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Monday, May 16, 2022 - 15 Iyyar 5782
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Crime Prevention

It could happen to your laptop. Sophisticated cyber-crime rings spread over the planet “capture” personal computers and control them from a distance, even rent them out to the highest bidder. They steal identities and commit their crimes in the guise of innocent citizens, and have even succeeded in penetrating large corporations and holding their networks hostage.

The internet of today is like the Wild West or the wastelands of Chicago in the 1920s.  To capture cyber-criminals and bring them to justice over a span of thousands of miles, often in countries where such activities are not illegal, is well-nigh impossible, internet security experts agree.


From a spiritual perspective, we also suffer from a case of “identity theft.” The source of all morality, truth and justice in this world is the Torah. From the moment the Torah was given on Mount Sinai, we were also given the freedom to choose between good and evil. Impostors of all stripes have “borrowed” concepts from the Torah and used them as a cover to perpetrate all manner of evil acts. They use the power of truth to prop up the falsehood. Many of the philosophies, -isms and religions that have come and gone over the centuries contain some kernel of truth from the Torah. This represents a “capturing” of the powers of good to serve the forces of evil.

This tragic circumstance is discussed a great deal in Chassidic literature, and is referred to as “the Shechinah in exile.” Sparks of holiness are kept captive by the forces of impurity.

Law enforcement has no solution to the problem. They can’t find a way to prevent the proliferation of online crime. However, Chassidic teachings do have the solution. We need to find a way to identify the evil before it can take over. In Chassidic teachings this process is called “refining the sparks.” Every time we do a mitzvah, we release one of those sparks of holiness hidden and held captive in creation. Once we’ve done that, the evil has no source of life and disappears on its own, as we say in the High Holiday prayers: “The evil will dissipate like smoke.”

There is much more to learn about this process, but the most important point is that every mitzvah that we do, small as it may be, releases sparks of holiness from captivity and destroys the forces of evil. We are already at the end of this process of refinement. The reign of evil is at its end. Now all that remains for us is to “open our eyes” and greet Moshiach in actuality.



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