In a dramatic promise, Hashem tells the Jewish People that when they do His will, there will peace without fear, and five (Jews) will pursue one hundred (of the enemy), and one hundred (Jews) will pursue ten thousand (of the enemy) (Vayikra 26:8)
. Rashi questions the mathematical proportions mentioned here. If 5 successfully pursue 100, then 100 should successfully pursue 2,000 (keeping the 1:20 ratio). If 100 pursue 10,000, that changes the ratio to 1:100? If so, the converse should also follow – that one (Jew) should successfully purse one hundred (of the enemy). Why aren’t the ratios the same?
Rashi gives a stirring answer: There is no comparison between a small group that fulfills the words of the Torah and a large group that fulfills the words of the Torah. A larger group of Jews, united in their service of Hashem, has more power per person, simply because they’re part of a larger group. What is considered a large group? An entire community? 100,000 Jews? A million? From the words of the Pasuk and Rashi we see it’s only one hundred!
A group of one hundred Jews, united in learning Torah and doing Mitzvos has super powers! Much is lost when Jews are splintered into tiny groups, small minyanim and even chavrusos learning in a private locale. Unity is not just a nice slogan – it’s an enhancement of our safety and security, our essential well-being.
When it comes to our children, learning in a vibrant Yeshiva with hundreds of fellow talmidim and talmidos, there is a special dimension that is added to their experience. They are part of the `many fulfilling the Torah’ for whom Hashem provides extra powers and strength. Being part of a school `community’ becomes all the more important, as our c
hildren will benefit from the special Brachos and abilities that Hashem bestows upon members of a large, dedicated group of Jews.It has been stated numerous times, that alienation from Yiddishkeit R’L, often begins when one separates him or herself from the community. It follows therefore, especially before Shavuos when our unity brought us the great gift of Torah that our children are to be encouraged to be part of our school community, their local shul community and the community of Klal Yisroel that is committed to Torah and Mitzvos.
When our children grow into adulthood and are ready to be productive, supportive members of the Torah community, we will know we have not only succeeded in producing a Torah committed Jew – we will have linked and assured their future success to that of the entirety of the Jewish People.
With best wishes for a Shabbos of strength and unity,
Rabbi Kalman Baumann