Israel Forever

For the week ending 12 October 2002 / 6 Heshvan 5763

Facing the Flood

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

After two years of intifada and the worst sort of suicidal terrorism it should be abundantly clear to Arafat and his henchmen that Israel will not surrender to his political blackmail and that it is only a matter of time until their irrelevance turns into extinction. Nevertheless, these terrorists boldly continue to masquerade before the world as leaders of a state about to be born, completely oblivious of their inevitable descent into the dustbin of history.

Iraq knows that President Bush means business and that it is only a matter of time until Saddam Hussein joins all the vicious dictators of history in the perdition reserved for such villains. Nevertheless, the loser of the last "mother of all wars" vaingloriously struts in defiance of the international community, boasting that his country can take on the Americans and anyone who joins them.

If you are wondering how it is possible for someone staring disaster in the face to go on with his corrupt business as usual just take a look at what Rashi quotes from the Talmudic Sages in his commentary on the chapter of the Torah which will be read publicly in synagogues this Shabbat. Noach was instructed to build for 120 years an ark which would shelter him and his family from the Deluge waters divinely decreed as the instrument for destroying a corrupt world. G-d could have saved this one righteous man in many different and less complex ways. He insisted on the building of the ark so that Noachs neighbors would inquire as to why he was involved in such unusual construction. For 120 years he repeatedly warned them that unless they repented their ways they would be destroyed by a flood. Their only reaction was to threaten Noach that should such a catastrophe occur they would physically prevent him from escaping it!

This is the historical pattern of corruption. The Third Reich which was supposed to last a thousand years is in the dustbin of history. Hitler refused to learn from what had happened to the Roman Empire before him and all the other empires who made a great deal of "sound and fury" on the world stage before becoming only memories. It seems to be an innate part of the character of corrupt tyrants to ignore their obvious fate and to continue wishfully pursuing their course.

The Deluge, of course, did come in the end and so, too, will come the end of all the pompous evildoers no matter how long it takes while Israel will go on forever.

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