Monday, March 10, 2008


Personal Salvation versus National Salvation

by Akiva at Mystical Paths

I received an email today discussing what to do given the current "situation in Eretz Yisroel". Mentions were made of particular personal mitzvah improvements that are known to bring personal salvation. "Never did I see a person who ... and didn't see salvation from above, whether in children, in shidduch, good health, parnasa or bringing up the children."

There is no doubt that the general level of the klal (the Jewish people as a whole) has an impact upon the national situation, and whether we befall geziros (verdicts) from above. HOWEVER, once geziros are in place for the klal, _personal_ mitzvah improvements, or for that matter ones personal level of kedushah, do not help alleviate _the klal's_ situation.

We see this from Megillah Ester. When the Klal was faced with destruction, the danger was to the talmiday chachamim (the Torah scholars) as much as the am haratzim (the ignorant), and only national teshuvah would suffice. The Megillah tells us they did otherwise, they all ran to strengthen _their individual_ mitzvot and connection to Hashem. Ester 4:3 "And in every province, wherever the king's commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes." Some fasted, some cried, some wept, some wailed, some sat in sackcloth and ashes. The tzaddik and leader of the generation sat in sackcloth... and it didn't help.

Then, with the insight of Binah, Ester instructed that the Klal together - and that together is incredibly important - partake a fast and perform teshuvah. Ester 4:16 "Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day; I also and my maidens will fast in like manner; and so will I go in to the king...".

Only with the people united together for the common purpose of national teshuvah and national salvation may we approach the King. When the verdict is already decreed, we do not overturn it with individual merit. Nor, G-d protect us, when the malachim of destruction are released, do we turn them aside with the same.

But when His children come together before their Father in Heaven, how can He not tear up the decree???

We are always responsible to strengthen ourselves, but now, we MUST strengthen the Klal.

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EJS said...

Right on Akiva! Its time we focus on the Klal - all these save yoruself pronouncements dont move me one bit - what good is Gan Eden or Moshiach if its not for all of us?? Sitting alone on a pot of spiritual gold doesnt seem like any great goal to me. However , getting their as one poeople , with unity and NON JUDGEMENTAL brotherhood throughout all sectors , now that is worth it all! G-d have mercy on us and send the wind of change with CHESED!!

Yaakov Nathan said...

Mitteler Rebbe, Al-Tatzer

...[Hashem] placed a limit to the darkness of Klipas Noga and as a consequence a spirit from above will come and be drawn down upon us, and if so even if Yisroel does not do tshuva, as soon as they are redeemed everyone will do tshuva as a consequence...

Reuven said...

Akiva, I hear what you're saying. BUT at the same time, unfortunately in these times, one of the most effective ways to "gather together all the Jews" in teshuva is to ask that each one improve them self (entailing some personal salvation & benefit). Then, following this lower level teshuvah & salvation, people will come to recognize the need & beauty of us to unite as a klal. Furthermore, by each individual Jew taking on a mitzvah, that in itself IS a level of unification of the klal under Torah (albeit not the greatest level as you say). We are not all united together physically or spiritually as much as in the time of Shushan (unless you're just speaking about the Jews in Eretz Yisrael), and the gashmiut & assimilation blinds us to the threats of the world against us. It's crazy that even Jews in the Holy Land say,"Oh, its ok! We've been dealing with these troubles for years...just give them a little more land!" There is blindness even there, unlike Shushan where there was no way of being confused...the Jews knew it wasn't a game with that blatant decree, & the Jews KNEW this meant imminent prosecution. I'm positive you already know from the Rebbe's maamar V'Atah Tetzaveh that the highest level of mesirut nefesh is not in a time like in Shushan under threat of a decree, but in times like now where it "seems" to many Jews around the world, like things are dandy (just fine). To be disgusted with galut & push ourselves to serve G-d without limit within that mindset & in this darkness is a greater task for many in the klal all over the world. Like the Rebbe says, yes it IS achievable, but many of our people at lower levels of realization have to start small & within ourself. Unfortunately, this "personal" route (as opposed to us waking up & knowing we have to unite & improve for the sake of us all) seems more likely to have quicker success than to expect that the whole klal will engage in fasting & sackcloth all over the world (unless G-d forbid something else has to happen to wake us all up once & for all). Yes, that's a shame, but that's how far we've drifted away. And we know that the power of one person to change can have immense, sometimes unrevealed effects on many...illuminating a broad area of darkness. I think maybe thats what the intention of that e-mail was. Instead of sending a mass e-mail saying,"Daven for everybody, unite, unite, unite!!"...instead maybe the sender thought it would be more effective to tell people to go from strength to strength in their own service of G-d, & that in itself will serve as a strengthening of the Klal. It might also lead them to the greater goal that you're speaking about, which is imperative. I pray that Hashem has rachamim to push us in that direction quickly. But me & you don't have to fully agree...we just have to love each other as brothers! G-d Bless.

Jon Saboe said...

Just a reminder (probably not needed) that the solution to the evils of Haman was NOT the dis-armament of those who would destroy the Jews -- nor the succesfull implemenation of a peace process.
It was the acknowledgment of the right to self-defence and self-determination. The right (and requirement) to be able to defeat and destroy any who would come against G-d's people.

Esther 8:11

The Annapolis Road Map Plan is actually sponsored by the Arab League! Imagine asking the National Socialist party to assist in dividing up Washington DC!

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem...


Dan said...

There's an important difference between Esther's generation and ours: they had Esther to unite them and lead them to teshuvah.
Ribono Shel Olam, please reveal to us the Mordechai and Esther of this generation!!!

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