Thursday, 23 March 2017

The kindness of Nations is from the Hands of G-d.

When giving charity to the Land of Israel, in addition to the value of charity in its own right, there is an additional quality in that one is fortifying the inhabitants of Eretz Israel. This matter is especially relevant at this time. 

We are living through a time of two fold darkness of the exile. To the naked eye it appears that we are reliant on the ‘kindness of the nations’. We need to realize that the kindness of the nations contains within it an element of sin, in that all nations act with self interest [Zohar]. When the Jewish People are recipient of such benefits, one has to realize the truth: that they have received this assistance [ultimately not from the world community] but from G-d, ‘The Guardian of Israel, Who neither slumbers nor sleeps’. 

The nations are as an axe in the hands of the wood chopper, have in reality no choice, but are vehicles through which G-d acts – an axe in the hands of G-d.

From this it is clear that it would be highly inappropriate for a Jew to bow and pay homage to an axe, and to turn it into a form of idol worship. This is true even if together with bowing before the axe [the gentile] the Jew were to offer his prayers to G-d, and certainly not to turn the axe into the main focus of homage, rather than turning to the one who holds the axe [G-d]. Bowing before the axe and at the same time praying to G-d is a form of idol worship forbidden to the Jewish people. [In ancient times this took the form of faith in G-d together with the mistaken belief that the stars and constellations were consciously active in emanating energy to the world.] Even should such a service be performed inadvertently, it is considered idol worship.

Therefore, it is a matter of absolute certainty that one must not be intimidated or feel dependent on nations who do not have freedom of choice even though benefits do come through them. To the contrary: the Jewish nation must stand strong in matters of self survival, and have a firm bond with G-d. ‘The hearts of kings are in the Hands of G-d’ [Proverbs], because the souls of the Kings see clearly that their source is from G-d; only then will the Jewish people receive from them all of their needs. These nations do indeed offer financial assistance, but one must realize that everything ultimately comes from G-d. It is because we are in a time of dark exile that it is through the nations that these benefits are channeled. They are no more than agents of G-d.  Now since we are receiving from G-d, He will give ‘from His full, open, Holy, and broad Hand’ generously [also via agents] as our Sages say, ‘One who gives, gives with a good generous eye’. Talmud Bava Basra 53.1.  
                                                                                                  Public talk 19 Kislev, 1988.