Wednesday, August 13, 2014

432 - Chukas

When Aharon passed away, Bnei Yisrael lost the clouds of glory and the protection that they afforded. As a result, the Cana'anim took the opportunity to wage war against Bnei Yisrael. The Torah tells us that during this battle they succeeded in taking hostages. Rashi explains that in reality only one single maidservant was taken captive.

Nevertheless, says Rav Wolbe (Shiurei Chumash) Bnei Yisrael made a big deal about what had happened. They davened to Hashem to deliver their enemy into their hands, and additionally pledged to donate any spoils toward the service of Hashem. 

During the Second World War the heads of the allied countries gathered to brainstorm how to proceed. At one point, one of the generals mentioned a possible option for attack, but he added that it would probably cost the lives of a half a million soldiers. Stalin replied, "So what? Let them fall." While other nations might not even care about hundreds of thousands of lives, the Jewish Nation notices and cares about every individual. Even the capture of a single simple maidservant galvanized Bnei Yisrael to tefillah and tzeddaka.

If the capture of a single person is taken so seriously, how much more so must we be concerned when the number of hostages taken is three times that amount. The kidnapping of these three precious boys is a calamity that is not limited to a specific sect or even to Jews of a specific country. It is a tzara of the entire Klal Yisrael. We must make a big deal about what happened, which includes intensifying our tefillos and acts of tzeddaka and kindness. May our chizuk in these areas be a zechus for the immediate and safe return of Yaakov Naftoli ben Rachel Devorah, Gilad Michael ben Bat-Galim and Eyal ben Iris Teshura!

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