If the present state of the world can be described in one word it is divisiveness. Each man’s hand is raised against his fellow, and strife, wars and violence leave no country untouched.

The counterbalance to this instability and conflict is unity. The unity of Jews in and through Torah helps dispel the darkness of discord, and brings peace and stability to this sorely troubled earth.

Since the dawn of history, mankind has been embroiled in conflict. Individual quarrels, local strife, border skirmishes, wars — all have been constant ever since more than one man inhabited the earth. Man, it seems, despite his age old quest to live peaceably with his fellow beings, cannot escape the ugly spectre of violence.

Yet, however bad the situation, there was always a glimmer of light, a hope that better times were coming. Peaceful coexistence was an objective never entirely despaired of, the immediate strife an aberration which would pass. Peace could be attained, and some day would.

Today, however, we are witnessing a new phenomenon. The very idea of a peaceful, ordered world is rapidly disappearing. Peace, while not yet entirely abandoned, is regarded more as a utopian ideal than a concrete possibility. People seem to be resigned to the inevitability of conflict, with no solution in sight.

Even more perturbing is the type of conflict we are now witnessing. Previous wars were for definite purposes —however unworthy or illegitimate those purposes may have been. Today we are witness to violence senseless and unreasoning, hating and indiscriminate. On both an individual and international scale — the whole of mankind seems enmeshed in one raging conflagration. No incident in the world, however local or minor, but it spills over into other regions, other interests, other nations. The entire world seems to be interconnected in a mad web of chaos, instability and terror.

The world is teetering on the brink of its very survival. The fragile fabric that comprises civilization as we know it is being ripped, and the world crumbles and falls apart. Divisiveness amongst mankind is rampant — nation against nation, people against people, individual against individual. The only brotherhood between men is, ironically, that they are united in their divisiveness.

These grim truths are apparent to all. But a paralysis has set in, a feeling of hopelessness, an inability to deal with the frightening facts. Powerful nations seem helpless to combat the violence in their own countries, let alone international conflicts. And the individual? If nations are powerless to act, what can a puny individual do? One man’s actions cannot affect the destiny of world events; the world will take its course, and the most each person hopes is that the ensuing turmoil will at least leave him or her a survivor.

Except the Jew. The Jew knows otherwise. The scenario is as gloomy to him as to a non-Jew — except for one vital difference. The Jew believes, knows, that the world has not been left to its own devices. The cosmos and all therein is a creation of G‑d, and He has not withdrawn His hand from His works. If man alone controlled his destiny, then all hope might indeed be forfeit. Reckoned in the purely human perspective, no single individual, no group, can exert much influence on the present break-down of society.

But the human mind is limited in its perceptions. Man, limited by time and space because his is a physical existence, cannot imagine a cause and effect relationship in terms other than the physical. But because our vision is limited, does not mean it is necessarily correct. The spiritual does exist. The link between the spiritual and the physical, man and G‑d, is always in effect, and in the Divine scale, the spiritual is not inferior. Spiritual and material are intertwined, with the spiritual affecting the physical, and the physical acting on the spiritual. To us they appear as two separate sets of forces. In G‑d’s vision, they are one.

Nobody and nothing is insignificant to G‑d. The hearts of kings and monarchs are in His hands, and the humblest peasant and the mightiest potentate are equal before Him. An individual’s actions do count, changes can be made, and no course of events is immutable. Divine cognizance of all actions is made, and their effect is reckoned in the Divine scale, not the human.

Because the physical and spiritual are linked to each other, a spiritual action affects the physical. Every individual can have an impact of incredible consequence, because the power of the spirit is not measured by numbers, or wealth, or weaponry.

This is the mission of the Jew. The task of the Chosen People is to reveal G‑d’s presence in this world. The darkness of hatred and violence that engulfs us can be dispelled, and man can live a life of decency and peace. Every thought, every word, every action consonant with Torah expresses the Jew’s bond to his Creator, kindles one more light to help dispel the darkness that betrays man’s alienation from the Divine. When enough lights have been kindled, they produce an illumination to banish darkness permanently. The Messianic era will have arrived.

One Jew alone can produce light; all Jews together, united, can kindle a flame the light of which will illuminate the entire world. Each Jew is a potential spark of the Infinite. All Jews together are a burning torch whose radiance is a reflection of G‑dliness itself. Unity among Jews is, fittingly enough, the counterbalance to the present divisiveness in the world. This divisiveness, and its resultant chaos and strife, will be nullified in the radiance produced by a Jewry united. This then is the antidote to the instability prevalent today.

But Jews have all the frailties that all men possess. Each
possesses qualities different from another, each is distinguished by differing intelligence, emotions, traits, that combine to make each person unique. Nor are they physically together, living in many different countries, with widely ranging life styles and environments. How are they to be united? There is however, one element which all Jews have in common, and which is uniquely suitable to produce that unity Three thousand years ago, we stood together at Mt. Sinai and received that most precious possession of G‑d — the Torah At that moment we became a people, a nation, and from then on Torah was, and remains, the life blood that has been our source of strength and vitality.

Torah is one, indivisible, and eternal. A Sefer Torah, the Scroll on which the Torah is recorded, comprises many thousands of letters, each separate and distinct from another. Yet, a Sefer Torah is whole and complete — kosher (valid), only when all the letters are present and combine to form one Sefer Torah. Should even one letter be missing or imperfect, the entire Sefer Torah is rendered invalid. This is true unity.

There are six hundred thousand letters in a Sefer Torah. There are, our Sages tell us, six hundred thousand all encompassing souls, from which all Jews’ souls derive. These souls correspond to the letters in the Torah. A missing letter invalidates a Torah scroll; a “missing” Jew renders our people imperfect. Torah unites the letters; they are not separate, unrelated, but part of a larger unity. Torah unites Israel; we are not unrelated, separate individuals when Torah brings us together.

Recently, the Lubavitcher Rebbe Shlita has proposed that all Jews unite through writing a Sefer Torah specifically for this purpose. Each Jewish soul corresponds to a letter in the Torah, for Torah is a Jew’s existence. When Jews participate in the writing of a Sefer Torah by each one purchasing a letter to be written in his or her merit, they are together. Just as Torah unites its letters, so too Torah unites all Jews. It is a unity firm and unshakeable, total and everlasting.

A Sefer Torah has just recently been written for the purpose of uniting Jews. But it had a unique dimension. The participants were not adults, but children, under the ages of Bar/Bas Mitzvah. For children are pure and unsullied by sin, untainted by the vicissitudes of life, the brutality and deceit of the world. Their participation in the writing of a Sefer Torah produces a unity so pure that its effects are incalculable. It is only fitting that they should be in the forefront of uniting the Jewish people.

However, we need not, must not, stop there. All Jews, men and women, young and old, have the privilege to unite together in the immutable, eternal bond of Torah. Now is the time for every Jew to participate in a Sefer Torah by buying a letter to be written in their merit. It is a privilege not to be lightly discarded: a world Sefer Torah — for the Jews of the entire world. There is no limit to the number of Sefer Torahs that may be written to accommodate all Jews. Indeed, there are differing customs in the way a Sefer Torah is written (i.e. in the exact configuration and shape of the letters, but not in the content, that is universal) — Sefardic and Ashkenazic traditions, according to Lurianic custom etc. Each group should write a Sefer Torah according to its unique tradition. And there is no contradiction between many Sefer Torahs and the idea of a Sefer Torah uniting all Jews. For we find that Moshe Rabbeinu, the Law Giver himself, before his death, wrote thirteen Sefer Torahs, one for each of the twelve tribes, and a thirteenth which was kept in the Sanctuary. There is no diminution in the unique nature and oneness of Torah just because more than one Sefer Torah is written. It is still the word of G‑d — one, indivisible, and eternal.

Hence, all Jews, men, women, and children, should buy a letter in one of the Sefer Torahs being currently written for this purpose. One may buy for oneself, one’s family, and for friends and acquaintances. Our Sages have taught that one may do something to benefit another even without his knowledge. Because the privilege of participating is so very great, let no person miss out because they are unaware of this project or cannot, for some reason, purchase a letter themselves (e.g. those Jews living behind the Iron Curtain). Friends and acquaintances may and should buy letters on their behalf.

But man is more than just his body. He is a composite of the physical and the spiritual, body and soul. The body exists for but a limited duration, but the soul is eternal. Within our lifetime we witnessed the most devastating of catastrophes to the Jewish people, the Holocaust. Six million of our fellow Jews perished, and we can never forget them. Their bodies were destroyed but their souls, pure and sanctified, are forever.

Letters in the name and memory of those holy martyrs may be purchased in the Sefer Torahs being written. And not only those who died in the Holocaust, but all who have passed away. They may no longer be physically with us, but their memory will be a burning flame that will never be extinguished.

In conclusion. G‑d has given the Jew the responsibility and privilege of being the torch-bearer of G‑dliness in this world. G‑d, Jew, and Torah effect a unity which transcends all the confines of the corporeal world. Through participating in the writing of a Sefer Torah, a Jew establishes a bond between himself and his fellow, and between Jew and G‑d, that is as immutable and eternal as the Torah, the word of G‑d, itself. Such unity is the counter balance to the present divisiveness and instability of the world. It is the true preparation to that great and awesome day when all peoples will recognize that all is G‑dliness, the day when “the L‑rd will be One and His Name One.”