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PARASHAT VA'ERA

We are all familiar with teachings of our Hachamim 'B'Chol Dor VaDor Omdim Aleinu L'Chaloteinu'--in each and every generation they [the enemies of Klal Yisrael] rise against us to destroy us--'V'HaKadosh Baruch Matzileinu MiYadam,' and Hashem saves us from their hands. Each generation faces their own unique problems and challenges. Some fight against spiritual destruction; others combat an enemy determined to annihilate our people physically.

We are trapped in a uniquely bad time where Klal Yisrael is attacked both spiritually and physically; we have once again become the world's scapegoat, its whipping boy. What can we do but put our heads down and weep? Perhaps we can find an answer, an appropriate response, within our Parasha.

Before sending Moshe on his mission to redeem Bnei Yisrael, demonstrating to the most powerful nation and leader in the world the greatness of Hashem, HaKadosh Baruch Hu identifies Himself as the G-d of our Avot, Avraham, Yitzchak, V'Yakov. He reminds Moshe [and us] of the Brit, the covenant, to make us a great nation and establish Eretz Yisrael as our Land. This special relationship with Hashem that we inherited is the root cause of Anti-Semitism. The irrational hatred of the Jewish people for millennia and counting is based on our singular connection to the Ribbono She Olam, and our 'choseness.'

The world gazes at Klal Yisrael and it breeds jealousy and enmity. Rav Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook, the first Chief Rabbi of what was then Palestine, famously noted that the basic survival of the Jewish nation, both physical and spiritual, is a Chok. It belies any semblance of rational and reasonable explanation. Indeed, we are a miracle! Pascal, the French mathematician and philosopher, once commented that the best proof for the existence of G-d is the survival of the Jewish people.

We must never forget what Hashem tells Moshe in our Parasha--we were chosen by Hashem to be an Am Segula, unique amongst the nations of the world. We will always survive, and Eretz Yisrael will always belong to us. Our thoughts and prayers reach out to the victims of terror, and we must continue to pray for the safety of Am Yisrael.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Yehuda Moses Rav HaKehillah/Senior Rabbi

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Wed, January 20 2021 7 Shevat 5781