The international support that Israel is receiving in this terrible war, including aircraft carriers from the Americans as deterrence and backup, provides Israelis with a sense of reinforcement and protection. However, we must not forget that no amount of preparation and weapons can replace the connection between us: our primary shield against all threats.
It is our division that fuels, emboldens, and strengthens our enemies. The more divided we are, the more determined our enemies are to destroy us. If we take the initiative and strive to build a cohesive society here in Israel not only at times of national anguish, we will have permanent security and peace, since they depend above all on our unity.
The relationship that exists between us should give us the confidence that we are one people who always remain connected despite our differences. Where the opposite situation exists is where the war begins. When it is clear to our enemy that we are not united enough to defend ourselves, the fences that are supposed to protect us are easily breached.
We must eradicate the enemies who want separation between us: both the external enemies and internal enemies. The external enemies are the terrorists from whom we have the right to protect ourselves, and our internal enemies, which we also need to annihilate, are the negative and harmful thoughts, intentions, and desires which divide us and cause mutual rejection.
Therefore, military measures aside, our first and foremost effort must be to unite our ranks and create an unwavering force between us; otherwise, every other war will be worse and more painful than the previous one. History has provided us with living proof that if we do not connect as one, our existence will have no meaning and we will remain forever as a persecuted people.
Our greatest challenge is to build a solid force field of connection, a sense of unity that will remain in times of peace, and not only as a comfort or as support in times of war. It is vital that we achieve this. Unity is our shield at all times, and the lack thereof brings trouble upon us. It is written in the book Shem MiShmuel, “When Israel’s unity is restored, evil will have no place in which to install error and external forces within them, for when they are as one man with one heart, they are as a fortified wall against the forces of evil.”
The book Maor VaSehemesh echoes these words, saying, “The primary defense against calamity is love and unity. When there are love, unity, and friendship between one another in Israel, no calamity can befall them and by that, all the curses and suffering are banished.” We therefore see that unity is not just a shield we should only erect during times of trouble for the Jewish people; unity is our ultimate weapon for achieving success, prosperity, and safety always.
Before the destruction of the Temple, due to unfounded hatred, our forefathers developed a unique method of connection as the foundation of the people of Israel. Rather than suppressing one’s characteristics or viewpoints, they harnessed individual skills for the collective good, creating a society that upheld personal fulfillment while strengthening the social fabric.
In order for us to unite, we need not suppress or downplay our differences. What is required from us is to rise above all that separates us and to find a common ground. Today, the same simple-yet-effective method of connection that our forefathers perfected and committed to sharing with the nations of the world is imperative for us to implement for the sake of the survival of our society.