Home > Sermons > SERMON: Esav is Alive and Well and Living in Ramallah

SERMON: Esav is Alive and Well and Living in Ramallah

November 24, 2014

I wish I were a more spiritual person. I really do! If I were, I think I’d be able to make more sense out of the terrible massacre that took place this week in the Har Nof section of Jerusalem where two Palestinians entered a synagogue with guns, knives and axes and brutally murdered four Torah scholars while they were praying in their tallit and tefillin, and then killed a Druze policeman who gave his life trying to protect the other worshippers. It was horrible, disgusting … but there were some people – spiritual kind of people – who are able to find some positive lesson, some moral purpose, out of all this:

– Rabbi Chaim Kenievsky, one of the great sages of the generation, said the attack showed that we are living in the ikvasa d’mishicha – the beginning of the coming of the Messiah. I wish I could see it that way! I really do.

– Rabbi Avrohom Schorr, a renowned Torah scholar in Brooklyn, said that the fact that these rabbis were killed while wearing tallit and tefillin is a call from God to tell us to wear our tallit and tefillin for the whole davening, and to watch every word we say when we are wearing tallit
and tefillin, and not to walk out of davening into the halls while wearing tallit and tefillin. Four people who dedicated their lives all day to learning Torah were axed and shot to death to teach us these lessons? I wish I believed that.

– In the Har Nof neighborhood, signs immediately went up proclaiming: “In light of the tragedy let us turn inward and to teshuvah – repent.” That’s a very typical Jewish response but I’m enough of a cynic to ask: Repent for what? What did we do wrong? READ MORE

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