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Friday, September 20, 2019

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We are in a period of mourning both as Jews and Americans. As Jews, we lament the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash which enabled us to be close to our Creator, worship Him, obey His laws, and live in a society based entirely on Torah principles. The loss of this special connection deprived us of our spiritual moorings, exiling us, which has led to our attempting to assimilate into societies estranged from the moral boundaries our Torah assigns us. The wisdom of our Torah, when followed, creates a functional and successful society.

The American Revolution, as envisioned by our Founding Fathers, attempted to replicate much of the moral code our Torah details for a functional society. This is documented in numerous books about the early history of our nation. Our founding fathers intended for the United States to be a country that incorporates many of God’s laws, grounded in individual freedom bound by laws that promote a benevolent government, yet prevent governmental power from usurping our rights and exercising control over our lives.

As we approach Tisha B’Av, here we are, grieving for scores of American families whose loved ones were recently taken from them by individuals bent on destruction. We wonder what may have caused this. The prime responsibility rests with the murderous monsters themselves. But there is a bigger picture here, too.

When you have a non-stop assault led by purveyors of (mis)information and a major political party on the elected leader of this nation; when you convey a message that anything goes; when there are no limits or boundaries and anyone who seeks entry into our country is encouraged to do so legally or illegally, thereby trampling on national law; and when all morality becomes subjective, you get an environment of anarchy where everything is devalued including human life. It is utterly tragic, gravely threatens the foundations of our nation, ends up in horrific violence, and will not stop until and unless this continual assault on the authority of the president ceases. The drumbeat of these constant attacks declares open season on all authority, foments hatred and unleashes those already prone to violence.

In this week of both Jewish and national mourning, I mourn the scornful rejection by one of our major political parties of our spiritual origins, which has stripped our nation of its religious foundation, and taken God out of the public sphere.This has resulted in mass confusion and upheaval, loss of our once precious moral values and a society whose very functionality is on the brink of breaking down. I pray to Hashem that the nation of Israel be restored to its former glory and that the nation of America recover from its life-threatening illness.

David Hes
Teaneck