It is very normal for people to have the question “Why did G-d allow this tragedy in Israel?” There is no answer to that question. Until the coming of Moshiach, the Jewish nation has many questions. The Lubavitcher Rebbe once said “ Hashem owes the Jewish people an explanation for the holocaust. We accept with faith that this was Hashem’s will but an explanation for it we will have in the future, when Moshiach comes.”
And this has to be our attitude now as well. We cannot know why this tragedy happened in Israel. We cannot try to figure it out, make judgements as to why this may have occurred . That is not our job to be judges. But, any time tragedy strikes the Jewish people, we need to look deeply into our souls and cry out to G-d to help us do teshuvah, fix whatever may need fixing, whatever we may have done wrong. We may not know what we did wrong but we know that there is something that needs improvement and correcting. Our job is to think “What can we do now to overpower evil? How can we grow from this? What can we do better in our lives to serve G-d?“ We must not allow this opportunity for coming closer to G-d and improving our relationship with G-d to be utilized fully. From every sadness there will be something good: from every darkness comes light. But it is up to us to use the moment properly.
We have to look into ourselves and see how to separate ourselves from any evil , even on a subtle level, and that means anything that is oriented to materialism, pleasure and selfishness (basically to refine our animal souls and identify only with our G-dly souls). Then we need to know we can pursue and destroy our enemies.
In every generation there have been enemies that arose to destroy us. This is not something new in Jewish history. We went through so many tragedies from day one. When the Jews left Egypt, shortly after the nation of Amalek came to fight us, with the sole purpose of making us lose our enthusiasm in serving G-d, sewing doubts in our minds etc. And this nation of Amalek continues with their evil work. Haman (a descendant of Amalek), in the Purim story, did the same. He wanted to annihilate every Jew, men, women and children. But Hashem changed it all around in response to the Persian Jew’s teshuvah and full commitment to Torah and Haman was defeated.
The Spanish inquisition was another tragedy…..
And of course the holocaust….the germans (also descendants of Amalek in their hatred to the Jews ) tried to do what Haman wanted to do. But again Hashem saved us, although many Jews were killed. That is why every Jewish soul brought into the world is revenge against the nazis, yemach shemom.
What is our response to such unfathomable evil?
We need to look at this as a spiritual war. We need to each think what can we do to strengthen Judaism, to add light (and light is Torah and mitzvot), to add in our personal observance. We also need to strengthen our faith, our trust in G-d.
All terrorists throughout history wanted to make us frightened and break our connection to G-d. Pure evil wants to make us doubt Gi-d and affect our faith….they have one goal: to make us question the Oneness and goodness of G-d and the world He created. They want to make us afraid to display our true selves and represent G-d in the world. In the past there were places where Jews were afraid to wear a kippa in public or wear their tzitzit out or even to light shabbat candles where they could be seen from the window…and it truly was a danger to life.
But now we need to publicly and proudly display our Jewishness. We need to fight darkness with a big increase in light. We need to show the world we are not afraid, G-d is with us, and we will not bow to our enemies or give in. Even though many non Jews may say “where was G-d on October 7?” the response to that is “He was right there, protecting the Jewish people….so many more tragedies could have happened. The extent of the plan the terrorists had was much more but they did not carry out the full plan thanks to the intervention of G-d. So many miracles that we are only beginning to realize are now being publicized. The magnitude of the disaster could have been so much more. We do not understand why those people had to suffer or why the terrorists were able to commit such atrocities. We do not see the full picture from G-d’s perspective. But we know G-d is good, He loves the Jewish people, we are His chosen nation, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation, and G-d will avenge the blood of all those holy Jews who were killed al kiddush Hashem.” G-d is with us in darkness and in light. G-d is with us all the time. Let us turn to Him, increase our prayers, ask for mercy, improve ourselves in whatever we need to improve, make a bigger commitment to Torah and mitzvot, and show G-d we do not abandon Him or His Torah despite the efforts of non Jewish nations to destroy our faith. We increase our faith! We increase our Jewish pride. We increase our connection to G-d and His Torah. This is the only response to evil: more goodness, more light, more joy. Especially since the massacre happened on Simchat Torah, a joyous holiday celebrating the Torah and our connection to Hashem. We need to keep dancing, keep rejoicing, keep celebrating and Hashem will make up to us the interruption of that joy this year. He will turn it all around as He did in the purim story and we will gain the upper hand against our enemies and win a huge victory. Purim was a fight against Amalek….in our generation we no longer have one nation called Amalek, but any people who try to destroy and massacre us just because we are Jewish, is descended spiritually from Amalek.
Out of such darkness must come a very great light. And that light is Moshiach. These are the birthpangs of Moshiach. We need to go forward and prepare ourselves, our families, our neighborhood for the coming of Moshiach.
We must not allow terror to take us down or to discourage us. We must not allow evil to win, even a tiny bit. We must show the world we are strong, we are going to defeat evil and we will be victorious. All of this is part of bringing the redemption to the world. Nobody said it would be easy. But our job is to go forward and do what G-d wants.
The Zohar says that when we learn Zohar and the inner mystical part of Torah, which includes chassidut, we can bring redemption, the Geula, with mercy. This is the time to add in learning chassidut. This is the time to add in goodness and kindness.
We know when the Jewish people are united, no force in the world can harm us. When there is love between the Jewish people, there is blessing. We know the second Beit Hamikdash was destroyed because of sinat chinam, hatred of another for no reason. And the way to fix that is unconditional love, without judgment, just because the other person is a part of yourself, a member of the Jewish nation. Unity comes through Torah. The Torah is what defines us as Jews and the Torah is what unites u as Jews.
The Jewish flame, the inner connection and passion of the soul to G-d, can never be extinquished despite the attempts of those nations that hate us. Islamic/arab nations and christian nations all derive their religions from our Torah yet they changed them. Nevertheless, they have a hatred to Jews because of their jealousy .
Why is there a commandment to remember what Amalek did to us, and to eradicate Amalek and not forget ? As we know, spiritually Amalek is the idea of doubt. Doubt starts in the mind, trying to affect our faith in God. We wonder: is God among us or not? That thought itself is the manifestation of Amalek. It takes on many forms: doubting if Hashem cares about us, is helping us, will protect us and resolve our problems etc.
One needs to uproot doubts, even on a subconscious level. This is part of destroying Amalek. And then one is able to “not forget”. Once Amalek is destroyed, the person moves on the next part of the commandment to “not forget”, which means to not rebel even slightly against God and His will. All of this is part of increasing one’s faith and trust. Everyone who is a believer and observant of Torah, tries to repress and deny doubts. But we have to go even further and destroy those doubts completely, hence increasing our faith in G-d.
Today’s war is against Amalek physically (meaning to annihilate terrorists) and on a spiritual level this is the idea of conquering doubts in our faith. They try to destroy our way of thinking and our trust in G-d. But they will never succeed in destroying the Jewish nation or our devotion to Torah. G-d Almighty will never abandon His people. We will never abandon G-d.
May we merit the redemption immediately and with miracles!