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Shabbat Parashat Shelach| 5763
From the works of Hagaon Harav Shaul Yisraeli zt”l - The Difficulties of Ikvata D’meshicha - Excerpt from a speech in 5720 (’60) - From Harabanut V’Hamedinah, p.65
It is true that we have many dilemmas and difficulties in our struggle to teach and represent our eternal Torah in a challenging generation. However, this should not shake us one iota from the fundamental realization that we are witnessing the birthpains of geula. It is the time of ikvata d’meshicha (the difficult times leading to the coming of Mashiach), and it is also atchalta d’geula (the beginnings of geula).
Our difficulties are actually related to the renaissance of Israel. Because we are witnesses to the phenomenon, the likes of which we have never known, with the mass return of the Jews to their home, we are also subject to the opposing forces of tumah (impurity). “Hashem made this corresponding to that.” When the side of holiness flourishes, so does the sitra achra (the other side) rise up against it. When Yaakov came back to Eretz Yisrael, Eisav’s accompanying angel came to fight him. When Israel was on the verge of accepting the Torah, the war against Amalek arose.
It is natural that at the time of Israel’s renaissance, when the nation is returning to its vitality and the “dried bones” are being covered with flesh and blood, that some struggle should ensue. We, in the rabbinate, must be aware of this, and must not be afraid or despondent. This is what Rav Kook z.t.l. taught us and what the Chief Rabbinate has taught us. We must accept the complex tasks unique to our generation and learn how to succeed in dealing with social challenges without compromising on content. In the end, the truths of Torah will prevail and be victorious. Untruths which oppose Torah, irrespective of how influential they are at the height of their popularity, cannot prevail over time.
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