“They rise up against us to destroy us”. So says the Passover Hagaddah. I once heard a recording of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach discussing this in one of his famous interludes before he started singing. He said “sometimes it makes me happy and sometimes it makes me sad…Israel hasn’t a friend in the world! But we have one friend who’s in Heaven”.
I took pride in Binyamin Netanyahu’s reassertion (should that even be necessary!) that the Jewish people have been building in Jerusalem for 3000 years and we are not stopping. There has always been opposition to this idea. As far back as the book of Ezra (2500 years ago) there was hysterical opposition to Jews living and thriving in their holy city…why? I suspect it has to do with that “friend in Heaven” and the desire on the part of the nations to “break us up”. This will not work of course. Here’s what the Song of Songs has to say about it (Israel speaking to the nations of the world) “I adjure you, O nations destined to ascend to Jerusalem, for if you violate your oath, you will become as defenseless as gazelles or hinds of the field, if you dare provoke Gd to hate me or disturb His love for me while He desires it” (3:5)
My daughter recently taught me an idea she learned in school about how we as Jews ultimately deal with the threat of “in every generation”. In the Hagaddah we say “v’hee she’amda” (and He who stood for us) which is spelled vav, hey, yud and aleph which have numerical values of 6, 5, 10, and 1 respectively. They stand for the six orders of the Mishna, and five books of the Torah, the 10 commandments and the Almighty Himself. That, and not the army or politicians is what has preserved us and brought us to our 3,321st Pesach.
Next year in Jerusalem!