On the Gaza Disengagement - Before and During
Number of visits: 52 | Number of downloads: 0
PART ONE - BEFORE
The following is an edited summary of a shiur given at MMY in the context of our Yom Iyun on the Gaza Disengagement
12 Tamuz 5765
July 19, 2005
Last night at about 2:00 am, I returned from Kfar Maimon, having participated in the march there from Netivot together with tens of thousands of my fellow Jews. At this moment, I am filled with mixed emotions, as I was the entire day yesterday. I’d like to share some of those feelings with you.
The march, although billed in the press as controversial and prone to violence, was actually 100% peaceful and orderly. Unfortunately, yesterday the government resorted to a lot of extremely undemocratic behavior, most prominently by stopping over 300 busses all over the country, and preventing them from traveling to Netivot. There was a systematic and concerted effort on behalf of the government to prevent the opponents of the Disengagement Plan from gathering for a protest march towards Gush Katif. The excuse given was that the police had “intelligence” that the protesters were going to be violent, even though the organizers had repeated endless times that there would be absolutely no violence and no attempts to forcibly pass police barricades.
But in spite of all their efforts, at least 40,000 Jews arrived at Netivot. Men, women and children. Babies, elderly people, teenagers. Kids singing and dancing. An inspiring atzeret tefillah. Lots of positive emotions, lots of flags, lots of blue and white…and orange. And then a calm and disciplined march from Netivot to the overnight campsite at Kfar Maimon.
We arrived to see literally thousands of police officers and entire battalions of soldiers assembled there. It seemed that a significant percentage of our country’s security forces had been enlisted against our own people. And yet, the protesters treated the soldiers and policemen as exactly what they are: our brothers. While a few people tried to convince them to refuse orders, most of the marchers just walked by, and many made sure to say “Shalom” and “Erev Tov” to them. It seemed that the soldiers had been prepared to face a hostile and violent mob, but once they realized that we really are their brothers and that in spite it all we really are on the same side, many of them also began to relax and smile.
And so, not knowing how this very volatile situation will develop in the coming hours and days, I am filled with worry and trepidation over the possible outcome of the current situation, anger and distress at the way the government is treating the struggle, but also lots of encouragement and hope. Last night I witnessed the power of the Jewish spirit, the power of emunah, of kedusha v’tahara, and the power of simcha. If we are able to properly harness and channel these forces, then the seeds of Geula can already be found within the current crisis.
The Rambam in the beginning of the third perek of Hilchot Teshuva (which I’m teaching this summer) says that there are three types of people. Someone whose good deeds outweigh his bad deeds is called a tzaddik, and is sealed on Rosh HaShana for life. Someone whose bad deeds outweigh his good deeds is called a rasha, and is sealed for death. Someone whose good and bad deeds are equal in weight is called a “beinoni”, and his judgment is suspended until it becomes clear which side he is on. The same is true for countries, and for the entire world.
He then goes on to say that a person should always view himself as if his record is exactly 50/50 – half good and half bad. And also that the entire world is exactly 50/50, so that the very next thing that he will do will tip the balance and determine the fate of the entire world, for good or for bad.
What an awesome responsibility! Clearly, someone who actually feels that way will live a very different life than he would otherwise. But on the other hand, most of the time it is very difficult to feel that responsibility and take it seriously. Nevertheless, when I woke up early yesterday morning, it dawned on me that this may be one of the few times when it is possible to really see clearly just how true this statement is.
As I have said repeatedly over the past few months, we are going through a very dangerous period right now, and one of the only things that everyone seems to agree on is that the potential for disaster here is great. The Prime Minister has stated that Israel’s long-term security requires “Disengaging” from Gaza and the Northern Shomron. Those who support him maintain that any attempt to derail the plan and keep Israel in those areas will be disastrous. On the other hand, those (like myself and the 40,000 other people who marched last night) who are against the plan are convinced that if the plan succeeds it will be a catastrophe. And the one thing that just about everyone agrees with is that if we aren’t careful to make sure that this struggle is handled properly, we can bring tragedy upon ourselves.
After months of build-up, I realized that we have come to the zero hour, the moment of truth. The government has sealed the Gaza Strip in preparation for the withdrawal they are planning next month. The Yesha Counsel in response called for tens of thousands of protesters to gather in Netivot last night for what was to be a three-day march to the border of the Gaza Strip (as of this evening the protesters are still stalled at Kfar Maimon), to demand entry to Gush Katif. Tensions were running high, and the idea that chas v’chalila, before the end of the day shots could be fired between Jews did not seem impossible. At the same time, there is also a real possibility for a successful process in which some sort of Geula could come from this. Everything hangs in the balance, all of Am Yisrael is connected, and each one of us could be the one to tip the balance.
With these heavy thoughts of responsibility on our shoulders, I think it’s important to address some of the issues and questions raised by the Disengagement plan.
The first thing I think needs to be understood is the depth of the tragedy that would befall the residents of the affected areas if this thing comes to pass. This is something that should be beyond debate, and that even supporters of Disengagement should agree about.
We are talking about thousands of people who have been living in these places for decades. They would see their own soldiers come and destroy their homes, their businesses, their schools, their Yeshivot and Batei Knesset, and their entire communities. It would involve separating children from their friends, and forcing them to move to new communities and go to new schools. Many people’s businesses and livelihoods would be jeopardized. (For someone who has never lived on a "Yishuv" it may be hard to understand - but in a Yishuv, your neighbors aren't just the people who live next door who you happen to be friendly with. It's a real "community" in the sense that doesn't exist in a city. These people are like your family.)
These people are not extremist fanatics like the media is working so hard to portray them as. They are wonderful, committed Zionist pioneers who went there on behalf of all of us, at the behest of governments on all sides of the political spectrum. They have suffered miserably over the past five years with all the attacks and have bravely and resolutely stood firm, knowing that they were on the front lines defending the rest of the people. And now, after standing strong and defeating the Arab enemies, they would see their entire lives destroyed by their own brethren.
That, to me, is NOT subject to debate. Again, even a supporter of Disengagement should acknowledge that this is a terrible thing, even if he feels it's necessary. And therefore, he should pray down to the last minute that this terrible tragedy can be averted. I can accept someone who believes that we need to get out of Gaza (even if I may be convinced that he's wrong). But a Torah Jew needs to cry about seeing other Jews suffer like this - not to mention the tragedy of losing part of Eretz Yisrael. And only someone who genuinely recognizes how terrible this is can possibly be trusted to say it's necessary anyway.
After realizing that, one needs to decide what we should do. Emotionally, the issue is very charged. On the one hand, it seems terrible to think of Jews evicting other Jews, to see Jewish soldiers stationed at a check post to prevent Jews from reaching other Jews’ homes, and to be planning to erase all traces of Jewish presence from a part of Eretz Yisrael. On the other hand, we know how dangerous it has been for the people living there – perhaps, therefore, in spite of the pain that the evacuation will cause, we should carry it out nonetheless, in order not to risk the lives of the settlers and the soldiers who protect them anymore?
This debate can be framed in emotional terms, but the same issue can also be expressed in halachic terms. Proponents of the plan will argue that since, in their view, this is likely to improve Israel’s long-term security, it is a matter of pikuach nefesh. Many prominent rabbis in recent decades, including Rav Schach, Rav Soloveitchik and Rav Ovadia Yosef, have supported the idea of ceding land for peace, of course on the assumption that it really will bring peace. And opponents of the plan can argue, as other poskim (such as Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook and Rav Goren) have, that the mitzvot of yishuv Eretz Yisrael and Kibush HaAretz are so significant that even pikuach nefesh does not override them. If so, we are dealing with a machloket in halacha, no different than any other.
At the same time, the argument could take place on pragmatic grounds, in terms of interpreting the current reality. The opponents of Disengagement can say that they accept the principle that to save lives it would be permissible and even necessary to cede parts of Eretz Yisrael. However, they can argue that the current plan will not improve security, and to the contrary will damage it significantly. If that analysis is correct, than the Disengagement would not fit into the halachic category of pikuach nefesh, but rather the opposite category of sakanat nefashot. In the current rhetoric, Disengagement opponents are commonly using both arguments interchangeably. However, the two positions are actually quite different, and it is important for one who objects to determine the nature of his objection.
After deciding what we think about the plan, we need to decide what we should do about it. Obviously if someone thinks the plan is the right thing to do, then he should support it and try to help the government carry it out (again, it would seem appropriate to do so with pain and anguish for the terrible fate that will befall the dedicated Israelis who don’t deserve to lose their homes.) However, if one is opposed to the plan, the question is how far it would be permissible and appropriate to go in order to stop it.
This leads into the question of soldiers refusing orders. It has been well publicized that a number of prominent rabbis have publicly called on all religious soldiers to refuse to participate in any operation connected with the Disengagement Plan. This group is headed by the prominent Rosh Yeshiva of Merkaz HaRav and former Chief Rabbi, Rav Avraham Shapiro. Other rabbis, including some leaders of hesder yeshivot whose students are themselves soldiers, have publicly called on soldiers to obey orders. Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, although not taking a public position on the Disengagement, has strongly and publicly opposed refusal. He recently put out a 10-page document in which he explains this position based on the following main points:
Firstly, he says, even if refusal would be technically permissible and justified from the halachic perspective, it would be disastrous on the level of public policy, for a number of reasons. First of all, if too many people do it (for this reason or any other), then this can lead to the collapse of the entire army. Loss of the cohesiveness of the fighting forces is loss of a strategic asset, equivalent to losing our tanks or planes; in fact it’s worse. This can become an existential threat to the country.
Besides being a difficult blow to the operational capabilities of the IDF, Rav Lichtenstein argues that refusal could also destroy the social unity of the army, which is a crucial factor in holding the fragile unity of Israeli society together. Particularly, for the National Religious community, he says, this should concern us doubly. We have historically defined our mission to unite the religious and non-religious worlds, and bring more Jewish ideas to the general population. If we are seen as the ones who are ripping the people apart, and if Torah values are seen as those that threaten the nation, then this can become extremely damaging, and can further threaten our ability to impact society.
Regarding the halachic principle itself, Rav Lichtenstein pointed to the Rambam in Hilchot Melachim 3:9, which says that, although violating a king’s command is genuinely grounds for the death penalty, if doing so would involve neglecting or violating a mitzvah, then one should not listen to the king. In a clash between the commands of an earthly king and the King of the Universe, we must listen to Hashem and not to the government. So in principle, there is such a thing as an order that must be refused. (And by the way, the Israeli army itself has such a concept as well. It teaches its soldiers that a “pekuda bilti chukit ba’alil”, an order which is patently illegal and immoral, must be disobeyed.)
However, of course, the question is whether the current situation fits that category or not. If you would take the approach mentioned above to oppose Disengagement on ideological/halachic grounds by saying that even pikuach nefesh does not override the obligation to settle the land, then presumably you would in fact need to refuse orders.
On the other hand, as mentioned above, if one assumes (as Rav Lichtenstein does) that saving lives is a higher value, Disengagement can still be opposed on pragmatic grounds. On this point, Rav Lichtenstein argues that although he understands the reservations and concerns that the plan will not improve security and will even increase the danger, hefeels that there is still a reasonable possibility that it might increase security. If so, he says, the argument is not about halacha, but about “metziut”. In such a case, he says, the government must be the one to decide. There are two reasons for this. First of all, only the government has access to the opinions of experts in the military echelon, as well as in the intelligence services, diplomatic experts, etc. Just as in the question of a sick person eating on Yom Kippur, a rabbi determines the parameters of what is considered a legitimate reason to eat, but only a doctor can determine whether this applies to a particular patient at a particular time. Secondly, even if others would have access to the information, there still must be a government that makes the final decisions, or else there is anarchy.
On that basis, Rav Lichtenstein says that the current conditions do not justify refusing orders. However, one could perhaps accept Rav Lichtenstein’s analysis of the theory, but reject his conclusion because of a different reading of themetziut (in fact, many of the rabbis who disagree with Rav Lichtenstein use this line of reasoning). If someone argues that he is 100% certain that the plan will bring destruction on the nation, then perhaps at some point that could be considered an objective factor. One could claim that enough people with military knowledge have rejected this, and that even the former Chief of Staff said he was opposed to the plan, and only heard about it from the press after Sharon had discussed it with President Bush. If so, perhaps one could claim that there is an objective reality that the plan is dangerous, and that may justify refusal. However, the danger of anarchy and the idea that there has to be a government, still remains.
(NOTE: Subsequent to the initial publication of his psak, Rav Lichtenstein wrote an open letter to Rav Shapiro, asking him to clarify certain aspects of his halachic position. Rav Shapiro's grandson responded on his behalf, and Rav Lichtenstein in turn responded to him. Yeshivat Har Etzion has published this exchange of letters on their website.)
There is another question that Rav Lichtenstein does not refer to in his article, and that is the question of civil disobedience. Everyone recognizes that for a soldier to refuse orders is an extreme act that should be avoided if it isn’t absolutely necessary. But is a civilian different? What are the limits of legitimate protest for a civilian who wants to do anything he can to stop the plan? The leadership of the opponents of Disengagement has stated repeatedly that the struggle must be conducted without violence. But beyond that, there is significant debate as to how far one can go. Is it legitimate to block roads in protest? Or is that a violation of dina dmalchuta dina or even malchut yisrael? And if one says that the halacha forbids breaking laws, what about the people who live in Gush Katif? Do they have to hire a moving truck and leave? Or are they allowed to sit in their living rooms and passively resist? That's also against the law.
The lines here are somewhat difficult to draw, and the question is basically where the borderline runs between political protest which may be forceful but still recognizes the government’s basic authority, and a full-fledged rebellion. One can also note the fact that civil disobedience is considered part of the democratic process in the modern world, and is generally viewed as a legitimate form of causing changes in society. There certainly is historical precedent for non-violent civil disobedience causing changes in law. (The names Martin Luther King, Mohandas Gandhi and Boris Yeltsin come to mind). Classic halachic sources don’t speak of democracy, and therefore the question needs to be asked about a government which draws its authority from the idea that it reflects the will of the people. Rabbis urging nonviolent resistance have spoken of legitimate democratic norms; it would seem that at least some of them consider this to be halachically relevant as well.
As stated above, these are significant and potentially dangerous times. It is extremely important for all Jews, wherever they may live and whatever their political views may be, to try to unite in spite of our differences. We must each struggle for what we believe in, and yet we must remember that we are one nation. We must make sure that our struggles are conducted within the proper parameters, and never lose sight of the big picture. We must recognize that ultimately, only HaKadosh Baruch Hu knows what is right, and only He will determine the final outcome.
Uteshuva, utefilla, utzedaka ma'avirin et roa hagezera.
PART TWO - DURING
The following is the (slightly edited) text of an email sent on Motzaei Tisha B'av to MMY Alumnae, entitled "Al Shever Bat Ami"
10 Av 5765
August 15, 2005
It is now 2:30 am on Motzaei Tisha B'av, and I cannot sleep. It's not common for me to be unable to sleep (usually my problem is staying awake!). But these are not common times. Tonight, chaotic and often contradictory thoughts are racing through my head. Fear. Anguish. Excitement. Anger. Hope. Despair. Confidence. Confusion.
After a while as a teacher, you get to a stage when the only way you know how to learn something is if you teach it to your students. At this point, talking to all of you is pretty much the only way I know how to organize my thoughts. So, if you don't mind, please allow me to attempt to share these feelings with you. I'm not really going to try to come to some conclusion or understand the huge historic events swirling around us. That clarity, if it comes at all, will only be in the future. I'm just going to try to organize the confusion in my head, and share it with you in the hopes that maybe some of you can do something positive with it.
Please excuse me also if I leave the balanced political discussions for another time - I simply can't talk about that right now. At the present moment, all I can see is that a horrific tragedy threatens to take place, and I don't know what to do to stop it.
Each year during the Three Weeks, I attempt to use the halachically mandated practices of Aveilut to bring myself to certain feelings of mourning for Yerushalayim. Though I am generally somewhat successful, I must admit that there is usually a certain "artificial" quality to my feelings. On this evening of the Tenth of Av, I must admit that I usually feel a sense of relief at the fact that by tommorow afternoon this will all be over, and fight a semi-conscious excitement to just move on to my summer vacation and return to normal life.
But not this year. Now my urge is to go back to sitting on the floor and to read eicha and kinot all over again. Or to get up and run someplace and do something - although it's not clear where to run or what to do. It seems we've tried just about everything, and I intend to continue doing so in the days ahead (in a few hours I plan to go to Jerusalem and protest outside the Prime Minister's office, and perhaps a day after that to head down South. And although I'm far from sure that any of this will do anything, I have nothing else to try.)
Thousands of years ago tonight, the Bet HaMikdash burned, sealing the fate of churban ha'aretz. And now, at this very moment, an army is poised to begin another churban - thankfully a much smaller one, that cannot be compared to the destruction of an entire nation or to the many other horrific tragedies that we read about this morning in kinot. On the other hand, this churban is in a sense even more painful, because the army who is to carry it out is our own. Of course, we brought the previous churbanot on ourselves as well - but this time it is so clear and obvious.
This past Shabbat (Erev Tisha B'av), my family finished Seuda Shlishit before Shkiya, as the halacha demanded. After birkat hamazon, there was about a half an hour left before we would take off our shoes and begin the observances of Tisha B'av. There wasn't much we could do at that point, so we went to sit out on our mirpeset to get a bit of fresh air. It's something I like to do from time to time, to sit outside in the cool evening air and enjoy the beauty of Eretz Yisrael.
As I was sitting on the balcony with my children playing nearby, watching the last rays of sunset fade over Kfar Etzion, a thought occurred to me. All over Israel, I realized, people are doing the same thing - Seuda Shlishit is over, and everyone is just waiting for Tisha B'av to begin. And probably at this moment in Gush Katif, there is a person doing pretty much the same thing I'm doing - sitting out on his porch with his children, spending the final moments of Shabbat enjoying the view in the place where he built his home. Like me, he's marvelling at the beauty of the same sunset (I see it over the mountains; he sees it over the sea.) Like me, his awe and admiration for the physical beauty of the land helps him appreciate the great privilege of living in Eretz Yisrael. Like me, he has a sense of comfort and satisfaction sitting next to the house he built to fulfill mitzvat yishuv ha'aretz, knowing that the hardships are all worthwhile, and not wanting to trade this life for anything.
But of course, that's where the comparison ends. You see, my reaction to the sunset was to say to my wife, "You know, it's really nice out here. Maybe next week we'll eat Seuda Shlishit here on the porch!" But when the man in Gush Katif thinks of next Shabbat....
Where will he be next Shabbat? Will he still be in his home? Indeed, will his home still exist? Will he still see the view? Will he even have a home, anywhere, with a view or without? Will he have a shul to go to? Will he have a job to go to next Sunday morning? Will his kids have a school to go to in two weeks?
This morning, our Rav gave a brief shiur in our shul in which he stated that, should these events actually take place, he thinks there will be a halachic obligation on all Jews everywhere to tear kriya and recite the bracha of "Dayan HaEmet" with "shem umalchut". He said he thinks this is true even for one who thinks that this plan is a positive thing that will ultimately improve our situation. Even if necessary or even good in the final analysis, a terrible thing is about to happen right now.
I'm a firm believer that as long as the tragedy has not yet happened, it is never too late to stop it. "Afilu cherev chada munachat al tzavaro shel adam, al yitya'esh min harachamim." At times, in fact, it seems so clear to me that something massively great, perhaps even Messianic, is about to happen. Yet at other times, often just moments later, I find myself on the verge of despair. And thus, I feel, urgent questions must be asked immediately.
How did this come about? How did we bring ourselves to this point? This, of course, is the question that Yirmiyahu Hanavi screamed in this morning's haftara, "al ma avda ha'aretz??!" I scramble and hurry to try to answer that question before it happens, in the desperate hope that it can yet be stopped. For Yirmiyahu the answer was crystal-clear: "Al azvam et torati". But we have no navi to point his finger at the particular problem, and I for one am not wise enough to see it clearly.
Certainly, the deep divisions among the Jewish People have a lot to do with it. One of the things that is most frustrating about the current situation is that the great majority of supporters of the Disengagement Plan do not seem to recognize the tragedy that is about to take place. It would seem that even one who thinks that this will improve our strategic situation should cringe at the thought of Jewish towns being handed over to Arab terrorists, and should be given some pause at the sight of the celebrations that are already beginning in Gaza, pronouncing loud and clear that they view this as but one step on the road to Jerusalem. Even if one feels politically that this is necessary, it would seem that he must still acknowledge the horrible injustice of thousands of people being forcibly evicted from homes and communities they built over decades at the cost of great sacrifice (and the request of all previous governments) - and not even being given any realistic options of where to go and how to rebuild their lives. As I have written before, I think these things should be beyond the debate and should be acknowledged also by the supporters of the plan, who can and should do so without diminishing their conviction that we must do this.
But largely, they aren't. I see no outpouring of sympathy and compassion for the residents of Gaza and the Shomron - other than from a very dedicated and defined community of their supporters. The feeling one gets is that much of the public just isn't very interested in what's going on. And some segments of the population, and certainly the press, seem to even be celebrating.
Last week I went with my two daughters to Tel Aviv, to spend an evening handing out orange ribbons. It was part of a nationwide effort - hundreds of teenagers and adults gathered in a big park on Rechov Arlozorov, right near the "Rakevet Tzafon" train station. Smack in the heart of pro-Disengagement territory, trying to make a difference. After listening to a brief inspirational talk by Rav Aviner, they fanned out to street corners all over Gush Dan, smiling at people, handing out orange ribbons and fliers, and trying to talk to the people. And my daughters and I were among them.
We got different reactions from people. Many people, even in Tel Aviv, were very supportive. There were also those who disagreed but came to speak to us, and we had a few very significant conversations on the street with people who did not agree, but were interested in hearing our opinions and respected our convictions. I thought that was extremely worthwhile as well, and I also benefitted from hearing their point of view.
But unfortunately, we also encountered a lot of anger, and even hostility. Many people gave us dirty looks, clearly bothered by our presence and incensed that we had invaded "their" city. A few people actually said some very hurtful things. One woman even said something to the effect of: "Just get yourselves out of here. First get out of Tel Aviv, and then get out of Gush Katif!"
All we knew how to do was to smile back at them. But, I found myself asking over and over again, why the anger? Even if we continue to argue about what we should or shouldn't do, why can't we at least cry together about what is about to take place? I've been to many protests over the past year, and although they tried to present a forceful message and spoke with a considerable amount of anger, I have heard over and over again the message that this is still our government and our army, and that the soldiers who may come to expel us are still our brothers, and we must treat them as such. And yet somehow, the deep divisions and even animosity are there. And this is the closest I can come to answering the question of what is causing this threat of destruction.
A few weeks ago in MMY, Mrs. Brofsky spoke very passionately at the Yom Iyun we held to try to address these issues. She said the real "disengagement" is the spiritual disengagement that happened a long time ago - that we have become two separate people: a religious community committed to Jewish values and a secular community that feels very alienated from us and from what we represent. This, she said, is the real cause of the problems we're facing.
There's no question that she is right. But what to do about it? How to change it? She seemed to point the accusing finger primarily at our (Religious-Zionist) community, to decisions we made decades ago and the natural outcome of our actions. She may very likely be right about this as well. But I still don't know what we should have done differently - or more importantly, what we should be doing about it now.
So perhaps all there is to do is to return to the classic Jewish response to the threat of tragedy - teshuva, tefillah utzedaka. This past week there was a remarkable atzeret tefillah at the Kotel. I tried to go, but didn't make it past the Jewish Quarter to come anywhere near the Kotel. There were simply too many people there (those who came a bit later than I did got stopped at Shaar Yafo. The entire Old City was packed and there was barely an inch in which to move.) I have never in my life seen so many Jews in the Old City (some people like Rabbi Katz who have been here longer than I do say they may remember one or two other times in the past, during very extraordinary events. I don't have the statistics to check whether this was a record crowd or not, but it doesn't really matter. It was powerfully impressive.) There is absolutely no question that something like this makes an impact in Shamayim. The outcome, however, is the exclusive decision of the Ribono Shel Olam, and nobody can know what will happen until it has happened.
One thing that this has taught me, though, is that all of Am Yisrael is connected, and everything that each of us does affects all of us. And therefore, all of Am Yisrael, wherever they may be, must do everything in our power to increase tefillah, teshuva and genuine acts of chessed, especially those that bring different groups of Jews together on common ground and increase our common commitment to true Torah principles and values.
It's also clear to me that no matter how the current issue comes to resolution, the struggle over the values of Am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael and Torat Yisrael will continue for potentially a very long time, ad biat hagoel. Unless the Mashiach comes tommorow (which, of course, is entirely possible and what we are waiting for), then we will continue to face these problems no matter what happens with Gush Katif.
And therefore, I think it's all the more important, and crucially urgent, for all of us to devote some serious time and energy to cheshbon hanefesh, both on the individual and communal level, and think about what we can do to improve a situation that we don't even really understand.
Thanks for listening.
B'tfillah uv'tzipiah l'yeshuah uleg'eulah shleima bimhera,