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Date: Wed 9 Jan 2002
Subject: VIPAC and Vaeyra
Hello Moish! Below is my dvar torah plugging VIPAC that I've been asked to
deliver to the young people's minyan this shabbos. Tell me what you think.
I will also send you a copy of the flier I plan on handing out. Regards
Moshe was clearly dispirited and depressed when Hashem told him in this
week's sedra to go back to Paroh again and once more demand freedom for his
people. "The Jews won't listen to me so how will Paro listen to me and I
am of uncircumcised lips!" This is Moshe's response which is quite strange
if you think about it.
Back at the Burning Bush when Hashem first gives Moshe his mission to speak
to Paroh and demand freedom for the Bnai Yisrael Hashem warns Moshe right
then that Paro won't listen to him and that it will take a whole series of
miracles to coerce Paro to let the Jews go. So why was Moshe upset in this
week's sedra that Paro didn't listen to him? He knew in advance that Paro
wouldn't listen to him so why did he get upset after it happened?
Further Moshe's complaint is a non-sequitor. The Jews as it says
explicitly in the Pasuk didn't listen to Moshe because of the hard work
which weakened their spirit. Paro wasn't doing any hard work. The fact that
the Jews were too tired to listen to Moshe doesn't mean that Paro was too
tired to listen to Moshe. Why did Moshe use Israel's refusal to listen to
him as proof that Paro certainly wouldn't? Why did Moshe try to make a Kal
ve chomer in a set of circumstances where it would not apply?
The Sfas Emes answers as follows: A leader is only as effective as the
people whom he leads. Leaders can only lead if they have a group willing to
follow. If the group is too timid to follow the leaders can take them
nowhere and accomplish nothing.
That is the basis of Moshe's sadness and his connection of the responses of
Paro and the Jews to his message of freedom. Sure Hashem warned him that
Paro wouldn't listen to him---but that Bnai Yisrael wouldn't listen to him
that was a surprise. And to go to Paro to speak on behalf of Bnai Yisrael
without their support made his mission appear depressingly impossible. The
lack of support from Bnai Yisrael rendered Moshe an aral sefasayim someone
with an insurmountable impediment to communicate his message.
This past week there has been much criticism in Israel about the Israeli
government's inability to make a bigger political gain out of their
successful capture of the Karine A. As you all know this ship was laden
with 50 tons of long range ballistic missiles that could destroy every city
in Israel and it was captured last week by Israel in the Red Sea. The
captain of the ship was an officer in the PLO navy and he freely admitted
that these weapons were bought and paid for by the PLO in blatant violation
of their Oslo obligations. But in Washington DC despite this overwhelming
and shocking evidence of Arafat's preparations to destroy Israel it was a
non event no one cared and the Israeli Foreign Ministry blamed the Israeli
Army which blamed the Israeli Prime Minister for not getting more political
gain from this turn of events. But the truth is they shouldn't be blaming
each other. It is not any of their faults. It is my fault. &! nbsp;It is
your fault. It is all of our faults.
How many of us picked up the telephone this week to call our Senators and
Congressman demanding that the 100 million dollars that the US sends to
Arafat each year be stopped? How many of us told our representatives that
this money only makes it easier for Arafat to buy his next 50 ton shipment
of long range missiles? How many of us called the White House this week
demanding that the that the Bush Administration stop sending 100 million OF
OUR TAX dollars as an annual subsidy to the PLO because the next 50 ton
shipment of long range missiles that Arafat buys may not be intercepted by
Israel and may even have the capability of reaching American shores? I
didn't make these phone calls this week and I suspect none of you did
either. And without the support of the American Jewish people neither the
Israeli generals nor the Israeli foreign ministry nor Prime Minister
Sharon had a chance to make their case effectively in Washington DC just
as Moshe! was rendered an aral sefasayim by the lack of support of the Jews
You know we don't even have the excuse of the Jews in Egypt. We are not
slaves building bricks without straw. As a matter of fact right now many of
us are busy making our vacation arrangements--as I am. All that shopping
and packing and shlepping food from Kind David and Wok Tov is stressful but
it is not on par with building pyramids in the hot desert sun under the lash
of the taskmaster's whip. We cannot legitimately say as the Jews in Egypt
did that we were too exhausted to support our leaders.
We can turn this around tonight. Start out simple by sending an email each
week to the White House urging more support for Israel and an end to the 100
million dollar annual subsidy the Bush Administration currently provides
Arafat's terrorist regime. You can easily accomplish that by going to
www.vipac.org--as explained in the flyers I have here for you--and join the
Virtual Israel Political Action Committee which will make sending those
email messages a snap. Once you have done that you can click on your
printer icon to print out those emails on paper and send it out as a fax
each week to the appropriate people in Washington. You can even put a stamp
on it and send it by snail mail and sign the letter by hand if you think
that has more impact. And it is only a small step further to use that
weekly email that you've printed out as a script for phone calls to the
president and congress.
By joining VIPAC at www.vipac.org you will be sent--automatically and for
free--a sample letter each week that you can revise as you see fit to
reflect your own particular view point urging more support for Israel.
Perhaps if we all do this then like the Jews in Egypt we will merit an
amazing redemption that will come sooner than any of us could ever imagine.
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