web analytics
July 8, 2015 / 21 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


“The People Shall Rise Up Like a Lion!”


Aish HaTorah

Aish HaTorah

For several weeks now, my younger children have been gathering tree branches, logs, and wooden crates for their Lag B’Omer bonfires. I don’t know how they do it, but they work like skilled engineers, erecting teepee-shaped towers that rise thirty-feet high into the sky. The heat of the blaze is so intense, I have to be careful that my beard doesn’t catch on fire. The incredible wonder of Lag B’Omer in Israel is like nowhere else in the world. Not only are the hillsides of Jerusalem ablaze with towering bonfires in tribute to the great light of Torah that Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai revealed; not only are the streets of Jerusalem inundated with the smoke of burning embers; but hillsides and streets all over the country are lit up with the fiery love of Torah which kindles in every heart. Not only the streets, my friends, but the smoke of these holy bonfires penetrates into every single apartment and house, like the aroma of incense on the Temple’s altar, penetrating through windows and concrete walls to reveal the inner spirit of every Israeli soul, of every Israeli home, revealing the secret, inner holiness of the entire country of Israel whose National Soul is completely Torah, no matter how secular its surface appearances seem.

This recognition is doubly important today, in the wake of Israel’s expanding secular government, when it seems that the light of Torah is being threatened. Not so. Lag B’Omer, and the holy Zohar, which it commemorates, teach us to look more deeply into the essence of our Nation’s soul.

This is what Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai taught us – to see below the surface appearance to the inner reality, where the light of Israel shines in an eternal, unquenchable blaze.

Rabbi Kook encouraged the learning of the Zohar and said it was precisely its study which would forge a pathway to Redemption in helping us to uncover the great hidden light of Israel (Orot HaTechiya 57; Zohar, Parshat Naso 124B).

Inspired by the light of the Zohar, Rabbi Kook writes: 

Out of the profane, holiness will also come forth, and out of wanton freedom, the beloved yoke (of Torah) will blossom…. Let the bud sprout, let the flower blossom, let the fruit ripen, and the whole world will know that the Spirit of G-d is speaking within the Nation of Israel in its every expression. All of this will climax in a repentance which will bring healing and redemption to the world” (Orot HaT’shuva, 17:3).

Indeed, the revival of the Jewish Nation in Israel is a wonder that is impossible to explain in any mundane fashion. Clearly, there are powerful inner forces at work as we return to our homeland. Increasingly sensitized to our own national longings, we realize that gentile lands cannot be called home. The process takes time. The nation is not transformed overnight. But gradually, the curse of exile is erased. From being a scattered people, the Israeli Nation returns to have its own sovereign state. God’s blessing is revealed in all facets of the Nation’s existence; military success, economic prosperity, scientific achievement, the resettlement of the Nation’s ancient cities and holy sites — all ultimately leading to a great national t’shuva, the renewal of prophecy, and the return of the Divine Presence to the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem, in fulfillment of our prayers.

Rabbi Kook explains that the secular, physical rebuilding which we have witnessed in our time must necessarily precede the spiritual building. The Talmud teaches that the Beit HaMikdash was first constructed in a normal, profane manner, and only after its completion was its sanctity declared (Me’ilah 14A). This is the pattern of spiritual building; first comes the physical vessel, and then its inner content. First the Ark is constructed, and then the Tablets are placed within.

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.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion 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.

2 Responses to ““The People Shall Rise Up Like a Lion!””

  1. Chaiya Eitan says:

    "Not only the streets, my friends, but the smoke of these holy bonfires penetrates into every single apartment and house" – great….those with asthma and with young children and the elderly will have to keep their windows closed!

  2. Ben Meijer says:

    beautiful, toda Rav.

Comments are closed.

Tzvi Fishman, author of the Jewish Press blog Felafel on Rye and author of more than a dozen books.
Current Top Story
Yeshiva boys learn Torah together at Beit Midrash Derech Chaim.  Due to their participation in a pre-army intelligence program, the IDF requires their identities to remain secret.
Exclusive: First IDF Cyber-Defense Program Opens at Yeshiva
Latest Blogs Stories
Arab Men Boarding a "Jewish" Bus

No exaggeration, I estimate 3/4 of the passengers on my bus were Arabs; this is not unique

Arabs attacking the Light Rail outside Shuafat

Note the rocks’ size in the hands of these Arabs as they prepare to attack the Light Rail

U.S. President Barack Obama

Obama is not anti Israel. He’s just misguided, perhaps blinded by his desire to force a peace treaty

Theodor Herzl, founder of modern Zionism, and his famous quote

Herzl told the Zionist delegates,”If you will it, it is no dream.”

Breakthrough adapts insulin to be taken as a pill instead of shot. Can it be applied to other meds?

Ramadan is SUPPOSEDLY a month of introspection & repentance; yet attacks on “Infidels” skyrocket

Israel wins the wars but LOSES the battles!

Moving to Israel seems crazy but this week’s my first “aliyaversary,” my Aliyah anniversary! WOW!

Israel & world Jewry are under attack and in grave danger but UN’s focus is denouncing Israel

What is human chess? How easy is it to predict the actions of others?

It’s time to stand up against the bias & no longer accept the constant UN prejudice against Israel.

Malachi Moshe Rosenfeld, injured in a terror attack in Samaria, has died (HYD)

Allah is NOT merciful: Stabbing, beheading, shooting innocents is barbaric & cowardly acts of terror

How could the Jerusalem Post think the attack could have been other than a terrorist act?

Going to Mt of Olives cemetery was like visiting Jurassic Park in a jeep with dinosaurs rampaging

Hanan Porat z”l, teary-eyed said ” We returned to the Gush(Etzion)we shall return to the Gush(Katif)

More Articles from Tzvi Fishman
Tzvi Fishman at Cemetery of Mount of Olives

Going to Mt of Olives cemetery was like visiting Jurassic Park in a jeep with dinosaurs rampaging

The "Rightist" author and artist, Tzvi Fishman

To boost aliya, Israel will encourage Marshall’s, Costco, K Mart & Entenmann’s Bakeries to open here

Of course there’s air in America, but it isn’t the holy air of Eretz Yisrael.

The warnings came true: Among the 1000 released terrorists, many returned to terror activity

Torah is to be lived. Rabbi Moshe Levinger was a completely living Torah, the Torah of Eretz Yisrael

Without Israel, the Jewish People are scattered nomads lacking Torah’s true national grandeur&power

If other pleasures exceed the joy we feel for Jerusalem, then something is wrong with our Judaism.

There will be peace when we listen to G-d and do want he tells us to do – all for our very own good.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/felafel-on-rye/the-people-shall-rise-up-like-a-lion/2012/05/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: