As you are know, the situation here is very serious. Last night, at a Tehillim gathering, the Bostoner Rebbe spoke about the terrible danger we are facing. He said the situation is much more serious than we think it is. This is a [blue]Time of Trouble for Yakov.[/blue]
Hence, we must look to our Gedolim for guidance. The [blue]Moetzet Gedolei HaTorah call on us to strengthen ourselves in mitzvos, to better our treatment of other people, to look at the good in every person and not their deficiencies, to strengthen the holiness of our homes, and to stay away from technologies that could lead to sin.[/blue]
We must engage in the craft of our Fathers and [purple]cry[/purple] a great and bitter cry to our Father in Heaven. We must [purple]recognize[/purple] that our sins have brought these troubles, and we must [purple]do teshuva[/purple]. [purple]We ask for the rachamim, mercy of Heaven, and beg Hashem to remove this terrible evil that has beset us[/purple].
[blue][i]Below is a (freely translated) letter signed by Rav Elyashiv and Rav Shteiman, Shlita, Gedelei Hador:[/i][/blue]
Klal Yisrael is suffering terribly, and we have nothing to rely on except our Father in heaven. We have to search our deeds. We don't know the ways of Heaven, but certainly each one of us must search through his deeds.
It is very possible that this is part of what Chazal, refer to as "[green]the birth pangs of Moshiach[/green]". They explain that what a person should do to be saved at the time of Chevlei Moshiach is to put efforts into Torah and acts of kindness.
1- [red]Occupying ourselves with Torah[/red] always is something that we should strengthen, certainly at that time. Each person should try to strengthen his own commitment to be occupied with Torah.
2-We certainly should do everything to see that we at least are not behaving in a way that is the opposite of kindness. That is to say, that we may not bring grief to any individual or to any community.
Chazal tell us that Achavs's generation worshipped idols, but because they were not fragmented, they went to war and won. When there is machlokes (quarrels)this is not the case, may Hashem rescue us! [red]We must try very hard to bring peace to our interpersonal relationships.[/red]
3- We know [red]how beloved our observing Shabbos is to Hashem, [/red]and how much its opposite is despised. Recently efforts have been made to strengthen our resolve to avoid patronizing places that defile Shabbos publicly. This is especially true in the cases where using their services doesn't effect human life in any significant way.
Unfortunately there are some segments of the community that find it hard to give up patronizing places that break Shabbos, and rent their premises. This gives credibility to the idea that Shabbos is not that important to them, and it is enough to keep Shabbos personally, without considering whether or not they are belittling Shabbos.
4- [red]Tznius-dressing modestly [/red]needs a lot of work. This is especially important since it says that when there is no tznius the Shechina- Hashem's protective aspect "Turns aside from you". It is important for us to strengthen ourselves.
We are not coming to say that we know why this suffering has come upon us. Nonetheless, it is certainly true that strengthening ourselves may help turn Hashem's wrath aside.
20 Tammuz, 5766
(Rav) Yosef Shalom Eliashiv
(Rav) Aharon Y. Shteiman