Beit Midrash

  • Family and Society
  • Various Events
To dedicate this lesson

The Torah study is dedicatedin the memory of

Asher Ben Haim

Laundry Day

Recent episodes of corruption and anti-democratic activity by Israel's leadership appear quite frightening at first glance. However, such phenomena herald the beginnings of spiritual cleansing. Faithful perseverance will bring ultimate blessing.


Rabbi Zalman Baruch Melamed

1. A Family of Crooks
2. The Left's Emptiness Revealed
3. Hardened by Trials

Recent episodes of corruption and anti-democratic activity by Israel's leadership appear quite frightening at first glance. However, such phenomena in fact herald the beginnings of a process of spiritual cleansing. Our perseverance despite the decree of expulsion will transform the curse into a blessing.

Like the practice of setting aside a day for laundering dirty clothes, there comes a day for cleansing spiritual filth. On laundry day one gathers all of the scattered clothes into piles around the house. One who enters the house and sees the disorder and the filth might get the impression that this house is always so disheveled. In truth, however, it is cleaning day.

In order to clean, one must sort out the clothes, deal with each piece of clothing in the necessary fashion, read the washing instructions, and set the washing machine accordingly. Likewise, there is a laundry day for cleaning spiritual filth, for cleansing the hearts and the actions.

The Almighty, the "homeowner" of the entire world, carries out general housecleaning in his own personal domain - the Jewish people in the land of Israel. He unearths all of the perversion and corruption in order to rectify things. One who views this process on the surface, in a superficial manner, gets the impression that everything is corrupt, as if the spiritual state of things could not be worse. However, in truth, we are in a period of rectification, and the way to mend and clean is to remove all of the tainted elements. This begins by uncovering the corruption. Only in this manner is it possible to deal with them.

A Family of Crooks
The prime minister and his family are accused of committing acts of corruption; popularly elected Knesset members suddenly change their world view in accordance with the positions and benefits they receive; the attorney general's office covers up; the courts ignore; the media lends a hand.

Indeed, regarding the verse, "And I will set My face against that man, and against his family" (Leviticus 20:5), the talmudic sage Rabbi Shimon teaches: "He may have sinned, but what sin did his family commit? This shows you that there is not a family containing a robber, in which they are not all robbers, because they protect him!" (Shavuot 39a).

The Shin Bet security services plant provocateurs to incite offenses, and then they indict the incited; police trump up charges against innocent people, accusing them of striking officers and hampering their work; judges concur with the police even if they know beyond all doubt that the accusations are unfounded, and they incarcerate people for months.

Even Israel's youth have become violent, taking drugs, carrying weapons. We frequently hear about cases of juvenile murder or serious injury which result from arguments over practically nothing. I am not generalizing but rather pointing to specific areas of deterioration at all levels of society.

All of this corruption was covered and concealed within the souls, and now it is revealing itself on the surface. We are talking about Jewish souls that did not receive an education grounded in Jewish values, souls that were emptied of great ideals and that were distorted and twisted. Presently, the results of this poor-quality education are revealing themselves. These disclosures, with all of the pain that they cause, betoken a process of rectification. God is bringing all of this into the open in order to mend things. The sight of it is alarming, but this is the way to rectification.

When a wound is opened and puss is released, it appears to be worse than when it was covered over. It may even be more painful. However, this is part of the healing process, and this is how the wound is gotten rid of by the body. In other words, the body creates healthy forces that repel the infection.

Likewise, when we observe the surfacing of spiritual wounds, this is an indication that they are undergoing a process of emission and spiritual healing. When spiritual contamination reveals itself, it does so as a result of inner spiritual healing. The process of healing drives out the filth. Therefore, there is no reason to be shocked at the phenomenon of unearthed corruption; one must bear in mind that this unearthing betokens change and heralds rectification. In this sense, it even causes joy.

The Left's Emptiness Revealed
This is how we must approach the terrible decree of settlement dismantling and relinquishment of portions of the Land of Israel to non-Jews. What we see here is an outer expression of an inner crisis, a loss of faith, estrangement from God and His Torah.

However, this outer expression - despite all of its terrible pain, and despite all of the hardships it has brought upon us - actually stems from an inner crisis, and even this crisis will be speedily rectified. Outwardly, what we have is a dreadful fall, but the inner state of health is improving, and this is what is causing the emptiness and weakness to be pushed out.

The emptiness is revealing itself. The souls of the disengagers were long ago disengaged from the sanctity of the land of Israel; the idea of uprooting Jewish settlement is the concreted expression of this state - the inner rupture revealed. The souls of disengagement supporters are also cut off from basic ethical values such as protecting fundamental human rights, protecting the property, wealth, and livelihood of others. The souls of the disengagers are also cut off from Jewish national values.

The disengaged soul is now revealing its true colors. And while it appears as if evil is suddenly getting an upper hand in the world, this is not the case. In truth, the good is pushing out the evil, and the evil is revealing itself in a most painful and frightening manner.

In other words, this crisis effects those who have disavowed the Torah, even though we are the ones suffering. Those who are pounding away at us will eventually break and we who love the Torah and the land of Israel will come out even stronger from the beating. This is the opposite of what appears outwardly, but we believe that the Almighty presides over His creation, and if He brings trials upon us, He does it in order that we strive to overcome them and be refined through them.

Therefore, while the trials serve to strengthen us, this is not the case when it comes to those who are unable to endure the trials - they fall under the pressure and are broken. They are the ones who strike at us and at the land of Israel. The Israeli left no longer has the capacity to breath independently; it manages to survive by virtue of artificial respiration alone, for one who has no past, has no future.

Hardened by Trials
By successfully enduring this trial and accepting the difficulties, one's faith is strengthened and deepened. Through inner stamina, outer stamina also finds expression, and God will transform the curse into a blessing because of his love for us.

We took Sinai in the past. First, we were there after the Sinai Campaign for but half a year. Next, after the Six Day War, we merited holding on to Sinai for fifteen years. God willing, next time we will stay there for good.

We shall continue to grow in quantity and in quality, and the entire land shall return to our possession, from the great river, the Euphrates, until the great sea and until the Egyptian river. God will even extend our borders beyond that which was promised to our forefathers, as it is written in the Torah.

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