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Thursday, March 01, 2007

"Go and Gather All the Jews..."

Ta'anit Esther is above all, a day of Teshuva, fasting and prayer when our primary concern must be to follow Queen Esther's powerful directive: to strengthen Jewish Unity.

All too often we focus on what divides us, as opposed to what we share in common...
In 1933, Rav Avraham Yitzchok HaKohen Kook zy''a wrote:

" is incumbent upon us to draw near to the path of teshuvah which brings redemption and healing to the world.The Jewish people have become divided into two camps, through the categorization of Jews as Charedi and Chofshi.

These are new terms, which were not used in the past. Of course, not everyone is identical, especially in spiritual matters; but there was never a specific term to describe each faction and group...Emphasizing this categorization obstructs the way towards improvement for both camps. One who feels that he belongs to the Charedi camp looks down upon the secular camp. If he thinks about teshuvah and improvement, he immediately casts his eyes in the direction of the Chofshi camp, devoid of Torah and mitzvot. He is confident that full repentance is required by the irreligious, not by him.The secular Jew, on the other hand, is convinced that any notion of penitence is a Charedi concept, completely irrelevant to him.

It would be better if each person would concentrate on discerning his own defects, and judge others generously. It could very well be that others have treasure-troves of merits, hidden from sight. We must recognize that there exists in all of the camps a latent force leading towards goodness. Each camp has much to improve upon, and is capable of learning much from the light and goodness of the other camp.Let us be known to each other by one name: "Klal Yisrael"{Adapted from Moadei HaRe'iyah, by Rav Chanan Morrison of Mitzpeh Yericho}

This Taanit Esther, let's try to respect and care for each other - at least as much as Haman (and Hitler, Arafat, Ahmadinejad etc.) desire(d) to destroy us!

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  • At 1:27 PM , Blogger Pinchas said...

    Amen! Halavi we should get it down today to just those two camps.


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