Monday, March 21, 2011

Remember Yerushalayim on Shushan Purim

From today's Hakhel Email:

Special Note Two: We provide here a thought in Shushan Purim that we believe is poignant, which we have provided in past years: Yerushalayim is remembered on Shushan Purim, by our observing Purim on that day in its environs in order to increase its honor. With the honor and glory of Yerushalayim so much at stake in our time, we provide the moving words of Dovid HaMelech in Tehillim 122: “Sh’alu Sha’lom Yerushalayim Yishlayu Ohavoyich…--pray for the peace of Yerushalayim; those who love you [Yerushalayim] will be serene.” The Radak in his commentary to this Pasuk teaches that these are the words that Jews must utter in Galus--Pray to Hashem for the peace of Yerushalayim. What is the “peace of Yerushalayim?” The Radak (almost prophetically) writes that this can only be attained with kibutz galios--the ingathering of the exiles--because there will not be peace as long as the “Arailim” and “Yishma’aylim”--the Christians and Arabs--war over the City.

In his commentary to this very same Pasuk, HaRav Avrohom Chaim Feuer, Shlita, brings the following Chazal (from Meseches Derech Eretz Zuta): “HaKadosh Baruch Hu said to Bnai Yisroel: ‘It was you who caused the Bais HaMikdash to be destroyed and My children to be driven into exile. All I ask is that you pray for the peace of Yerushalayim and I will forgive you!’”

Based upon the teaching of Dovid HaMelech, as explained by Chazal and the Radak, it is incumbent upon us to do what we can at this pivotal point in our history. We cannot place the blame on this Israeli politician, or that foreign Head of State, on this Arab terrorist, or that Arab terrorist, and be satisfied that we are doing all that we can. After all, Haman was a Rasha, and Achashveirosh was a Rasha and/or a fool, but ultimately it was the Jews at that time that got themselves into that mess and had to get themselves out of it. The responsibility for Yerushalayim--for our kibutz galios--which is so imminent, falls squarely on our minds and hearts. We must hold ourselves accountable, not as a matter of guilt, but as a matter of responsibility--to ourselves, our families, and our people. We cannot afford to sigh once or twice a day, and otherwise be callous and indifferent to the grave situation at hand. Dovid HaMelech gives us the key to unlock the door- “Sh’alu Sha’lom Yerushalayim Yishlayu Ohavoyich”--Daven! Daven! Daven!

If one does not feel he has any more time to recite additional Tehillim during the day, let him at least be sure to recite the brocha of “Vl’Yerushalayim Ircha”--which he is reciting in any event three times a day in Shemone Esrei--with purity of mind and heart. For the next four weeks until Pesach, let us use our Power of Prayer--for the sake of Yerushalayim, which is oh so much for the sake of ourselves, for the sake of K’lal Yisroel--and for the honor of Hashem!!

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