“When there is love, friendship and unity in Israel, no calamity can happen to them, and all curses and torments are pushed away.”
Before we have even acknowledged the recent threat, we already find ourselves heaving a sigh of relief, as the ceasefire with Hamas seems to take hold.
But you would be wrong to assume the problem is solved. As always, we live in a temporary truce, feeling calm only before the next storm comes rolling in. So this time around, how about taking advantage of the temporary peace of mind to awaken ourselves and ask some serious questions before whatever will come next?
Let’s start with what does Hamas actually want from us?
Rav Kook tells us the following: “If we can’t blow the horn for redemption, the enemies of Israel such as Amalek, Hitler and so forth, rise up and blow in our ears for redemption.”
Alongside Rav Kook, many of the great sages of Israel – “the spiritual captains of Israel’s security” if you will – wrote that the solution to all our threats is our unity. The Maor VaShemesh puts it in a simple formula: “When there is love, friendship and unity in Israel, no calamity can happen to them, and all curses and torments are pushed away.”
In other words, when we blow the horn of love and unity among us, the whole world is listening, changing its attitude towards us in a positive way. But when we fail to do so, our enemies awaken us with blows to open our ears. Hamas is merely the enemy on duty.
How does this work exactly?
The sages weren’t being poetic in their writings and they weren’t practicing wishful thinking. They were describing a deeper system of laws that operate human society through the dynamic between Israel and the nations of the world.
The Book of Zohar describes the entire world as a vast network of intricate connections. The people of Israel make for a central junction in the network, and have a uniquely vital role: to unite “as one man with one heart” and to provide a positive example for the rest of human society – “to be a light unto the nations.”
Therefore, when we work on our unity, not just in times of distress, a healing influence of unity flows through “the Israel junction” to the rest of the human network, spreading to each and every person. In contrast, when we cause a traffic jam at the central junction, we invite subconscious resentment from the nations of the world, which manifest in various forms, from criticism to hatred, to straightforward violence.
Thus, regardless of how the struggle with Hamas plays out, Israel will still appear guilty in the eyes of the nations.
The last wave of pressure from Hamas made Israel’s national resilience raise its head for a few moments. Instead, it should serve as a reminder for how we should treat each other on a daily basis, so we can become the beacon of unity and positive connection that the whole world, deep down, expects us to be.