The Belz simchah was Klal Yisrael’s simchah. This was an event laden with meaning, not simply because a bayis ne’eman b’Yisrael was being established, and also not as an indication of the surge of growth in the chassidishe world and the rebirth of Belz Chassidus. This time, there was a sense of yachad shivtei Yisrael in the face of attempts now underway to destroy everything.
In the midst of such a huge gathering of Yidden, the words burst forth of their own accord: Netzach Yisrael! Yes, there is no doubt about it: The Jewish People is an eternal nation.
Once upon a time, they tried to wipe us off the face of the earth, but today we talk about people who are trying to take the neshamah out of Am Yisrael, and this, as we daven for the future of a dor dei’ah growing up in Eretz Yisrael that will welcome Moshiach Tzidkeinu.
Thousands upon thousands, many of them not people who consider themselves Belzer chassidim throughout the year, came to the chuppah with a sense of reverence, to be part of a simchas tzaddikim. They felt as if in the presence of the whole historic panoply of tzaddikei elyon, talmidim of the Baal Shem Tov, the Sar Hashalom, zy”a, after whom the chassan is named. From all neighborhoods they streamed in great numbers to Yerushalayim’s Belz Square. This time it wasn’t for a protest rally — they came to express the simchah of the eternity of the Jewish people. And their coming was an expression of the truth that Hashem is our eternal King, and nobody was able to sever the chain of the generations.
One of the “guests” told me: “I came to get a brachah from the Rebbe and all of the tzaddikim, but what really brought me here was the sense of togetherness. When there is an attempt to break chareidi Jewry, I wanted to feel myself within the ‘mikveh Yisrael Hashem,’ as chassidim say, that being among Jews is like toveling in a mikveh. Now is the time to unite, to form ourselves into a unit. There is no greater unity than the rejoicing of tzaddikim. What does it matter if I’m not a Belzer chassid?
“No chareidi Jew today can say, ‘they don’t mean me.’ This war is not being waged against this Chassidus or that, against this kehillah or that yeshivah. Whoever believes in Hashem and His Torah is under attack, by the media and by the courts. This is an attempt at antireligious coercion as there never was since the founding of the state. The decree of the draft has nothing to do with national security. It’s about one thing alone — tearing the soul out of Yiddishkeit.”
Today their hatred stems from jealousy, and this sort of hatred has no cure. As Shlomo Hamelech said, kashah k’She’ol kinah — those who hate Yiddishkeit want to take Torah away from Yisrael davka because it’s flourishing. To see hundreds of thousands of chareidi children in all their purity and nobility, as compared to the secular violence in their schools and streets, is too much for them to bear; it testifies that their daily cases of violence and murder in schools and neighborhoods are a result of their having descended to the lowest of the low in values. All the ideals that stand behind the “enlightened man” were slaughtered in the slaughterhouse of their evil “culture.”
The secular world is left with not even one “sacred cow.” Even the army, which was the last stronghold of pride, is not holy in their eyes anymore. They are no longer keen on waging war against the Arabs. Adraba, they’re willing to commit suicide to have peace with them.
The same is true of the whole apparatus of the state. Government officials at all levels are viewed even by the secular as corrupt. Government bureaucracy is siphoning the people’s money as people collapse under the burden of taxes and cost of living and nobody cares, because the media is busy with the chareidim and the people are incited. But the people have also revealed the secrets of this state apparatus that hands out 700,000 jobs to its cronies. NIS 420 billion a year goes from the Treasury to individuals close to the government at all levels. The secular regime has nothing good to offer, nothing of value to give their youth a reason to prefer this country over Europe or America, except of course if you’re one of those who know how to find your way into this state apparatus, but whoever lacks that leaves the country the moment he finds a better offer elsewhere.
Treasury officials fear a backlash lest the “Arab spring” that began two years ago turn into a “protest summer.” But all they have to do is find a common enemy to unite against. Once upon a time it was the Arabs, and now it’s the chareidim.
The holiness of the army suddenly gets restored to be used as a battering ram against the chareidim. Talk of national security is only brought up to fire away at the chareidim.
Therefore, we mustn’t be over-alarmed by the attack, which stems from jealousy. Instead, we should be there for them, to help them get themselves out of the pit. We should help them come back to the Jewish way of life that their fathers rejected. Their grandchildren are paying the price for it, in their empty lives.
Of course, you can’t help a person more than he wants to be helped. When we see their troubles, we mustn’t let ourselves feel pleased about this, Heaven forbid, because whenever we say “you are not my people,” Hashem will say “[they are] my sons, sons of the Living G-d.” But at the same time, we should not get agitated over their scathing remarks. We must simply resolve to wage the fierce battle for the soul of Israel and we will be victorious.
We have to realize that they did us the favor of turning on all the warning lights. Too many of our young people thought to themselves that it’s possible to live in a modern world where everything is pareve, everything is kosher l’mehadrin and it’s easy to be Jewish. Evidently, there is a danger in this, and min Hashamayim, bears and wolves were taken out of the forest and brought against us to teach us this.
There’s the famous Midrash on the verse about Masah U’merivah of a son who was sitting on his father’s shoulders, and whenever he saw something he asked his father to bring it to him, and his father did so — once, twice, three times. Then the son saw someone else and asked: “Did you see my father?”
The father said: “You’re riding on my
shoulders; whatever you ask me I give you — and yet you ask, ‘Did you see my father?’”
He threw his son from his shoulders and a dog came and bit him.
That’s how the Jews were when they left Mitzrayim. Hashem surrounded them with the ananei hakavod; they asked for bread, he gave them man; they asked for meat, He gave them the quail. He gave them everything they needed and they asked: “Is Hashem with us?”
Hashem said: “If that’s what you think, here’s a dog that’ll bite you” — and then came Amalek.
We’re receiving so much blessing from Heaven. Despite all the bears and wolves around us, we’ve merited to raise a generation to be proud of, one that can receive Moshiach Tzidkeinu. We must not despair and ask, “Did you see my father?” like that boy of the Midrash. Yes, there are dogs barking that want to bite us, but the caravan is moving steadily toward the complete redemption.
May Hashem be with us as He was with our fathers, and may we merit the complete Redemption speedily in our days. Amen.