The Jewish people are witnessing miracles in Israel. The missiles fired at us have the power to level buildings, yet miracles are taking place and we were spared from mass destruction. Even the most secular newspapers report that there is no way to explain these events according to natural law.
While the word "miracle" has been liberally splashed around by the media, neither the secular nor the religious press grasped the vital message of the hour. The situation arouses an urgent and critical obligation for each Jew to ask himself: "Why is Hashem performing these miracles for us? How should I be conducting myself in these extraordinary times?
If we do not deal with these questions immediately, this current security crisis could – Chas Veshalom – escalate into the most dangerous period in Jewish history. Hashem performs miracles for the Jewish people so that we will become more aware of His Presence in our lives. In recent days, He has made perfectly clear that He alone wields power in the world and that no missile can harm so much as a hair on the head of a Jew without His consent. Every rocket has an address that He predetermines, though the terrorists may believe that they can aim at a particular target.
Miracles are Hashem's alarm bells, "a red alert" that we must wake up and become truly conscious of Hashem's hashgachah in our daily lives. If we ignore these messages and conclude that miracles are just a natural part of living in Israel, the tables w could – Chas Veshalom – quickly turn.
We could – Chas Veshalom – in fact be handed over to natural law, and the missiles inexplicably could – Chas Veshalom – begin to hit their targets with greater frequency. And that means that the lives of our fellow Jews – our brothers and sisters living in Israel – could – Chas Veshalom – be in mortal danger.
We must learn this lesson from the story of the meraglim (spies). When they returned from Eretz Yisrael they claimed this land was a place where miracles were apparent on a daily basis, and therefore an extremely high spiritual level would be demanded of those who dwelled there. There was no way that Klal Yisrael as a nation could maintain such a level, and therefore the spies, who were all Gedolei Yisrael, ruled that the people should not enter the land.
The opinion of the meraglim was brought before the Sanhedrin, and they concurred with their ruling. It may seem, on the surface, that their reasoning was sound, and logic dictated that it was unwise to enter Eretz Yisrael. Yet we see from the grave punishment incurred by that generation that they could not have been further from the truth. What was the mistake in their reasoning?
The answer is simple. If Hashem told us to enter Eretz Yisrael, He obviously knew that we would ascend to the spiritual level necessary for a nation that sees miracles on a daily basis. For this reason, the claim of the meraglim was heresy, and we suffer from its bitter consequences to this very day.
In more recent times, Rav Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg once told Rav Sternbuch about a meeting of secular non-Jewish and Jewish professors to discuss the authorship of the Torah. Their conclusion was that while the Torah was far too complex to be man-made, they were not ready to attribute it to a Divine source that they knew nothing about. Like the meraglim, they perceived the significance of the Divine influence, but refused to follow through by accepting the full import of this conclusion.
During the current military operation, we are facing the very same challenge. Hashem is sending us a message that we must make real changes in our lives and raise our level of consciousness of His Presence, to the point where we are worthy of such supernatural treatment. If we rise to the occasion and raise our level of emunah as a result of these miracles, then we will pass the nisayon (test), and it is very likely that Moshiach will arrive shortly.
Chazal offer us practical advice in this area, and write that reciting a hundred brachos every day and saying Amen yehei Shmei Rabba has the power to annul decrees. Reciting Tehillim is important, but we need to make sure that our tefilah is also said with the proper kavanah. Everyone should take upon themselves to do something small to raise their level of emunah.
We must consider ourselves warned by the lessons of our history: If Hashem shows us miracles and we do not respond by strengthening our emunah, His mercy could – Chas Veshalom – turn to fury and we are handed over to the forces of natural law. We dare not speak about what this could could – Chas Veshalom– lead to, but we all understand the ruthless nature and implacable hatred of the enemy we face.
Now is the time, while Hasehm continues to shower His miracles upon us, to recognize His hand in our lives on a national and individual level, to turn to Him in tefilah and teshuvah, and eagerly watch the redemption unfold before our eyes.