Rabbi Label Lam
An Invitation to Attack
You shall not have in your pouch a weight and a weight - a large one and a
small one. A perfect and honest weight shall you have, a perfect and honest
measure shall you have, so that your days shall be lengthened on the Land
that Hashem, your G-d gives you. For an abomination of Hashem, your G-d,
are all who do this, all who act corruptly.
Remember what Amalek did to you, on your way when you were leaving Egypt,
that he happened upon you on the way, and he struck those of you who were
hindmost, all the weaklings at your rear, when you were faint and exhausted
and he did not fear G-d. (Devarim 25:13-18)
If you lie about your weights and measurements, then be fearful of the
aggression of your enemy. (Rashi)
A remarkable story circulated around Eretz Yisrael a number of years ago.
Even if it is not confirmed as true, it still conveys a deep and relevant
message that may help explain why we are made more vulnerable to an enemy
attack when our business practices are less than honest.
It was during the time of when a young soldier whose last name was Wachsman
was captured. His parents took an immediate and active role in rallying the
entire nation to pray and light extra candles. There were huge prayer
rallies lead by the parents at the Western Wall and there was a profound
sense of unity and common purpose that crossed all kinds of ideological
lines and stated philosophies of life.
The end of the story, however, is less pleasant. The young man, on whose
behalf these forces were set in motion, was brutally murdered and the
momentary solidarity faded as fast.
Around that same time a young man who had been in a coma awoke shortly
afterward and asked to be brought to a certain luminary personality in our
generation. He told the elder Rabbi that he had been visited in a dream by
an elderly woman and was told to deliver a specific message. The Rabbi
displayed a picture of his deceased wife and asked if that was the woman.
He confirmed that it was.
She had asked him to relay the following: That the unity at the time of
the incident of that young soldier's capture and the events that followed
was so profound that Mashiach (the Messiah) could have come at that very
moment, if it had not been for the sin of theft and ill-gotten gains in
There are many contradictory and variant ideologies that bound around the
ionosphere of the Jewish world, but when confronted with an external
threat many of those otherwise easy chair postures are adjusted to face
the realities of life in the foxhole. People who might have fought against
each other are bonded in a common sense of purpose and urgency that
transcends the stated differences when core survival is the pressing
However, when someone has taken your money, set you up for a fall, taken
advantage of your naivety, changed the rules of the game, or failed to
deliver on a promise, then the hurt is deep and personal. A moment of
inspiration is not sufficient to bind two souls made distant by a lie.
A real rift exists that cannot be easily overcome or reconciled. The scars
from those financial wounds create a deeper divide than any often
-superficial lifestyle dialogue. That gap created by a real breakdown in
trust, is the open window, the point of vulnerability that our ever-present
enemies see as an invitation to attack.
Have a good Shabbos
Text Copyright © 2001 Rabbi Dovid Green and
Project Genesis, Inc.