by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths
Last Shabbos afternoon, Meir, the teenage son of a senior rabbi walked out of his home and an arab man whom he had never seen before walked up to him and smashed him in his face with a club! There was tremendous pain. He had to have six stitches to control the bleeding. Most locals who hear this ask, “How could an arab walk through our insular, ultra charadi neighborhood with a club and have the gall to do such a thing? He should have been afraid for his life!”
Meir is a fine young man. Besides being a very serious student, he collects charity every day and uses all of the coins to buy curtains for the arks that house the Sefer Torahs (scrolls) in various neighborhoods. He does not keep a single coin for himself.
Our first reaction to this is to curse the evil arab, (may all of them be removed from our Land at once) which is a valid reaction. But then we have to ask, why would G-d allow such an unfair, horrible thing to happen? What did Meir do to receive such cruel treatment?
Now comes the really sad part of the story. The very evening before he was attacked (which is actually the same Hebrew day) there was a fight between religious Jews just a few blocks from his house. A group of younger “newcomers” is trying to take over part of a local synagogue, and the small community that has always prayed there is vigorously objecting. The fight became so heated Friday night that pushing and shoving started, and then someone picked up a club and started beating another Jew!
Here is what we have to learn from this horrible story. All Jews, wherever we are, are one. We each have a small portion of the one Jewish body. Whenever a Jew does something good, to some degree, we all share in his merit. And when, G-d forbid, a Jew does something evil, we all sadly share in that shame. We are responsible for each other. We are told that each generation that lives without bringing the Third Temple is counted as if they destroyed the Second Temple.
Certainly Meir was chosen to receive that blow for his own personal reasons. Only G-d, and maybe Meir know why. But there is no escaping the truth that if those men fighting in that synagogue did not raise their hands against each other, the arab would not have been able to raise his hand against a Jew. The infighting removed our protection and allowed our enemy to walk right in. They stand at our gates waiting for the opportunity to attack.
What is the purpose of this article? Each of us has the responsibility, and the ability to protect our Jewish body. We must go out of our way to do something to show love for a fellow Jew. Anything we do that brings any of us together will strengthen the barrier that stands between us and our enemies.
Do this and you will certainly be helping Jews wherever we are. Not only will you be helping to protect Jews in danger, but as an added bonus, you will get a new, or closer friend, too.