The Only Solution

Let us not forget the lessons from the terrible tragedy in Meron, 2021. Now is the time to renew our commitment to fix the sin for which the Temple was destroyed - baseless hatred.

4 min

Rabbi Shalom Arush

Posted on 26.05.21

Last week I discussed The Response to Meron, and how in light of the terrible punch in the face that the Jewish people received, oy va voy if we don’t wake up to such a painful wake up call. And we see that in fact, only a short time later was the Karlin-Stolin disaster which took another two beautiful Jewish souls, including a boy who had just celebrated his Bar Mitzvah. And the danger is not over!  

 

I was asked this week, “What is so different and important about  ahavat  Yisrael  b’mesirut  nefesh  – loving each other with self-sacrifice?” 

 

The truth is that I have spoken before about praying for the Jewish people and the world. But this is just a little bit different and totally new. This came straight out of what happened in Meron in the aftermath of the tragedy. I was allowed to stay even after everyone was evacuated, and continued to pray at the entrance to the cave itself down below and help those who came down to seek my advice. I screamed and begged Hashem to help me understand what we need to change, and what do we need to do in the wake of the tragedy. And this was the answer that I received in the merit of Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai, who said that everything about him was love. 

 

I tell you that this new understanding is so huge and so critical, that I am counting the days since I started praying 30 minutes for the Jewish people and the world.  

 

The Gemara states, and it is widely quoted, that the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed because of sinat chinambaseless hatred. In order to counter this, we must have  ahavat  chinambaseless love. And the best way to do that, is praying for each other even though it’s difficult, and we  don’t have the time. 

 

Let me ask you like this: What if all the Jewish people were learning and truly toiling in the Torah? What would you say to me – we reached our purpose, correct? And everyone was careful to properly fulfill the mitzvot? Wow, amazing, we should be ready for the Redemption! 

 

Not exactly. 

 

The Jerusalem Talmud, the Gemara Yerushalmi, says in Tractate  YomaWhy was the Second  Temple destroyed? They toiled in Torah…” 

 

And I tell you – however much you think the Jewish people are learning Torah today, it doesn’t come anywhere close to how much Torah they learned, how much they truly toiled in Torah back then. 

 

“And they were careful with the commandments, they were careful with tithes, and every good character trait they had…” 

 

And I tell you – however much you think that today we are careful to perform the commandments properly, that we do good things for each other and have Gemachim of every sort in our communities, and give charity, it’s all wonderful! But we are so very far from what they did back in their time. 

 

And also, back then there was not the Evil Inclination the way it is now! There was no Internet – it’s possible in one hour on the Internet to sin more than you could sin in a million years back then!  A million years! And the lashon hara, the evil speech, slander,  and  gossip  of today which has been made so much worse by social media… you know very well what’s going on in our generation. 

 

“But they hated each other sinat chinam, for no reason…” 

 

What? This means that it’s possible to learn Torah all day, but if he still hates that family member, or that person in shul or in his building, or that other group of Jews… then his Torah isn’t Torah, because the entire purpose of the Torah is  bein  adam  l’chaverothe  mitzvot  between people!  

 

Therefore, there isn’t anything that can truly help us except loving each other with  ahavat chinamfor no reason. 

 

It’s certainly good and important to do all of these things – learn Torah, give charity, go to Uman,  do personal prayer, etc. etc.  

 

But the only thing that is going to sweeten the terrible judgments over our heads right now, and bring the final and complete Redemption with mercy – is fixing the root sin for which the Temple was destroyed in the first place! And that is baseless hatred.  

 

This is the light that began shining that night, after the disaster in Meron, when I prayed and begged Hashem to reveal to me how to end these terrible disasters once and for all: nothing helps except truly loving each other and being careful with all the commandments between people! 

 

And the very best way to do that is to pray for each other. Because if you love someone, you pray for them! You want them to have the very best of everything, physically and spiritually. So you pray for them! 

 

Even more, Rebbe Nachman says that when you pray for someone, they come to love you. Even your enemies can become friends using this method! Even if they don’t know that you prayed for them. So if we are all praying for each other, then we will all naturally begin to love each other more and more. Hence, besides the results of the prayers themselves, the fruit of which will certainly help to solve the root issues for which we remain in exile, we also directly increase the amount of love in the world, love between each other, and this will also fix the root issue!  

 

It’s a brilliant solution that Hashem gave me – and it’s the only solution. 

 

I need YOU to help me bring the Redemption mercifully and end these tragedies.  Commit to 30 minutes of hitbodedut every day for the Jewish people, and give your name to Rabbi Goldsmith. I pray daily for all those who join me in this endeavor.

 

For simple bullet points on exactly what to pray for, read: Love Comes First. 

 


 

Listen to Rabbi Arush speak about loving each other and praying for each other in this Question and Answer session:

 

 

 

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We must make it a priority to pray for 30 minutes a day for ahavat Yisrael – that everyone should love each other! Rabbi Arush explains simple bullet points how to pray.

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