A Jew’s blood is no longer cheap

Friday, 9 October, 2015 - 5:27 am


Dear Friends,


My letter this week is dedicated to a dear young man, who is very close to my heart.

Eyal, you love your nation and your homeland very much, and you are worried. For several days already you’ve been calling me and writing to me every few hours.

“A man was stabbed in Jerusalem; I’m worried.”

“A woman soldier was stabbed in Tel Aviv. I’m afraid.”

“We are alone in the world. Everybody hates us and kills us,” you wrote.

“We have no future this way,” you said.

“I put on Tefillin every morning and pray that peace will come already. Why does Hashem make it so that everyone’s against us?”


I have a few things to say to you, my young friend:

There is, indeed, terror. People are being stabbed in the streets; stones are being thrown at vehicles. But in the historical perspective, the Jewish People is now in one of the quietest, safest and calmest periods it’s ever experienced. For 70 years already there have been no pogroms against Jews – not in the Holy Land, not in Kiev, and not even in Kishinev. A Jew’s blood is no longer cheap – not in Morocco and Tunis, and not in Germany and Poland. We are not evicted from our homes with only our shirts on our backs, like we were in Spain in the 15th century, and whole communities are no longer being burnt alive, as was done in Basel in the 14th century. Our Talmud is not being burned, as it was in Paris, and, in general, Jewish children are no longer being persecuted in Europe.

Thousands of Jews were murdered in France over the generations, but only in our times do the country’s leaders apologize immediately, condemn the act when it happens, and battle the perpetrators, in their own way. The Jewish nation lives in its land proudly and with self respect. There never were so many Yeshivas and Talmud Torahs in the Land of Israel and in the world over, from Teheran to Moscow, as there are today. The Jews have gone back to arguing and fighting among themselves, as only they know how to do.

We have no future, you say? Look back four thousand years, and try to tell me: besides us, what other nation had a future at all? Did the Egyptians or the Romans have a future? Perhaps the Greeks or the Assyrians? All of them have disappeared and dispersed. Only one nation had a future; only one nation has a future now. You and I have a future.

Why did Hashem do these things? I do not presume to answer that question, because I have no answer. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts”, says Hashem in the book of Yeshayahu.

My dear Eyal, this week we begin reading the Torah again, from the beginning. Just like our forefathers have done for thousands of years, our lives, too, are all about Torah – Shabbat after Shabbat, year after year, in a wonderful cycle, which began with Avraham Avinu four thousand years ago, and has not stopped going since; the cycle in which we will read Who created the world, for what purpose did He create it, and to whom did he grant, through the power of His actions, this little land of ours.

The Torah is what has kept us going; thanks to it we are still here, in spite of everything, and thanks to it we continue onward, until the coming of the Mashiach, speedily in our days.


The Chabad Rebbes determined that “the way a person places himself on Shabbat Bereishit, that’s the way the whole year will go.” Do you want a future? Here’s some advice for you, then: start this very Shabbat to learn the Parasha every week; connect with this wonderful cycle that has no exit point, the eternal cycle that connects the Jewish People to the Land of Israel, according to the Torah of Israel.


Shabbat Shalom,


Rabbi Zalmen Wishedski

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