“I have met the enemy, and it is us.” This statement was uttered by a cartoon character. Too tragic a truth.
This is very timely, especially in Israel.
The Midrash says, “If all Jews are united, Hashem will overlook even idol worship, and no harm will befall them”(Bereishis Rabbah 38:6).
The Talmud says that “Ve’ahvta es Hashem Elokecha” means to make Hashem beloved by others. If a talmid chacham is amicable and has pleasant middos, people will say “How wonderful are his parents who taught him Torah,” but if his behavior is unpleasant, they lose respect for Torah.
The Baal Shem Tov said, “I wish I had the intense love for the greatest tzaddik that Hashem has for the worst rasha.”
In the 18th century, there began the Haskalah movement, which threatened to undermine everything sacred to Judaism, ultimately leading to assimilation. They were virulently anti-Zionistic, removing every reference to Eretz Yisrael and Yerushalayim from their prayer books. The Torah authorities fought them, and they accused the Rabbanim of being revolutionaries, resulting in many being imprisoned or sent to Siberia. But although the Torah leadership fought them vigorously from the pulpit, they never attacked them physically.
It is so painful to see the fighting today, which often results in physical violence. Hatred has no place in disagreement. We have indeed become our own worst enemies.
We are surrounded by virulent anti-Semitism in all countries on the globe, some unashamedly calling for another Holocaust. This is time when we must practice ahavas Yisrael to an extreme.
Our only hope is the protection of Hashem, and we cannot risk losing it.