It all begins with our fellow man…

To my dear son and daughter,

Hashem destroyed the world by means of the mabul; but why did He decide to do so? The Torah provides us with one reason,

“…for all flesh corrupted its way upon the earth”; the world was filled with what the Torah calls, “Hamas”, which Rashi explains means thievery and plundering.

Nowhere does the Torah say that the world was destroyed because of a lack of belief in Hashem or even because of the idolatry which they practiced. The destruction of an entire world was caused by the disregard towards another person’s property, what we call a lack of “bein adam lechavero – man’s conduct and respect towards his fellow man”.

This is a pattern which repeats itself consistently throughout the Torah. Many people are enthralled by “God” and “spirituality” but pass on the basics of Derech Eretz, they are inconsiderate and insensitive towards their fellow. The Torah “says” that if one wants to get through to Hashem, they have to first learn how to deal with their fellow man (usually more challenging).

It is for this reason that prior to Yom Kippur one must ask forgiveness from the people around him and this is also why almost all the mitzvoth given to Bnei Yisrael following their receiving of the Torah at Sinai, have to do with “bein adam lechavero”.

There is no greater institution today in the Jewish world which demonstrates dedication and devotion to “bein adam lechavero” more than TZAHAL. Your service in TZAHAL and that of your comrades therefore represent the means of rebuilding a world that can only get closer to understanding God.

Shabbat Shalom

With love and admiration

Abba

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