CHAPTER 78 (Not FC)
Dearest brothers; a sword is being held to our necks!
The Hezbollah have around 30,000 rockets (according to the minister of security advertised on the news) and Iran and Syria are continuing to supply them with weaponry.
Among the weapons are advanced, long-ranged Iranian rockets that are a threat to all major populated areas in Israel; power stations, airports, harbors, etc. the range extends all the way to the nuclear plant in Dimona ("Ha'aretz", March 2, 2008).
In addition to all this, there is an even greater threat of simultaneous rocket launching from Iran and Syria themselves, which include weapons that are conventional, chemical, biological, and nuclear, may Hashem protect us.
Throughout the entire Lebanon war (as well as the war in Sderot and Ashkelon), the Israeli air force have been unable to prevent rocket launching.
Unfortunately, these are only part of the lurking threats against us.
In light of all these dangerous threats, the Israeli Home front Command has set a date for a five-day country-wide drill, something which has never yet been done, to prepare for possible upcoming attacks on Israel.
So, what must we do now to be saved?There is a Jewish tradition that has existed already from the time of the Nevi'im (prophets) and was also done in the time of Mordechay and Esther: When Am Yisrael is in grave danger, a large group of Jews go out into the streets wearing sacks on their bodies and ashes upon their heads, pray, do teshuva and cry out together,
asking Hashem to have mercy on Am Yisrael.Just as it saved them in those days, so too, can it save us now.
This is also what is written in Shulchan Aruch:
"All the people [of Israel] gather together, covering themselves in sacks... one of the people takes the ashes... each and every person takes from the ashes and places it upon his head. After that they bring one f their older wise men... and he says capturing words (words that capture the hearts of the listeners and arouse them to teshuva)... until their hearts surrender (to Hashem) and they then do complete teshuva."
Bottom line - what needs to be done now:
With Hashem's help, we have merited gathering together and implementing the words of the Shulchan Aruch with temimus (innocence) and simplicity.
However, we do this not only so that Hashem will nullify the harsh decrees upon us; the purpose of the sacks and ashes is to lower our pride [as written in the Gemora, Ta'anis 16 and Shulchan Aruch as it says, "Why do we cover ourselves with sacks? Rabbi Chiya bar Abba said: so we should say "we are no more important than beasts."].
It will then lead us to tears, to the feeling that on account of all our sins and evil ways we lost a great, wonderful and beautiful world; we lost Beis Hamikdash and the korbanos (sacrifices) [the ashes remind of Beis Hamikdash that was burnt down. Ashes are also put on top of the groom's head at his wedding for the same reason - to remember the burning of Beis Hamikdash, as written in Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 560]. Now is the time to weep and feel regret and say to Hashem: "I have sinned, I transgressed... forgive me and all of Am Yisrael. Show me the way to completely return to You." [This is complete teshuva as instructed in Shulchan Aruch, ibid.] We must then ask Hashem to bring us the complete Redemption: the third Beis Hamikdash, the korbanos and our righteous Moshiach. "Bring us to Zion, Your city, with joy and to Jerusalem, Your Holy Temple with the joy of the world."