When the first Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Shneur Zalman, was miraculously released from prison (after a certain group of Jews had framed him), there was tremendous happiness and rejoicing in Chasidic circles. But the Rebbe was concerned. He wanted to make sure that the Chasidim wouldn’t mock fellow Jews. So he drafted a letter, which was later reprinted in Tanya (page 206), beginning with the words that Jacob said (after G-d’s benevolence to him), “Kotointi mikol hachasodim — I have become small (or humbled) after all the kindnesses.” The Rebbe cautioned his followers to not feel haughty, and to not mock or whistle at their antagonists, but to be truly humble; and “a soft answer removes anger.” Then, before he sent out the letter, he added, that perhaps G-d will give into their bretherens’ hearts a desire to reciprocate and reflect back the love. And with those words he instilled fine character traits into his Chasidim. (Hayom Yom page 77)
So why am I writing about this? Because these days there is a lot of bitterness and division in Israel, as certain laws (meant to strengthen security and Jewish tradition) are about to be enacted. It’s a time to be very very sensitive to the feelings of fellow Jews. And to try one’s utmost to show friendship and love.
In the daily prayers, in the Amida, we say “Bless us, our Father, all as one.” And our sages comment, that when we are united, as one, then we earn His blessing. Just as a father is happy when he sees his children united, and he wants to then show them extra kindness, so too when our Father in heaven sees His children, the Jewish nation, united, it brings forth His blessings and benevolence.
Let’s be extra kind and generous, and may we very soon merit the Geula — Redemption, when, as Ezekiel prophesied, G-d says (37; 21,22) “I will take the children of Israel from among the nations where they had gone, and I will gather them from all about and bring them to their land. And I will make them into one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel, and they will have one king, as a king for all.” May it happen now.