Question: I am 40 years old and I am the fourth generation of our family in Israel. I served in the army and have seen unity between people and mutual guarantee. And also now in the streets of Israel, I see that our nation is quite united: if someone has an accident or if something happens to anyone on the street, all rush to his aid.
It is the same in times of war. There is no unity and mutual help like in our nation. I don’t understand what you are talking about, what is the mutual guarantee that we should reach?
Answer: It is true, on the one hand, the Jews feel that they are “in the same boat,” belong to the nation, linked in unity. They feel especially close to one another as a result of our history and the difficult times that we share. We are brothers in misfortune. That is what brings us together. But that doesn’t mean that’s the way we are in good times.
The unity the wisdom of Kabbalah tells us about and the Torah demands of us is to be “as one man in one heart,” “all of Israel are friends.” The word “friend” (Chaver) in Hebrew stems from the root word “connection” (Chibur).
The principle of “love thy friend as thyself,” is not a pipe dream or just nice words, but a real condition by which we achieve a very special life when we ascend to a totally different level of existence, to a totally different dimension, to eternity and wholeness. This isn’t what we see in the people of Israel today…
But if we were at least a bit closer to such unity in times of peace and not only in times of war or Intifada, no one would come to us with any complaints, not our neighbors nor the nations of the world.
Question: So, if we are brothers “of routine,” we would not need to be brothers “in distress”?
Answer: Of course!
From the Israeli Radio Program 103FM, 10/25/15