Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Ki Seitzei

Under One G-d

By Rabbi Label Lam

When you go out to war against your enemies and HASHEM your G-d will deliver them into your hands and you will capture its captivity. (Devarim 21:10)

The Torah only speaks versus the “negative inclination” (Rashi)

“When you go out to war against your enemies…” In this verse we find the strategy for success in war against our most dangerous enemies.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe saw in the verse, “When you go out to war “al”-literally over your enemy. The Rebbe advises to take the high road and not to be drawn down by your opponent. That’s the secret, to go over, and not to be lowered in the process.

I remember it like yesterday, it was 1991, the summer of the Crown Heights riots. It was not less than a modern day pogrom and a blood libel. It was a flashback to images we thought were only possible in dark ages.

An unfortunate car accident with no malice intent caused the death of a young African American boy that sparked and then unleashed days of hatred and unimpeded rioting by the local residents. It was frightening to the core. People were killed and property was damaged, all the while, David Dinkins, an African American mayor of New York attended Tennis matches and did little to halt or cool the angry mobs.

Shortly after the violence subsided I recall walking in the streets of New York when I espied a newspaper with an alluring cover. It was one of the local New York periodicals. There was the Lubavitcher Rebbe with David Dinkins with a Yarmulka on his head.

I couldn’t resist. I turned to the story just inside the fold. Mayor Dinkins was paying homage and reaching out to the Rebbe. He was quoted as saying something to effect, “We have to heal the wounds between our two peoples.” The Rebbe’s response was stunningly simple and packed with profundity. It was beyond greatness to my puny mind and breathtaking in its breadth and scope. The Rebbe said, "Which two people? We are one side. We are one people, living in one city, under one administration and under one G-d."

Perhaps in our battle with the Yetzer Hora, the negative inclination, a similar dialogue is helpful. It’s the language of that lower force to divide us and the task of the ‘Tov” to unite us in good, like the stones around Yaakov’s head! It’s no wonder the sages suggest that if one is overwhelmed by his Yetzer Hora he should learn- Torah amplifying his voice of his G-d-like soul. Then he is well-advised to say “Shema”- unifying HASHEM’s name. It’s as if to say, "We are one side. We are one people, living in one city, under one administration and under one G-d."


DvarTorah, Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Label Lam and Torah.org.


 






ARTICLES ON LECH LECHA:

View Complete List

Abraham's Dwelling
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

Love and Sacrifice
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

What Happened To Lot?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

ArtScroll

Outsiders
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5756

Reaching for Perfection
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

Better A Second Time Around
Shlomo Katz - 5767

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Wake-Up Call
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5759

When Things Don't Go As Planned
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5765

Dream the Impossible Dream
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5758

> Home Sweet Home
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773

Universal Responsibility
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763

Jews vs. Judaism
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Defying Natural Order
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5774

Avraham's Legacy to his Descendants
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5771

The Beginning & End of the Journey
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

Once a Jew, Always a Jew
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information