(by Yehuda HaKohen)


"Noach, with his sons, his wife, and his sons' wives with him, went into the ark because of the waters of the flood." (BEREISHIT 7:7)


Rashi comments on this verse that Noach was a man of inadequate faith. He believed and at the same time did not believe that the flood G-D warned of would actually come about. He hesitated to enter the ark until the waters came and forced him inside. "Rabbi Yohanan said, `Noach lacked faith. Had the waters not reached his ankles, he would not have entered the ark.'" (Bereishit Rabbah 32:6)


Even Noach, a man whom the Torah refers to as "a righteous man, perfect in his generations" (BEREISHIT 6:9), was capable of lacking complete Emunah. Rashi therefore calls him one who "believed and did not believe".


This lack of faith afflicts mankind even today and is especially precarious for the Hebrew Nation, whose very spiritual essence is rooted in Emunah.


The trend of "believing and not believing" is a completely abnormal situation for Jews and causes Israel to drift further away from our ideal Divine state.


In fact, it was this lack of Emunah which caused the Kingdom of Israel to split after the reign of King Shlomo.


As a result of the king marrying Pharaoh's daughter (with the intention of forging a political alliance with Egypt), G-D admonished him, saying "Since this has happened to you, and you have not kept My covenant and My decrees that I have commanded you, I shall surely tear away the kingship from you and give it to your servant." (MELACHIM I 11:11)


King David writes in the first verse of TEHILLIM 127: "A song of ascents for Shlomo. If HaShem will not build the house, they labor in vain that build it".


Rashi teaches that "David dedicated this psalm to his son Shlomo, who Divine Inspiration informed him would construct the Temple and wed Pharaoh's daughter on the same day… He therefore sang this psalm, meaning, `Why, my son, should you build a Temple and turn away from G-D? Since G-D has no desire of it, its builders labor in vain.'"


For Shlomo's transgression of marrying Pharaoh's daughter, the Israeli Kingdom was split in the days of his son Rechavam.


But hope still existed to reunite the Hebrew Nation.


HaShem declares that "I shall afflict the descendants of David for this – but not for all time." (MELACHIM I 11:39)


Yalkut Shimoni quotes Seder Olam on this verse, stating: "Our sages said, `The monarchy was destined to return in Asa's day had he not sinned'."


Rashi explains this as "`I will afflict David's seed for this':


This corresponds to the thirty-six years Shlomo was married to Pharaoh's daughter. He wed her in the fourth year of his reign, and it was due to her that the verdict was decreed for David's Kingdom to be divided.


It should have been reunited in the sixteenth year of Asa's reign, but Asa sinned by sending a bribe to the king of Aram rather than relying on G-D.”


Radak supports this understanding by writing: "In Asa's day it was destined to be restored, but Asa sinned: `In the thirty-sixth year of Asa's reign, Baasha King of Israel went up against Judah' (CHRONICLES II 16:1).


It was only the sixteenth year of Asa's reign, but thirty-six years after the reign of Shlomo, when the kingdom was destined to be reunified. Yet because Asa sinned and relied on the king of Aram, it was not restored."


G-D punished the Davidic dynasty for Shlomo's sin by dividing the Kingdom for thirty six years – the length of time Shlomo was married to Egypt's princess. Therefore, the Kingdom should have been restored and Israel should have been reunited in the sixteenth year of Shlomo's great grandson Asa.


King Asa of Judah, who is described in MELACHIM I 15:11, at the start of his reign, as having done "what was proper in the eyes of HaShem, like his forefather David", lacked the Emunah to merit the Kingdom's reunification.


When attacked by King Baasha of Israel, Asa did not put his trust in G-D and go to war (as he did against an even mightier army at the beginning of his reign).


Nor did he attempt to make peace. Instead, he sent a bribe from the Temple treasury to the gentile king of Aram.


He put his faith in a foreign ruler rather than HaShem and, even worse, bribed this gentile to help him war against his own people.


His lack of faith led to a terrible desecration of G-D's holy Name.


Because of this lack of Emunah – "believing and not believing" – G-D's great Name was profaned amongst the nations and the Kingdoms of Judah and Israel remained divided.


Instead of rectifying the misdeed of his great grandfather, Asa repeated it by forging an alliance with a foreign king.


Asa was not a heretic. He believed in HaShem and had often put his trust in Him, winning miraculous victories against formidable armies (CHRONICLES II 14).


Asa suffered from the "Noach complex". Like Noach, Asa believed in HaShem but at the same time did not possess the necessary Emunah to effectively lead the Nation.


It could be that with age, his faith had depleted.


This teaches that it takes great courage and understanding not only to attain a high level of faithfulness, but also to maintain that level in the face of future challenges.


King Asa demonstrated that it is not enough to have been a great hero with incredible accomplishments.


One must strive to maintain a level of greatness and not merely live off past glory.


Only with a complete devotion to HaShem can one have the strength to persevere against seemingly impossible odds.


But in order to reach such a level of Emunah it is necessary to fully understand the meaning of the word "One" in the eternal declaration of "Hear, O Israel, HaShem is our G-D, HaShem is One!"




In fact, it is blasphemous to believe that HaShem could be restricted to a house of study or prayer.


G-D's dominion includes everything in Creation, including the social, military and political spheres.


The Western concept of "separation between religion and state" has absolutely no foundation in Israel's Torah, which possesses no concept as "giving unto G-D what is G-D's and giving unto Caesar what is Caesar's".


Caesar is an idol and to give anything to an idol is to take everything away from G-D.


There is a political misconception that Israel's survival depends on the approval of foreign nations.


This psychological subordination to gentile powers is a modern form of idolatry that could never lead Israel to security or peace.


When a Hebrew leader arrives at a tangible understanding of "One", there becomes no room in his heart for the "Noach complex" to exist.


Today, the Nation's faith is again being challenged.


The demands of gentile nations that the Jewish people relinquish territory and not efficiently protect Hebrew lives are merely a test of Israel's faith in our G-D.


It is the responsibility of Torah leaders to guide the Jewish masses in overcoming the "Noach complex" so that we may show our G-D that we trust only in Him and that we recognize the nations and their leaders as His pawns.


It is the Emunah of Israel that will unite the generation and bring victory to the Nation, exposing G-D's reign to all humankind.

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