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Q&A: Public Transportation on Shabbat?

Q: I am very troubled over the newly instituted public transportation on Shabbat in a few places in Israel. What can we do about this?

A: In last week's parasha, it is written about the twins who tussled in Rebecca’s womb, "and the one people shall overcome the other people" etc. This is an apt description of the condition of every Jew and of the entire world. Two internal forces are struggling to overcome each other: The force of Jacob, the good inclination, and the force of Esau, the evil inclination. Jacob's hand grasps Esau's heel in order to draw him close to the truth of Jacob. A sign of the redemption is when Esau becomes clarified. The Rebbe said that in our generation, Esau is ready for the final clarification of  "one people shall overcome the other people." This applies to the external Esau (the nations of the world) and most importantly, the internal Esau within the nation of Israel and each and every one of us.

Thus, we see that here in the land of Israel, the side that opposes Jacob's simple sincerity, "a sincere man dwelling in the tent of Torah" seems to be getting stronger. But it is important to know that internally, Esau anticipates and wants Jacob to expend more effort to overcome him. He wants the "voice is the voice of Jacob" to overpower and inherit the "hands are the hands of Esau" (as is related in parashat Toldot).

In light of this, our main role is to redouble our love for every person who is part of the people of Israel. It is upon us to draw their hearts close to God and the Torah with in a pleasant manner and by taking action that will be viewed positively by our brothers and will open their hearts (as the Lubavitcher Rebbe emphasized time and again). We must strengthen our hands to employ more and more concrete action.

May we merit to succeed in this lofty task – and may the redeemer come to Zion!

Photo by Ant Rozetsky on Unsplash

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