Chapter 8: Together Forever
Unity, Unity, and Unity Once Again
The prime defense against calamity is love and unity. When there are love, unity, and friendship between each other in Israel, no calamity can come over them. …Even if they worship idols, but there is bonding among them, and no separation of hearts, they have peace and quiet, and no Satan or evildoer, and all the curses and suffering are removed by that [unity].
This is the meaning of what is said, “You are standing this day, all of you.” It means that although you have heard all the bludgeons of the covenant that are written above, you are standing nonetheless, and you will have revival by your heads, judges, elders, officers, and all the men of Israel being all with one heart and with love… Through bonding you will be able to walk through the bludgeons and they will not reach you or harm you at all.
“That He may establish you today as His people” means that by that you will have revival, you will be saved from all calamities. Afterwards He said to them, “Now not with you alone am I making this covenant,” meaning that being saved from any harm by bonding was not promised only to Moses’ generation. Rather, “But with those who stand here with us today … and with those who are not with us here today,” meaning that all future generations have been promised it—to pass through all the bludgeons of the covenant, and that they will not be harmed, through the unity and bonding that will be among them.
-Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Halevi Epstein, Maor VaShemesh [Light and Sun], Nitzavim [Standing].
We are commanded at each generation to strengthen the unity among us so our enemies do not rule over us.
-Rabbi Eliyahu Ki Tov, The Book of Consciousness, Chapter 16
The Lord said to David: “When troubles come upon Israel for their iniquities, let them stand before Me in one association and confess their iniquities before Me… When Israel gather before Me and stand before Me in one association, and say before Me a prayer for forgiveness, I will grant them.”
-Tanna Devei Eliyahu Zuta, Chapter 13
When one includes oneself with all of Israel and unity is made, the Lord is present in the unity. At that time no harm shall come to you.
-Rabbi Menahem Nahum of Chernobyl, Maor Eynaim [Light of the Eyes], VaYetzeh [And Jacob Went Out]
When they [Israel] quarrel and there is unity among them nonetheless, then unity is more precious. This is why “Moab was in great fear of the people,” for although it is quarrelling, it is still It (singular form), hence the “great fear.”
-Rabbi Moshe Taitelboim, Yishmach Moshe [Let Moses Rejoice], Balak, p 71b
Therefore, he said, “Gather together and hear, you sons of Jacob,” precisely “Gather together,” for he revealed to them that the primary element of correction is the advice to gather together, meaning that there will be unity, love, and peace in Israel, that they will gather together to speak to one another of the final purpose. Thus they will be rewarded with completeness of the counsel, for Israel and the Torah [Law of Bestowal] are all one, to the extent of peace and unity in Israel.
-Rabbi Nathan Sternhertz, Likutey Halachot [Assorted Rules], “Rules of the Ninth of Av and Fasts,” Rule no. 4
Thus, Israel will be a holy congregation and one association, as one man with one heart. Then, when unity restores Israel as before, Satan will have no place in which to place error and external forces. When they are as one man with one heart, they are as a fortified wall against the forces of evil.
-Rabbi Shmuel Bornstein, Shem MiShmuel [A Name Out of Samuel], VaYakhel [And Moses Assembled], TAR’AV (1916)
This is the mutual guarantee on which Moses worked so hard before his death, to unite the children of Israel. All of Israel are each other’s guarantors [responsible for one another], meaning that when all are together, they see only good.
-Rabbi Simcha Bonim Bonhart of Peshischa, A Broadcasting Voice, Part 1, Balak
All the souls of Israel are in complete unity and at the same level, like a caravan traveling in the desert among evil beasts with arms and other tactics, but the evil beasts are afraid to approach them. But when they journeyed from the place where they had parked, a man had stayed there alone, and he was promptly put to death by the animals for he had separated from his party.
-Rabbi David Solomon Eibenschutz, Willows of the Brook (related to Rosh Hashanah that occurs on the Sabbath)
The foundation of the wickedness of evil Haman, on which he had built his request of the king to sell the Jews to him … is what he had begun to argue, “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed,” etc. He cast his filth saying that that nation deserves to be destroyed, for separation rules among them, they are all full of strife and quarrel, and their hearts are far from one another. However, He put the healing before the blow [took preventing measures] … by hastening Israel to unite and adhere to one another, to all be one, as one man, and this is what saved them, as in the verse, “Go, gather together all the Jews.”
-Rabbi Azarya Figo, Binah LeItim [Understanding for Occasions], Part 1, Sermon 1 for Purim
Because they sinned, that force of unity was taken from the wicked and was given to the children of Israel… This is the great mercy we should always remember. Also, we should trust it for because our intention is good, we are certain to succeed, since the force of unity … assists us.
-Yehuda Leib Arie Altar (ADMOR of Gur), Sefat Emet [Language of Truth], Beresheet [Genesis], Parashat Noah [Portion, Noah], TARLAV (1875)
The matter of social unity, which can be the source of every joy and success, applies particularly among bodies and bodily matters in people, and the separation between them is the source of every calamity and misfortune.
-Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam), The Writings of Baal HaSulam, “The Freedom,”