its descendants. Edom (or Esau) begat Greece. Greece begat Rome. Rome begat Europe, and Europe begat America and Soviet Russia. Of these four empires, each of them has either physically or spiritually annihilated at least one million Jews. Edom worships the body. They are overly permissive in their pursuit of physical pleasure and, like Bilaam did thousands of years ago, they entice many Jews to follow in their path and destroy their own souls. When the Greeks took over Israel, they started to tempt us with their emphasis on the physical body. They succeeded. Many Jews would assimilate into the Greek culture and abandon their faith. When that didn’t completely succeed, they banned Shabbat, Kashrut, and the Brit Milah. Their assault on the Jewish People started out as spiritual harassment, not physical. The spiritual battle turned physical when the Jewish People had enough and began to rebel. Since then, both physically and spiritually, we have battled the Romans and their paganism, the Europeans and their hedonism, the Soviets and their atheism, and the Americans and their materialism.
Even the fight for the modern state of Israel is a colossal battle between Edom and the Jewish People. Are the Children of Ishmael (the Arabs) really the greater enemy? Their political position is as clear as it was in 1948. All Lands that Israel has the strength to keep, they do whatever they want with it. But if ever Israel lacked the power to maintain control over the Land and keep the Arabs at bay, the Ismaelites will come in and wipe us out. Over the last 60 years, there have been treaties, basic trade agreements, and diplomacy, but it all rests on this simple concept. Arabs will not hate us any more or less if we settle all of Judea Shomron, Gaza, or Sinai. They will hate us no more or no less if we blow up the Dome of the Rock or throw out all the Palestinians from our Homeland. Most in the Arab world openly admit that the only reasons for the peace treaties that already exist is because the Arab leadership has come to the conclusion that they do not have the power to sweep us into the ocean and that relations with America is worth cutting a deal. Their feelings about the Jewish State have not changed at all. If we only had to fight the Ishmaelites, the situation may not be better, but it would be a lot clearer.
The Edomites are the real danger. The Edomites are the ones that force Israel into concessions. They say to us, “Just give a little bit here and there will be peace. Just make a concession and it will be okay.” It’s not Hosni Mubarak explaining to the world that the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are just misunderstood, it is the western media. It is not the nation of Ishmael that successfully demonizes Israel, it’s the west. It is not the Arabs that want interim agreements or small pieces of autonomy, they want it all. It’s the Edomites that use threats, blackmail, and deception to chisel away at Israel’s territorial integrity.
In 1948, who gave the Arabs all the strategic high points? The British. Who left hundreds of thousands of Holocaust survivors to be slaughtered when they could have admitted them into the Land of Israel? The British. When Israel miraculously won the war of Independence and, their tanks were on their way to capture the Sinai, who threatened Israel with direct conflict if they didn’t stop? The British. In 1967, the world turned a blind eye to Arab forces uniting to create another Holocaust. Three days into the Arab War of Jewish Annihilation, miraculously, the Israelis went on the offensive. After it appeared as if the Israelis were going to win the war, who was it that called for an immediate ceasefire? The UN. In 1973, the Arabs attacked Israel on her Holiest day in an unprovoked surprise attack. Miraculously, Israel didn’t fall. The moment the tide of the war began to turn, who imposed a ceasefire? The UN. Did they impose any ceasefire while the Arabs were killing thousands of Israeli soldiers and indiscriminately firing missiles into civilian populated cities?
The list goes on and on.
This is the war Edom has been fighting us from the Roman dispersion, to the Holocaust, to this very day. Ishmael attacks with guns and suicide bombers, Edom attacks with fancy words, diplomats, and politicians.
The question is, are the Edomites winning?
Today, we no longer have the Sinai. We no longer have Gaza. In the West Bank, Palestinians used to threaten Jews with rocks. Today they have thousands of rifles and millions of rounds of ammunition to fire at Jews everywhere. The weapons that the Ishmaelites fire at us were provided to them by the United States and their diplomats who brokered interim ceasefire deals.
Today, Hizbullah in South Lebanon, Hamas, in Gaza, and the PA in the West Bank all await orders from Tehran to attack Israel and fight a war with her on three fronts.
However, since 1948, no Edomite nation has directly declared war on us. Their physical battle with us has always been indirect.
The direct battle they wage against us is the spiritual war. This was has been going on between us and them for over 2,000 years. Unfortunately, today they are winning this war by a very wide margin.
Where Ishmael threatens us physically, they are no threat to us spiritually.
Edom swallows us alive.
The openness of western society has given us temptations that are virtually impossible to ignore, and are killing us. Not only can we become as rich and as powerful as we want, we can have relations, and even marry any of Edom’s daughters. Also, Edom’s core values of over-permissiveness and its emphasis on physical pleasure represents everything that Judaism abhors. In the words of Herman Wouk, in his book, This is my G-d, just as many Jews have been wiped out of existence through assimilation and intermarriage in the west as were murdered in the Holocaust. In what has been called ‘the silent Holocaust’, since World War II, over 7 million Jews have been wiped out of existence due to intermarriage. Who is the bigger enemy?
Who is really the greater threat to the Jewish People?
David Fink is the Editor-in-Chief of the daily investment newsletter, Real Wealth Recon. In 2008, his Real Wealth portfolio MADE MONEY, outperforming the three major indices by 38%, and the average Hedge Fund by 25%. For $99 a year, you get David’s daily market commentary, instant emails for every trade he makes, total access to David’s portfolio, and a weekly review of the major articles published around the world. Why hand over your hard earned money to someone in a suit saying “trust me.” Keep your money and trust yourself. Join the elite investors who are making money this year, and tell Wall Street: YOU’RE FIRED!