by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths
We are in the midst of the 3 weeks, traditional times of trouble for the Jewish people. Amazingly, during this traditional time of trouble we find a series of internal troubles this year. Riots in Jerusalem, and Beit Shemesh, and Bnei Brak. Split in the Modern Orthodox community. Even a split in my own shul!
One of the great strengths of the Jewish people is achdut, unity. We appear to be under spiritual attack during these 3 weeks, an attack aimed directly at our primary strength.
As they say in the US, it's a long hot summer. Tempers flare and issues that divide us suddenly grow from annoying but ignorable to disturbing and requiring response. We must resist this negative urge, for it is clearly a trick of the yetzer hara (the evil inclination).
All of us, every single one, have a duty to help dowse the flames of hatred that have arisen during this hot season. We must talk calmly to our fellow and engage our sechal, our intellect, to control our emotions. We must stop and think kindly of our fellow, giving him or her the benefit of the doubt, kav s'chut. And we must make this point to everyone we speak to... our own children, people we meet on the street, at work and at shul.
The hotheads, the zealots of impure motives, will destroy our strength otherwise. And even saying "G-d help us" then won't help, for our individual voices are not heard when we're fighting with each other.
Yes, Hashem ya'a'zor - G-d should help, but bein odom l'chavero, between people, we must also.
Slideshow from Meah Shearim, Riot Damage.
BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא