The Parsha begins with the Torahs instructions in situations arising when the Jewish people wage war. “Ki Taitzai Lamilchama Al Oivah- when you go to war against your enemy”. “U’nesano Hashem Elokecha Biyadecha- and Hashem will give him into your hands”. The commentaries explain that the Torah is not only referring to physical battles that the Jewish people wage. As the Ohr Hachaim notes, the Torah is also teaching us a lesson regarding spiritual battles that we all wage. In this seemingly simple verse, the Torah teaches us several very basic and important lessons:
Lesson #1- when you go to war against your enemy. The first thing that we must appreciate is that we have an enemy. Everyone understands that the terrorist is an enemy. The Torah wants us to realize that we also have within us a spiritual enemy. Every human being is created with many different desires, and emotions. We are constantly pulled and drawn towards values or actions that are not consistent with the values and instructions of the Torah. We can’t just ignore them, and hope they will disappear on their own. “ Ki Taitzai Lamilchama”- we are instructed by the Torah to wage a war. We must conscientiously arise and overcome those tendencies and forces that attempt to draw us away from the Torah.
Lesson #2- “ Unesano Hashem Elokecha Beyadecha- and Hashem will give them into your hands”. The Torah is teaching us a most important lesson with these words. Perhaps the greatest cause of underachievement is the lack of confidence in our capabilities. “Unisano Hashem elokecha Beyadecha- and Hashem will give him into your hands”. As the Talmud tells us, “If you try, you will succeed”! Often, people say, “I would like to keep Kosher, keep Shabbos, or study more, but I just cant…” the minute we add that excuse, we are not being honest with ourselves. Hashem promises us that if we try, we will succeed. As the Talmud tells us, Hashem asks for just a small opening; “Open a hole the size of the eye of a needle, I will open a hole the size of the doorways of the temple”. This confidence is of utmost importance in our approach to observance of the Torah. When we want to begin to observe a commandment better, bear in mind that if we try, we will succeed!!!