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October 1, 2016 / 28 Elul, 5776
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Luckily, Avraham Wasn’t a Complainer



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Jewish ritual slaughter is complex as it involves techniques that although ancient, are highly technical  to ensure the animal suffers no pain.

Jewish ritual slaughter is complex as it involves techniques that although ancient, are highly technical to ensure the animal suffers no pain.
Photo Credit: Flash 90



A lot of people are complainers. They love to complain. Often, you can spot them in restaurants making a lot of noise. They don’t come to eat. They come to complain. They drive the waiters crazy. First, the steak is too well done. Then it’s too rare. Then they complain that the air conditioner is freezing them to death, and when the waiter sets them up at a new table, there’s so much cigarette smoke in that section, they can’t even breathe.

A lot of people are the same way when it comes to Israel. They’re complainers. They complain about everything in order to justify why they don’t come to live here. I’m not talking about people who have legitimate reasons for not coming, but about the complainers who could come but don’t.

Thankfully, our forefather, Avraham Avinu, wasn’t a complainer. Just imagine what would have been! Jewish history would have been totally different!

AVRAHAM! GET THEE FORTH TO THE LAND THAT I WILL SHOW YOU!’

Which Land is that?”

THE LAND THAT I WILL SHOW YOU.”

I’m not going anywhere till I know where it is.”

DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU’RE TALKING TO?”

Of course I know.”

THEN GET GOING!”

Not until I know.”

TO THE LAND OF CANAAN.”

The Land of Canaan? You’ve got to be joking!”

AM I A JOKER IN YOUR EYES?”

Well, no, of course not. But the Land of Canaan? It’s loaded with mosquitoes!”

MOSQUITOES?”

And swamps!”

YOU’LL DRAIN THE SWAMPS.”

Me?”

YES, AVRAHAM, YOU.”

But there are hookers in Tel Aviv.”

GET THEE FORTH TO THE LAND!”

What about Eilat? It’s loaded with immodest women and preetzut!”

GET THEE FORTH TO THE LAND!”

The apartments don’t have built-in closets.”

GET THEE FORTH TO THE LAND!”

The taxes are murder! That is, if you can even find a job!”

AVRAHAM!”

And the government is trafe! The secular run everything!”

I’M WARNING YOU!”

What about all the missionaries? You want me to be in a place crawling with missionaries?”

AVRAHAM, GET THEE FORTH TO THE LAND!”

But the Canaanites blow up women and children in buses!”

GET THEE FORTH TO THE LAND!”

Face it. You need me here to spread the Torah.”

GET THEE FORTH TO THE LAND!”

GET THEE FORTH TO THE LAND!”

GET THEE FORTH TO THE LAND!”

To get to the point, the real Avraham Avinu packed up his belongings without saying a word and hastened to the Land, even though it was loaded with savage heathens, prostitutes, idol worship, murderers, and rapists, even though there wasn’t one synagogue, kosher butcher, or luxury villa to be found.

Avraham came to Israel without complaining.

As it says, “Avraham believed in Hashem.”

Tzvi Fishman

About the Author: Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture for his novel "Tevye in the Promised Land." A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon. His recent movie "Stories of Rebbe Nachman" The DVD of the movie is available online.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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Tzvi Fishman, author of the Jewish Press blog Felafel on Rye and author of more than a dozen books.
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