19 January 2012

"Venahafoch hu" in the month of Tevet!

25 Tevet 5772

"Venahafoch hu" is a term we usually hear at Purim time in the month of Adar. (Maybe it's coming early this year.) It refers to something meant for evil that Hashem flips upside down so that good triumphs - like when the evil Haman was hanged on the very gallows he had built for righteous Mordechai.

Here is a heartwarming description of just such an end arising out of the horrible events in Beit Shemesh which occurred over the past months and culminated in nationwide attention in recent days.

It Was Never in Our Hands to Begin With
Rabbi Moshe Grylak Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Incredible as this may sound, the wave of anti-chareidi hysteria that has recently swept over Eretz Yisrael has actually brought some positive results. Once again we see that Divine Providence is ultimately in control of events, channeling them to serve a higher purpose.

The following story will testify to the sublime truth that the Ramchal teaches us in Daas Tevunos: “The will of HaKadosh Baruch Hu is done in any case.” People bring about events as they like, and He puts the events to work to bring about His goals.

Before I tell you about the positive effects of the prolonged uproar over Beit Shemesh, let us note that in our Torah reading, we’ve just completed Sefer Bereishis, ending with the story of Yosef and his brothers. Yosef sums up the whole decades-long ordeal in one sentence: “You calculated to do me evil; G-d calculated it for good.” Events that you see only as the cause of pain, suffering, and anguish were in fact paving the way for something much bigger.

Likewise, the Beit Shemesh story -- with all its scandalous episodes of gender-segregated buses and the rest of the ingredients that the secular media brewed into a toxic mix that they call by the catchword, “exclusion of women.”

It turns out that by drawing so much attention to the chareidim and their intense feelings regarding modesty, the media has stirred up the curiosity of Jewish souls hungry for more knowledge of authentic Torah perspectives. A rebbetzin who is seasoned in kiruv work reports that in the wake of the recent flood of slander against Judaism, which included unabashed mockery of Jewish modesty and family purity, she and her colleagues have received a corresponding flood of inquiries from secular women seeking a deeper understanding of these matters. The media, however evil their intentions, actually sowed the seeds for a Jewish revival that we couldn’t foresee.

You in the media, you in the world of political intrigue, calculated to do evil. You schemed to incite more hatred of Judaism among the public (and we chareidim are still suffering from your schemes, and must ask ourselves why we had to be punished in this way), but we must also discern the ray of light that has shot forth, at an unexpected angle, from the unholy mess you created, and we should take comfort in it. You could not suppress the holiness that was meant to find expression precisely now, for it was present in the seeking hearts of Jews, and the results may surprise you as more families bring a new level of kedushah into their lives. We can only hope that there will be so many families seeking this new path that those who lit the fires of hatred will regret what they did when they see things turning out so differently than they planned.

Read the rest of it here. Shabbat shalom~

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