Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Which Dog is the Dog? The Houses of Lavan: Part 2

have been thinking all day about Simple Jew's comment to my previous entry about Monsieur Sarkozy. I believe that I have come up with an answer. Actually this has been a thinking process going through my head during the last three weeks since my article about the Houses of Lavan, dealing with the sub-prime mortgage catastrophe in the the USA. Why has this happened? Have not American Jews been keeping mitzvot with great fervor in America. Surely the Baal Teshuvah movement in America should have protected American Jews and their investments in their homes. The cost of parochial or day school education has skyrocketed. The rising value on their homes and some creative financing on mortgages have been a vital source for paying for a G-d fearing education for one's children along with paying for the secular education of everyone else's child through state property taxes. Except in Wisconsin no one gets a break on taxes simply because one has children in private schools. Moving to Milwaukee might solve a problem or two if every Jew who wanted to give their children a Torah education could move there.

As reported on Mystical Paths Jews who have mortgaged their homes to the hilt for holy purposes are being hurt by this. Is there something in their service to G-d which may need improvement which could have lead to this? Even if their service is holy and wholly wonderful is there potentially something that G-d wants that they have heretofore have not been able to deliver?

The Talmud in two places in Sotah and in Sanhedrin explicitly says that the face of this last generation before Mashiach comes and into which Mashiach comes will have the "face of a dog". This can mean many things, and not all of them are bad. While Chazal (the Sages of the Ages) heaps much scorn on people who behave like dogs, it must be remembered that one of the heroes of Jewish History who resisted tremendous temptation to be like ten of his comrades had the name "Dog". He of course was Kalev (Caleb means dog) ben Yefunah. In Hebrew that would be כלב בן יפונה. Two things need to be remembered about Kalev ben Yefunah with regards to his resistance against the pervasive plot of ten of his comrades in the book of Numbers. For one, he did not need a name change to go in and spy out the land. No yuds or any other letter were added to his name to help him resist the pervasive onslaught of his comrades' arguments to continue to learn Torah in the miraculous environment of the desert perpetually living on Mon (daily manna) and under Clouds of Glory. As G-d's Dog he knew that G-d's will was for Klal Yisrael to live in the Land of Israel with all of the incumbent dangers and tribulations that come with fighting wars for and living with G-d in a more natural environment where the supernatural expresses itself within nature and where one only reaps what he sows. Secondly and on a deeper level we see from Numbers 13:22 that only Kalev went into Hevron to pray at the Cave of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs. He risked his life at the hands of the three giants, Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, who lived there. What was so important that he would place himself in such a dangerous situation knowingly. Rashi tells us that he wanted to protect himself from the spies evil counsel. Of course this is true, but on a deeper level he was praying on behalf of Klal Yisrael that at the end of days we who love the Land of Israel, his distant spiritual descendants, will not fall into the trap of falling into the evil counsel of Mankind and the Erev Rav that Chevron is expendable in order to bring World Peace. We will feel the pain of our Chaver (the root of the word Chevron), our fellow Jew, when the nations of the world seek to expel him from there. We will not take comfort with studying Torah in the "Desert" without Mashiach by ignoring the plight of our fellow Jew in Chevron as Esau slyly instructs his Erev Rav representatives to expel Jews from their homes.

This is a work in progress. Bli neder I will continue this essay as time allows. I am sorry for all the delay, but I have been very sick. Until yesterday I was not even able to answer my email. Baruch HaShem I am doing better now.

23 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Refuah Shleimah!

9/05/2007 2:29 PM  
Blogger Hershel said...

I am distressed to hear that you have been so ill. May HaShem give you a Refuah Shleimah, Refuas Hanefesh U'Refuas Haguf, and this Rosh HaShonoh, with strength and vigor, go out and greet the most important Guest of the Year, Hakodosh Boruch Hu, Melech Malchei hamelachim. In this zechus, we will ALL join to greet Moshiach Tzidkeinu bekorev mammash!

9/05/2007 3:39 PM  
Anonymous Moshe Meir said...

R' Dov: Refuah Shlemah! May the upcoming year be full of good health, happiness, and parnassah for all Am Yisrael and may we experience the Geulah Shleimah right away!

9/05/2007 7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Refuah Shleimah! and L'eshana Tova Tikatev vetechatem!

9/05/2007 9:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you wre saying too much.... so Hashem put the brakes on you and shut you up for a while. (Just guessing) A yeridah letzorich aliyah.......Refuah shleimah - may you have a sweet new year and looking forward to more posts.

9/05/2007 9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BS"D

Something very troublesome is recurring here with greater and greater frequency. A misfortune befalls Jewish Americans and those in Eretz Yisroel (specifically this blog's Director) point the finger and say "See! See! Hashem is punishing you for not making aliya"...and/or hurling an accustation of Jewish Americans being indifferent to Jewish suffering in the Holy Land."

Reduced to its most basic components this judgemental/accusatory mind set is founded upon the belief that Holy Land based Jews are safe and righteous versus Jewish Americans being in the path of doom and somehow lacking Spiritually.

Words cannot express how deluded such a mind set is..nor can words express how self infatuated, self righteous and condescending such an attitude is. It goes hand in hand with the famous "we are the 'REAL' Jews" myth that each Orthodox Jewish camp imagines itself to be. The word for all this is conceit.

Satmar and Lubavitch chose not to jump on board with either Zionism and/or Religious Zionism. When asked if one should make aliya the Rebbe replied "Make this place (one's present location) Eretz Yisroel". Had the Rebbe chosen to make a change of address then tens of thousands of his followers would have followed suit. Are we to fault the Rebbe too!...for choosing to be a Jew based in America?

More importantly the question is not "What's 'wrong' with the Rebbe that he never made 'aliya'"?

The question actually is: "What's wrong with circumstances in the Holy Land that it never merited to have the Rebbe come to it?"

A truly Holy Land requires a Holy foundation. Zionism past and present never provided nor even tried to acquire that. In fact Zionism opted to squash Torah Judaism for the political threat it was perceived to be since 1948.

This entire "you're doomed and were saved" mindset has zero basis in Torah.

This blog's Director is pushing an "aliya" agenda. Entirely his right to do so. But please do not put tallis and t'fillin on it.

As the old Yiddish saying goes...if you choose to be "machmeer"...just be certain that it does not devolve to "mach deer"

Rabbi Moshe Yess

9/06/2007 2:01 AM  
Anonymous Neshama said...

Oh my, I second everyone's good wishes for your returning strength, and especially what Hershel wrote - ad meah v'esrim.

K'siva V'Chasima Tova

9/06/2007 2:31 AM  
Blogger Dov Bar-Leib said...

Dear Moshe:

I believe that comment deserves a response. No where in any of my recent posts have I said that Jews in America need to make Aliyah right now. I have said that they need to feel our pain, and I have said that they can no longer use the value of their homes to prosper while Jews in Eretz Yisrael are losing their homes. This cannot continue especially since Jews in Eretz Yisrael are losing their homes because of a policy pushed by the present President to keep America prospering and to keep home values rising.

I am fully aware that a good percentage of Jews in the Diaspora will come only after Mashiach has set up G-d's Kingdom. They are not to be faulted for making this decision based on their individual extenuating circumstances. Poverty and proper Chinuch for teens may under most opinions be possible reasons for not making full fledged Aliyah at this time. It is a decision not to be taken lightly. On the other hand, it must be remembered that as of Pesach 5767 (this past April) G-d has now fully remembered Ya'akov, and therefore he favors Eretz Yisrael over Chul (outside EY) if the gentile nations push the Jews living here into suicidal corners. The fact that Jews outside EY want to prosper, I believe, will not prevent the payback for backing us into a corner from occurring. This blog I believe has a purpose to warn Jews that the status quo that has existed since the destruction of the Temples is now changing and pretty quickly too. Floods in Texas and apocalyptic fires in Greece are now becoming the norm as Jews in Eretz Yisrael lose their homes. If you cannot jump the ship of Chul (outside EY) at this time, at least be forewarned and prepared for all aspect of geulah.

9/06/2007 11:15 AM  
Blogger Dov Bar-Leib said...

I forgot to mention a couple things. First of all, l'shanah tovah vetikataivu vetichataimu to all readers of this blog. Secondly, if you have extenuating circumstances which prevent you from leaving the houses of Lavan right now, rent if you can, and buy a house here if you have the funds. File papers for Aliyah, but do not move until your extenuating circumstances no longer block your path to move here. G-d bless you all in your endeavors. Pray for us here, and we will pray for you there.

9/06/2007 12:05 PM  
Blogger Dov Bar-Leib said...

Dear Heavens! and Moshe:

I forgot to mention a third thing. The sanctity of Eretz Yisrael is not depreciated by our low-life Erev Rav leaders. They may try as hard as they might, but Eretz Yisrael's kedusha is not lowered by their governance. As a matter of fact, the reward for living under their despotic rule with Torah and mitzvot here in the Holy Land is made greater by the measure of how much we suffer because of their governnance. According to Shimon bar Yochai, we enter and live with Torah, in Eretz Yisrael, to attain Olam Haba with pain and agony. Does it not make sense that the greater the agony one goes through for Torah in Eretz Yisrael, the greater the reward in Olam Haba? L'shanah tovah!!

9/06/2007 12:37 PM  
Anonymous simplejew said...

dear dov,

wishing you a full refuah. may we welcome the new year together with the king MOSHIACH. by the way, once we are in Eretz Israel i do hope our families will meet :), hopefully soon.

back to the point of Jews in israel vs Jews in america.... i think moshe yess misinterprets some of what you are saying. separated by lands and oceans i believe the main goal is to stay connected on the concious level. to be aware of each others' pain and hardships. unfortunately we are not there yet. far from it. clue after clue, warning after warning. we still don't get it. i worry that when Hashem decides to put the dots close enough together so that we could finally make a connection, the message (the truth) will be to strong for us to handle. more so by that time we will be battered out of our hope. G-d forbid.
in the same light, i believe that no matter where jews live they are still in galut. and if jews in israel believe otherwise, they are in denial. the Holy Land of Israel does not give jews who live there an immunity from galut. recent "education crises" for haredi community proves my point. they all thought that it was just a matter of living in the right place.... the expulsion is even more of an example. and so on. we are all in the same boat, which at this stage is sinking. the sooner we realise it the better.

like i said before, i hope to see soon with the coming of MOSHIACH!!!

9/06/2007 4:20 PM  
Blogger Rosalie and David said...

Right on Dov. Its a simple equation. Eretz Yisrael=More Mitzvot, specifically mitzvot that are Tzibur based. As for the Rebbe I think it is very tough to understand him the way Moshe wants to. Chasidut always puts the emphasis on the individual. Like each Jew being Moshiach or a each place being like Eretz Yisrael. He's right these sayings go like that, but they are referring to different aspects of avodat Hashem. No one should mistaken the fact that Eretz Yisrael is the Bayit of Am Yisrael and if anyone thinks the Rebbe held not like this I think they should look more into his sichot. Remember he did say Jews should settle all of Yehuda and the Shomron. That would imply more Jews coming here and helping out with that.

9/06/2007 5:29 PM  
Anonymous josh said...

Shana Tova and Refuah Shleimah.

9/07/2007 12:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By reading this weeks Haftarah, we can see some interesting parallels to Yeshayahu's prophecy of the time of geula and that of the times we are living in today. As we all know, this past Monday,Great Britain completed it's massive pullout of the southern Iraqi city of Basra (Botzrah). Here is the Yeshayahu:

63: 1 'Who is this that cometh from Edom, with crimsoned garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in his apparel, stately in the greatness of his strength?'--' I that speak in victory, mighty to save.'--

2 'Wherefore is Thine apparel red, and Thy garments like his that treadeth in the winevat?'--

3 'I have trodden the winepress alone, and of the peoples there was no man with Me; yea, I trod them in Mine anger, and trampled them in My fury; and their lifeblood is dashed against My garments, and I have stained all My raiment.

4 For the day of vengeance that was in My heart, and My year of redemption are come.

9/09/2007 6:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

R' Dov: Refuah Shlemah!

After visiting Israel for one month in july/august this year, I came back with so many questions and doubts (amalek), visited some museums like Hertzl, Palmach, and came out with some pride and with some sorrow seeing that there is no mention of G_d, Torah Learning, Yeshivot or any spiritual matters.
It was a little shocking to see that.

When I went to the Shul on Shabat in the city where I was staying, nobody noticed that in a small shul of less than 20 people (a Koilel), there was someone "new" to at least asking where are you from?, on the street back home, I was the only one greeting Shabat Shalom...

I dont know what is happening, the only real bond I made was when I planted a tree in Modiin, smelling the wet land of Israel, and performing this Mitzva of planting a tree with my own dirty hands was the best experience I had.

In summary, as a golah jew, I saw a social crisis in Israel, too many people worried only on financial matters, not very enthusiastic observant jews, and a modern, western growing country.

Maybe my post has nothing to do with your blog, or maybe it does, I hope that soon we can see erradicated all signs of Sinat Chinam among us.

9/10/2007 7:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MGC:

Back to our earlier discussion. You are missing the point. You can quote sources, I can quote sources, someone else can quote sources, but we are still not supposed to push the redemption. Yes, we are supposed to long for Zion. But when it is not in Hashem's plan, we are prevented from all settling in Israel, and especially in a peaceful manner. The yearning must be there, but if we were all supposed to keep forcing our way back, then following Bar Kochba's rebellion, we would have all rushed the gates a yet again, much to our detriment. Your sources are correct, people who oppose you also believe in their sources.

So the point is this: there is a phenomenon called the True Believer. This does not indicate a true believer in Judaism or Hashem, but rather it indicates an individual who needs to be part of a mass movement with a Paradise ending and they are willing to do almost anything to get their paradisical ending ASAP. The reasons for this phenomenon are many, but they include the frustration with oneself, the opportunity to take glory in the success of the group (or alternatively not to take individual blame if the entire group fails), etc... There is a fine line between well adjusted people who want to perform the mitzva of living in Israel and look forward to the redemption, and the true believer who has an inner need to belong to such a movement. Religious movements often encompass individuals with such a mentality. Although Judaism is correct and Hamas is evil, the same personality type (the True Believer) can be found in certain individuals in both the Hamas and the (must make Aliyah or suffer God's wrath) movements. In 1930's Germany, Hitler's (mach shemo) best recruits were the Communist True Believers who had seen their movement conquered by him and desperately needed a new movement to follow, even if the movement was going in the opposite direction. Continuing to quote pick quotes from individuals that are Torah based and suit your purposes, while totally ignoring other aspects of the Torah and believing that other ways of viewing a situation (other than yours) are twisted or incorrect, are red flag signs of a true believer. I can actually see your side of things and I can appreciate your understanding of the situation. It is the attitude behind the response that is questionable. If you want to understand the issue further, read the True Believer by Eric Hoffer.

Zeev

9/10/2007 4:40 PM  
Anonymous simplejew said...

dear zeev,

perhaps there is a source that suggest that we should not be "pushing" redemption, instead "yearn" for it. yet, that doesn't mean it is relevent in our times.
i don't know your personal circumstances, but i know people who need the redemption yesterday, last year, and at least some 10000 two years ago. for someone to suggest to them that they must sit and "yearn" for redemption is in my opinion chutzpah. there are young children who lost their parents. there are parents who buried their children. there are people who suffer day after day from illnesses and their families watch them helplessly. more and more children are lost to nonsense. couple struggle to stay together. substance abuse is not just a goyshe problem anymore. jews are attacked and some killed because they are jews. expulsion and everything that comes with it. 2 suicides in america's frum community just in the past two weeks!!!!! the list can be endless. so to say that these people and us for that matter should just patiently "yearn" for redemption is unreasonable to say the least.
more so, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, gave specific instraction (which are totally ignored by most people) that everything we do should have one purpose and that redemption. all of our energy should be poured into welcoming the King. yearning alone just won't do the job.
lastly, we all know of the example of great Moshe Rabbeinu who begged Hashem to let him enter Eretz Israel. the midrash says that is he would have only asked once more his wish would have been granted. we can learn from that that some pushing pays off. we can also learn it from our children :).
so i say keep pushing!!!
have a good new year!
Moshiach NOW!!!

kind regards

9/11/2007 3:05 AM  
Anonymous Neshama said...

Hershel you said it best, allow me to tack on my 'ditto' for everything you wrote, and add: ad meah v’esrim.

Why are some of the comments so antagonistic toward R' Dov and his viewpoints? We like to read what he has to say.

What is so wrong with advocating lovingly about making Eretz Yisrael your home? After all, it's our gift from Hashem, our Holy Eretz Yisrael, a Land of Chalav V"Dvash! Who wouldn't want to live in and gaze on Her. I think all Jews (at their pintele yid level) want to live there, but some are letting politics get in the way. Shame.

We know what happened to "the Spies." Moshe Rabbenu would have been our Moshiach! And Amalek works to ‘cool off’ the righteous passion of the Jew.

If someone owns a precious gem, he will want to gaze at it whenever he can, because it creates a powerful feeling of awe and love. So it is with our Eretz Yisrael. It is a precious gem that attracts the best of the best.

Yes, we know The Rebbe said: "make ‘here’ like Eretz Yisrael," and that in the future Har HaBayit will be the Holy of Holies, Yerushalayim will be like Har HaBayit, Israel like Yerushalayim, and the rest of the world like Israel. Personally, I would rather be where my heart is, than somewhere else wishing to be there.

There are many prophecies about these days (varying in intensity) about how trouble (to put it mildly) will come to the whole world but Israel is under the watchful eyes of Hashem from the beginning of the year until the end of the year.

Well, thank you for allowing me to express myself - and in addition to this, send my greetings of K'siva V'Chasima Tova to all here. Hopefully in this HaShana Haba all Jews will see the new light that comes down on erev Rosh HaShana and desire to come make Eretz Yisrael their home.

9/11/2007 3:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where's personal responsibility? Jews are victims for taking bad advise instead of using the wits and common sense Hashem gave? Maybe there are people who should look at how extravagantly they are actually living, and how much of that is necessary or not or if it is better used elsewhere. We excuse so many things for supposedly being mitzvot, then when Hashem gives wake up calls and takes away our pleasures to show us what's actually important, we whine and blame always the goyim.

9/11/2007 1:24 PM  
Blogger Rosalie and David said...

There is a Teshuvah written by the Tsitz Eliezer about the halachic ramifications of having a medina. The redemptive process unfolds by opening up the opportunity to do mitzvot that were not there for over two thousand years. I don't remember the number and in which volume this teshuvah exist although I think it is in volume 7 towards 3/4 away through. I will attempt to locate it. It is fascinating and I hope will clarify some of the debate which has unfolded here.

9/11/2007 4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dov,
Briefly, subprime mortgages are the tip of the iceberg. The financial economy in America has produced tremendous over-investment in commercial sectors. So all of America is beseiged by sparkling, new strip development, uber-specialized retail, dining, etc. and as you may have noted from your own visit not so long ago, there are almost no corners of the country left untouched. Even towns with populations less than 50,000 have been invaded by a corporate presence far beyond Wal-Mart.

I wish you refuah shleimah and l'shana tova vetikataivu vetichataimu to all. Sourcing from the Rambam, may we all simply make the decision to be tzadikkim.

HaSefaradi

9/11/2007 7:38 PM  
Anonymous MGC said...

Zeev,

I'm somewhat familiar with the phenomenon termed "true believer". This is why our foremost leader Moshe is not mentioned even once in the entire Hagadah Shel Pesach lest some true believer cling too much to a human leader and not to our creator. Giving too much credence to any tzadik or movement may border on idolatry and this is why as Moshe prepared to undertake one of humankind's greatest undertakings (exodus) he made sure to carry close to himself the bones of Joseph, the forerunner of all malchei yisroel, whose main challenges lay in the area of how to deal with foreign G-ds (idolatry). Idol worshippers by
default are true believers.

The tribe of Levi which I thank Gd am a direct descendent of, were particularly sensitive to this concept. They never blindly followed the masses. They didn't fall for the Golden calf which the masses needed desperately to hold on to and they weren't even counted together with the rest of the Jewish People. They were able to take responsibility for their actions independent of any organized framework.

Its interesting to note that the great Rabbi Akiva ben Yosef (as in Moshiach ben Yosef),the General of Bar Kochva, who worked so hard in probably the mightiest national struggle, suffered his downfall at the same time when a group was being formed (early Christians) who most blatantly blurred the borders between a human being and Gd. (true believers at its height)

Either way, we don't seem to have much of an argument, although I'd much rather term it "fake believers", but this is just terminology.

If your agenda is honestly one for true individuality where everyone should do things according to their ethical/moral standards and to be accounatable to that end,(as in the times of the shoftim-ain melech beyisroel ish kol hayoshor beenov yaaseh, there was no need for a king since all tried doing the right thing) then more power to you. This is certainly a most
novel idea that we should all at worst respect and at best emulate. And although there is a place in Judiasm for community framework, (i.e al tifrosh min hatzibur), certainly the individual can achieve way higher heights leaving the crowd in the dust. However, What stikes me odd is since, after all, most walks of Judiasm are based on organization, which naturally come with huge shortcomings, why are you picking on the specific organizations and people that lean towards stressing aliya as dangerously resembling the true believer attitude more than all groups out there that are working fanatically to bring the
redemption?

For example, someone belonging to the fringe group within Chabad who need a "person" or to the Litfish/Yeshivish camp who clings to the Rosh Yeshiva and believes he is bringing the Moshiach by praying and occupying themselves with many other impractical excercises may be at greater risk. They may actually be doing this because of a need to be part of a mass movement and don't have to take personal responsibility for failure. The same can apply to Satmar who believe that only by
blotting out the names of zionists will we be worthy of Moshiach.

If you are saying that all organizations should be obliterated then congratulations on your theory. I love the idea. But something tells me there is a reason why Hashem made most people needy of some sort of system. Perhaps you were turned off, and rightfully so, by your personal, if any, experience with someone or a group that pushed aliya and weren't consistant in other mitzvot, especially with tikun hamidot/bain adam lachaveiro. Unfortunately individuals within groups not living up to their ideals is prevalent. As for me, (striving to be a balanced individual), I wish I can somehow effect positive changes towards this end.

Nevertheless, as long as we don't play Gd one must do as one understands and NO, not everyone has credible sources! The fact that you are overly zealous not to have any semblence to "true believers", does not create a source in it of itself.

Although you may not appreciate me bringing any sources (since according to you all sources are equally valid as invalid since you are so desperately looking for balance) nevertheless I'm taking the liberty in requoting your eronious source "not to push the redemption", which Rashi explains (on one of the shvuos) means not to pray too hard for the redemption. Do you also keep this in mind when you pray? Obviously this needs explanation which I don't think you'll appreciate over here.

Either way, shame on you (or at least your laziness) for not delving more into original sources and making away with all sources by saying that everyone can find a source for themselves.

In your first message you quoted 4 sources.

A: Not to push

B: Moshiachs Role
A & B we already hashed out.

C: The land spitting us out.
As scary as this sounds, this has no relevance on the decision to live there. For even Jeremiah the prophet who knew for certain of the imminent "spitting of the land", did not and was not allowed to invalidate the mitzva even in such a time where there is only a short period of time left. And, furthermore, the spittig of the land comes from specific transgressions that are related to "toeva" and mitzvot directly concerning the land which today at least the majority abides by this and certainly with minimal effort and time, if we would only stop blogging, we can easily rectify.

d: Direct communication through Prophecy to return
I believe I addressed this at the end of my tangent in my first correspondence.

As much as you're concerned, not so much with my content, but with my attitude behind it I'm at least equally concerned, not so much with your content, but with your motivation behind it. (Just as a precaution only and I'm not jumping to conclusions about you). One can selectively talk about being overly careful from becoming a "fake believer", yet falling into the trap of cooling off the message behind the written and oral Torah. When someone talks of "sources for both sides" and never being certain about anything (safek=gematriah AMALEK) that is a red flag sign of our most bitter enemy and prevents the completion of the throne and name of Hashem. (It's interesting to note the 1st Baal Haturim in Ki Sovo talks about one of the characteristics of Amalek preventing the Jewish people from returning to Eretz Yisroel) There is a wide gap between being sure of the basics and being a true believer.

Just curious, concerning Rabbi Akiva, our prime source of Oral Torah, who was Bar Kochva's right hand man, what's your comment, if any, on his status as a true/fake believer?!

P.S. I am not at all in agreement with your assertion that individuals of Hamas are more at risk of the true believer syndrome. Quite the contrary, however, I won't get specific lest they glean any hints or encouragement from us.

Shana Tova,
MGC

9/12/2007 5:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Simple Jew:

I am with you 100%. I am all for Aliyah, Maschiach now and all that is promised in the Torah. I am just wary of a few people who fit the True Believer sterotype that I wrote about earlier. They are dogmatic, inflexible and unable to see anyone else's opinion. They speak in platitudes and leave out parts of scenarios that don't fit their purpose. They lack critical thinking.

Clearly, Jews throughout the history of the diaspora have longed for Maschiach and wanted to see the poor taken care of, the sick healed and eventually their dead loved ones arise again to life. I am no different, but I am not 100% sure that by rushing the gates of Eretz Yisroel, Mashiach will come immediately. Yearnng Jews in the past faced barriers that prevented them from entering Eretz Yisroel. It was obviously not Hashem's will for them to enter en mass at the time. After all, we were sent into exile by Hashem in the first place. Today, even though we are in the final days, there are clearly obstacles to living in Israel, and certainly living in Israel in peace.

The sin of the spies simply does not apply today because there is no prophecy. Hashem has chosen "a people who are not a people" over us; meaning that a bunch of ragtag terrorists who are not really a nation are gaining the advantage over the Jews in Israel. There are other such circumstances that should cause people to realize that the coming of Maschiach is not necessarily correlated to how many Jews are in Israel at any given time. Prior to the establishment of the State of Israel, the vaste majority of the religious Jews were against, and not for, the State of Israel. It was the secular Jews who were primarily for the establishment of the State. If Aliyah was a religious obligation and responsibility, it is difficult to imagine why so many Jews of yester-year were against it. Were they all wrong and the religious Zionists of today completely correct, black and white, no room for debate?

What we do know is that the coming of Maschiach is correlated to the Jews doing Mitzvot. And yet there are certain people who dogmatically talk about the sin of the spies and other uncertainties as if they were certainties.

So you, Simple Jew, are right on. I am pro-Aliyah, pro-mitvah and, pro-Maschiach and pro-Jewish people. But I don't think that everybody who does not run to Israel immediately is evading their responsibility.

But for my partner in debate, the above is not enough. Because I don't see things in black and white and throw platitudes in people's faces, my thinking is thought to be twisted and my mindset is one of a love-hate relationship with Israel and aliyah.

That was my only point. But with you, I am with you 100%

Zeev

9/12/2007 6:23 AM  

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