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Battling the Siege-Battling Helplessness

“All your fortresses are like fig trees with their first ripe fruit; when they are shaken, the figs fall into the mouth of the eater. Look at your troops — they are all weaklings. The gates of your land are wide open to your enemies; fire has consumed the bars of your gates. Draw water for the siege, strengthen your defenses! Work the clay, tread the mortar, repair the brickwork (Nachum 3:12-14).”


The Redak and Mahari Kara explain that Nachum is warning the people that they will fail no matter how well they will prepare for the coming siege. The people were warned that they were helpless even before the Siege of Jerusalem began.

It is tempting to believe that we are doing all we can to protect our spiritual lives. Often, as in the verses above, the things on which we rely for security are not what can protect us.

It is important to prepare for the Tenth of Tevet by reviewing our strategies for protecting ourselves from destructive influences, and determine whether they are sufficiently strong to protect us.

We must also devise new strategies to protect ourselves.

The people of Jerusalem felt helpless, which exacerbated the pain of the siege. We should review our growth since last Asarah B’Tevet and use it to develop confidence that we are not completely helpless.

We must also use this time to strengthen our Bitachon.

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