Beit Midrash

  • Family and Society
  • Understanding Circumstances
To dedicate this lesson

Rotten on the Outside, Perfect on the Inside

How can the contradiction be explained, between what is seen on the outside and what we really are on the inside? How can there be such an acute contrast between our inner essence, so complete and perfect, and our external trappings which appear to be the exact opposite?

undefined

Rabbi Zalman Baruch Melamed

Tevet 13 5782
Translated by Hillel Fendel

What can I say during these crazy days? [The year was 2003, during a stormy election campaign, which was ultimately decisively won by the Likud party headed by Ariel Sharon; it received 38 Knesset seats. The runner-up was Labor, headed by Amram Mitzna, which received only 19. The Arab Ra'am party received 2 seats.]

I believe in our nation. It is a good nation, a strong nation; large, healthy, pure and holy. I'm not trying to comfort with platitudes those who are in despair. I wish rather to point out a way to extricate ourselves from the political whirlpool in which we are spinning – for this entire storm upon us is just foam upon the water, and nothing substantial. This whole crisis is merely external, and all the weaknesses and problems we see and experience are superficial. But deep down within, everything is different. The unreliability and lack of integrity of some of our politicians are merely an outer garment that conceals the strength of the faith and credibility that are deeply rooted in the nature of our being.

The division and discord tearing us to shreds conceal the inner essential unity that unites us, the Jewish People, more than any other nation is united. The weakness we see hides our strength and might, and the heresy blocks the depth of our faith. And since in our inner being we are healthy and strong, believing and trusting – all that must be done is to remove the mask hiding our virtues. Just as the Prophet said (Zecharia 3,4): "Remove the soiled clothing from him."

How can this contradiction be explained, between what is seen on the outside and what we really are on the inside? How can there be such an acute contrast between our inner essence, so complete and perfect, and our external trappings which appear to be the exact opposite?

And furthermore, how can we be so sure that all these great strengths are concealed within us, when the reality appears totally different?

The answer was revealed to us by our Sages, who taught that this situation is precisely the opposite of what we think. It is specifically because of Israel's high level, every little weakness shows up more blatantly and seems particularly severe and grave.

HaRav Kook, of saintly blessed memory, expressed this point in one of his Orot books – Orot HaT'chiyah, the Lights of the Revival – as follows: "Great are we, and great are our errors - and therefore great are our tribulations and great also are our consolations."

The Rav also wrote: "Just before the time of the Footsteps of the Messiah, the segula [special quality] of unity increases in the nation. The good deeds and outlooks, and the Divine light, that are found among the righteous, act upon the sanctity of Clal Yisrael more than at other times. This segula is hidden within the fighting and dissent, but deep inside, it is lined with wondrous love and unity that arouse an all-around feeling of anticipation of salvation for the entire nation."

That is: In this generation, our unity escalates and spreads, but it is hidden amidst dissent and conflict. What must be done, therefore, is simply to remove the cover. There is no need to create new positive forces; all the forces are already present. All that must be done is to remove the disguise. It can happen all at once. There's no doubt that we are very close to the great hour of our complete redemption. And whoever acts alongside the Master of the Universe, and engages in bringing the redemption closer, in building the Land and the Torah, in preserving the entirety of the Land – fortunate is he and fortunate is his lot, and his reward is assured.

In order to get articles like this delivered straight to your inbox every week, subscribe to the Israel National Torah newsletter here.


את המידע הדפסתי באמצעות אתר yeshiva.org.il