Behar: The Two-Sided Contract
The Israeli Government has been searching everywhere for some type of solution to enable its citizens to dwell in peace and security, but nothing seems to work...
by Rabbi Lazer Brody
A driver pulls into his local Lexus dealership in what looks like a jalopy. The beat-up looking car sputters, coughs and comes to an abrupt halt. The irate driver gets out and demands to speak to the dealer and the service manager. "You sold me a lemon," he bellows, "I've had this car for six months and it looks like a Model T from a hundred years ago."
The chief design engineer from Lexus headquarters happened to be visiting this particular dealership at the time. It irked him to see one of his best feats of automobile design and engineering look like a mobile catastrophe. Things like this give the company a bad name. He politely approached the fuming customer and began a subtle interrogation. "Sir, I'm happy to assist you. Tell me, what type of fuel have you been using?"
The driver shrugged and blurted, "Diesel."
The chief engineer said, “If you look in the glove compartment and open up the user's manual, you'll see that this car must have 95 Octane, unleaded only."
"But that's twice the price of diesel!" the customer protested. Knowing already what type of imbecile he was dealing with, the dealer probed further: "And what type of oil do you put in the car?"
Thinking that he would outsmart the chief engineer, the owner of the $95,000 jalopy said, "Yeah, you probably expect me to pay fifteen bucks for a quart of 10/40, but I'm no sucker. I get a quart of Wesson oil at the Safeway for $1.75."
"Sir, a Lexus engine is a little more sophisticated than a French fry. Would you mind opening up your glove compartment?"
The owner opened the glove compartment and a mess of bubble gum wrappers and used tissues fell out. Deep under the chaos, the owner's manual was packed in its original polyethylene wrapping, brand new. The chief engineer smiled and said to the customer, "Sir, if you would have paid attention to this manual, your car would have looked and ran as if it were brand new too."
"But what about my five-year warranty?" the owner protested. "You gave me a guarantee!"
"Turn to page 21 of the manual," said the chief engineer. "Do you see what it says?"
The Lexus 5-year warranty is conditional on the performance of periodic maintenance in an authorized Lexus maintenance center…as well as fulfilling the manufacturer's recommendations concerning the ongoing upkeep of this vehicle, which can be found in Appendix C on page 123...
"Sir, not only have you failed to bring the car in for servicing at the stipulated 1000, 5000 and 10,000 mile-mandatory maintenance dates, but you've been running this vehicle into the ground. It's a Lexus, not a tractor. I'm sorry, but we cannot assume responsibility for the disastrous state of this car. If you would have upheld your end of the warranty, you could have enjoyed many years of enjoyable driving in this luxury vehicle..."
The dealer and the service manager were delighted that the visiting design engineer handled this irate customer so adeptly and were beaming. The inane customer had to say something to salvage a bit of his dignity. He turned to the Lexus head engineer and said, "You think you're so smart, don't you, quoting that manual by heart...
"Sir, I wrote that manual."
Anyone can see what a dimwit the car owner is, running a fine luxury car into the ground in a mere six months. Yet, for years, the Israeli Government has been acting in the very same manner...
In 1948, when an Arab delegate to the UN stood up and said that the Jews have no right to the Land of Israel, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion took the podium and waved a Tanach (Bible) in his hand. "This book is our right to the Land of Israel," he declared.
Since 1948, Israel has fought war after war. Peace and personal security have been ever so hard to attain. The world still denies our right to the Holy Land. Just recently, the UN gave an official ruling that Israel has no right to the Western Wall, claiming there's no connection between the Jewish People and the Temple Mount. What's going on here?
Looking through eyes of emuna, we know that this is neither our hostile neighbors nor the UN – it's Hashem. So what is Hashem doing?
The Torah says:
"And you shall implement My laws and observe My statutes…and you shall dwell on the Land in security." (Leviticus 25:18)
The laws and statutes are the 613 mitzvoth of the Torah. Hashem promises that if we observe them, we'll have peace and security here in the Land of Israel.
By the way, Hashem is the Chief Design Engineer who designed and created the world. He wrote the maintenance manual too – it's called the Torah.
Objectively, is there any difference between the Lexus owner who used Wesson oil on his engine and the Israeli Government that gives official sanctioning to "pride" parades and coed units in the IDF? Three IDF officer cadets, a few short weeks before graduation, were thrown out of officers' school for refusing to listen to women's singing at an assembly. The list of official government violations of Torah is unfortunately much longer.
If we expect to live a life of peace here in our holy homeland, we must fulfill our part of the obligation and heed the owner's manual – our holy Torah. Then, we win Hashem's guarantee for posterity. Don't ever forget – the Torah is a two-sided contract.
Rabbi Lazer Brody was born in Washington, D.C. in 1949. After receiving his bachelor's degree in agriculture from the University of Maryland in 1970, he moved to Israel and joined the Israel Defense Forces regular army, and served in one of the elite special-forces units. He is a decorated combat veteran of two wars and numerous of counter-insurgence and anti-terrorist missions on both sides of Israel's borders.
Rabbi Brody is the English-language editor of Breslev Israel's highly popular English-language website at www.breslev.co.il, and the founder and director of Emuna Outreach. Between Breslov Israel and Emuna Outreach, he devotes his time to spreading emuna and particularly the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslev around the globe.
"Lazer Beams," Rabbi Brody's award-winning daily web journal, has been instrumental in helping tens of thousands of people around the globe find joy and fulfillment in their lives.