web analytics
September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Night of the Living Dead

zombie

Back in the lousy old days when I was writing trashy movies in Hollywood, horror films like “Halloween,” and the spooky zombie movie, “The Night of the Living Dead,” became classics. To take advantage of the craze, a friend and I sat down for a week and knocked out at script for a horror film that we sold for a fast $100,000. It was about a whacko kid who comes home after 15 years in a loony farm, only to discover that a modern shopping mall has been built where his house once stood. Taking up residence in a storage room, he minds his own business till a group of spaced-out high schoolers take over the mall for a wild graduation party. Thinking they have come to evict him from his home, the psycho kid goes after them, one by one, killing them in all sorts of fun and gruesomely scary ways.

Why am I telling you this? Because it reminds me of what happened during the 40 years the Jews were wandering in the Sinai wilderness after Hashem decreed that the entire generation of men would die by a plague for not wanting to journey on to the Land of Israel. It all started when the Spies, the leaders of the tribes, came back with their demoralizing report about the pitfalls of living in the Holy Land. That happened on the ninth day of Av – Tisha B’Av. That first year, 15,000 of the males were stricken (the women weren’t part of the harsh decree because, unlike the men, all of them wanted to enter the Land, along with the children.) The next year, when the ninth of Av came along, Moshe told all the men to enter a mass grave at nightfall. When the morning sun rose, the plague had killed 15,000. And so it was, every ninth of Av, the men would enter the mass grave for the night and another 15,000 would perish by the morning. The night of the living zombies. 15,000 men for 40 years, for a total of 600,000. In the 40th year, the remaining men of the generation entered the mass grave on the ninth of Av, but nothing happened. They remained there through the 10th, then through the 11th of the month, waiting for the plague to strike. Finally, on the 15th of the month, they realized that nothing was going to happen. The decree of the plague had ended! So they climbed joyously up out of the grave. This was on Tu B’Av, and the day has been a festive holiday ever since.

In a sense, from the moment the decree of punishment was pronounced, the generation of men who didn’t want to live in Israel were goners. In a sense they were like zombies, still living but already dead. Or already dead, but still living. Yes, they had health spas, and country clubs with tennis courts and swimming pools; they enjoyed the manna that was delivered fresh to their tents every morning, along with the latest edition of the JewishWilderness Press; they all belonged to Jewish Federations and temples and synagogues of every taste and flavor – in short, they had the best Jewish life there could be in the wilderness, filled with jam-packed yeshivas which were miraculously air-conditioned by the Clouds of Glory – but with the decree of death hanging over their heads, they were all like zombies, going through the motions of living but far away from the real thing.

The Gaon of Vilna explains that the Jewish People in exile are like “a body without a soul.”

“Exile to outside the Land of Israel is a grave. Worms surround us there, and we do not have the power to save ourselves. They, the idol worshippers, they devour our flesh. In every place, there were great yeshivot, until the body decayed, and the bones scattered, again and again. Yet always, some bones still existed, the Torah scholars of the nation, the pillars of the body – until even these bones rotted, and there only remained a rancid waste which disintegrated into dust – our life turned into dust” (Likutei HaGra, end of “Safra D’Tzniuta”).

The Gaon’s teaching follows the prophet Ezekiel who proclaimed, in his famous prophecy of the Valley of Bones, that the wilderness of galut is a grave. Only in our return to the Land of Israel do our scattered bones come to life. Only in the Land of Israel are the Jewish People really alive, as King David said (Tehillim, 27), “I always believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the Land of the Living.” In Eretz Yisrael. Outside the Land of Israel, we are like zombies, as the Zohar remarks on the verse, “To give breath (a soul) to the nation upon it” – “Only in the Land of Israel does the Jewish Nation have its soul.” Not in chutz l‘aretz.

On Tu B’Av, the plague ended because a brave new generation was poised to finally enter Eretz Yisrael.

Happy Tu B’Av!

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." For the past several years, he has written a popular and controversial blog at Arutz 7. A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon. The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of The Jewish Press


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Night of the Living Dead”

  1. Liad Bar-el says:

    Them bones are gona rise again!
    This Tu’BAv week end my wife and I were in the Spa Club/Oasis at the Dead Sea. Moshe Baker put on a musical program which was very well done. I also noticed that he had Florsheim shoes.:-)
    After this, Dimona Blacks, featuring Mose Brown and his Noxzema sunburn beach boys put on a musical.:-)
    All in all, it was a week end of guarding my eyes and my soul. One day in Jerusalem is better than one week elsewhere, IMO.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tzvi Fishman, author of the Jewish Press blog Felafel on Rye and author of more than a dozen books.
Current Top Story
Gidon Saar Resignation Announcement
Minister Gidon Saar Unexpectedly Announces Resignation
Latest Blogs Stories
Doug Goldstein

Why some countries are more economically successful than others? Tune in for the answer…

ethics

If not scared by God be scared by man; Hopefully ethics will integrate into lives for proper reasons

rgds

Smear campaigns by people with agendas other than justice do not faze him; He does what is right.

Even Muslims -- including a number of groups one might consider to be quite radical -- are distancing themselves from ISIS and declaring the group to be apostate.

Countries like Turkey, Europe and even the US have proven fertile ground for recruiting terrorists

How many times have you heard anti-semites spew words like Israel are Nazis, or what you are doing to the Arabs is worse that what the Nazis did to the Jews?!…

My blog, Israpundit, was hacked, and I had to move to a new domain…

There’s much confusion about the definition of Daas Torah; simply put it means the wisdom of Torah.

We’ll never be able to negotiate a true, lasting peace with the Arabs.Their aim is our destruction.

Now I live in a country where every shop in the food court is kosher! I can have anything I want!

Pashkevil: “Come out today and battle the Zionist Amalek and all the traitors in Nahal Haredi…”

Jordan: Only M.E. country with no historical basis and ruled by occupiers placed by European powers.

Why is an IRA a worthwhile account for retirement? And how can you use it to the best advantage?

Like the fighter pilot’s letter, I wonder if certain units are simply too sensitive to allow certain leftwingers to serve in, and to entrust in their hands the security of our country and our lives.

There is only one thing more tragic than experiencing a terror attack, and that is allowing those who attacked you to do it again!

Smuggling Gazans into Europe is cheaper than fighting with Gaza, and then rebuilding all the destruction.

This week’s parsha offers a new covenant; a covenant that speaks to national life unlike any other

More Articles from Tzvi Fishman

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/felafel-on-rye/night-of-the-living-dead/2012/08/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: