From Today's Hakhel Email:
Special Note Two: As events continue to unfold with potential new ‘peaceful’ flotilla protesters supported by the general backing of world governments at large, all attempting to assist a terrorist government, we are reminded of the incredibly prophetic words of Dovid HaMelech in Sefer Tehillim. There are fifteen Chapters of Shir HaMa’alos (Songs of Ascent) in Tehillim, with each Chapter beginning with the phrase ‘Shir HaMa’alos’ (A Song of Ascents) except, that is, for Chapter 121, which instead begins ‘Shir LaMa’alos’ ( A Song To The Ascents). In the peirush on ‘Shir LaMa’alos’ (Chapter 121) attributed to Rashi, the commentary notes that this Chapter begins differently than the other fourteen Chapters because it was really the first one to be recited as the Levi’im began to ascend the 15 steps in the Beis HaMikdash. The explanation that is given for why it is presented as the**second** Chapter of Shir HaMa’alos in Tehillim is because of “Ain Mukdam UMeuchar BaTorah--the Torah does not provide a chronology or history of events.” Based upon the tribulations that we are now being subjected to, however, we may have a better understanding as to why we recite Chapter 120 (a regular Shir HaMa’alos) and only then Chapter 121 (Shir LaMa’alos). In Chapter 120, Dovid HaMelech on behalf of K'lal Yisroel laments as follows: “Oiya Li Ki Garti Meshech…Woe onto me, for my drawn out sojourn” [some learn that this refers to our Golus Edom]. He continues: “I have dwelt with the tents of Keidar "[Radak and Ibn Ezra learn that this refers to the Bnei Yishmael, the Arabs]. “Long has my soul dwelt with those who hate peace” [referring to the two groups in the previous Posuk]. Chapter 120 then concludes with the words “Ani Shalom Vechi Adabeir Heima Lamilchama--I am peace, but when I speak, they are for war.”
So, here we are in a situation where we are attacked in the guise of ‘peace flotillas” (threatened to be accompanied by the 'legitimate protection' of Iranian and Turkish military vehicles), we find ourselves crying out to the world: “No! You have it all wrong! We are for peace!--Look at how some of the best trained naval commandoes in the world entered onto the ‘Peace Ship’--it is *they* who are for war--look at how we were attacked.”
What happens to our cries? To our sincere entreaties? To our appeal for logic and common sense? Let us see what the Navi tells us. In the 'next chapter' to the story, Chapter 121, Dovid HaMelech describes the situation: “Essa Aini El HeHarim--I lift my eyes to the mountains.” In The Artscroll Tehillim (By Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer, Shlita, p.1510, writes as follows:
“Besieged people look to the mountains hoping to see friendly forces coming to reinforce them (Ibn Ezra) or, the mountains allude to the powerful forces that can save the beleaguered Jewish people. In exile, Israel futilely looked to the mighty heathen monarchs to act as their protection, but the Jews are bitterly disappointed when these treacherous, arrogant ‘mountains’ betray them (Sforno).”
We can look to the ‘mountains’--even the friendly nations of the world--but there is really no one to turn to. So who will help us out of this debacle, this potential catastrophe?! Dovid HaMelech provides the climatic conclusion: “Ezri Mei’im Hashem Osei Shamayim VaAretz--my help will come from Hashem, Maker of heaven and earth!!” The nations of the world believe that they can bully us, taunt us, torment us and overpower us--but the great truth is that we have the Maker of the World on our side. Because He made the world all problems, all difficulties, all potential disasters and calamities are readily and amply within his power to control, curtail or turn over in the way that Sodom was turned over, or with 'the breath of his nostrils' the Egyptians were forever vanquished at the Sea. It is our role to know and understand this very well, believe it, and actually express it in our everyday actions. We can begin by reciting this exhilarating Pasuk --"Ezri Mei'im Hashem...!' (better yet, these two Chapters) one or more times during the day.
In fact, we say daily in the Shira “Hashem Ish Milchama Hashem Shemo”--HaRav Gamliel Rabinovitch, Shlita, teaches that this Pasuk reminds us that even when we are in the midst of a Tzara or a war, we must always remember that it is Hashem Who fights our wars, and it is Hashem in Whom we are to place our complete trust. It is, thus, Hashem with Whom we must bond, through our sincere and improved Tefillos and through Shevisi Hashem LeNegdi Tamid--recognizing Hashem’s presence in every aspect of the world at large’s existence and in our private lives as well. The incredible acquittal of R’Shalom Rubashkin on 67 counts of accusations demonstrated that to us yesterday in a pleasant and rewarding way. May it be a Siman Tov for the Jewish People. During these troubled times, let us recall, remember, reiterate--and live--“Ezri Mei’im Hashem Osei Shamayim VaAretz!!”