Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.
When my wife and I speak in some far-flung Jewish community and walk into a room with a group of strangers – many if not most of whom may speak another language – I say to myself, “How will we ever connect with these people?”
I guarantee you that about an hour later we are all friends and feel like one family. That is how Jews are. We are all in this together.
Jason Maoz, the senior editor of The Jewish Press, recently sent me the following message: “Several readers (who say they really like your writing) have noted that lately your articles have been dark or negative, and they suggest that if there is some way to now and then focus on positive things rather than Jew hatred or end-time wars, it would be a nice change of pace.”
Clearly, the wonderful people at The Jewish Press have their readers’ interests at heart and never hesitate to pass along reader concerns to writers like me.
Frankly, I try to write about the realities of today’s world. I may be wrong, but I don’t think so.We have to face reality if we want to survive, because the world is in fact an extremely dangerous place.
Look at what’s going on in Israel today. Look at Ukraine, which seemed so peaceful when my wife and I were there a year ago. It has suddenly turned quite ugly, and that is happening all over the world. I cannot ignore these things and I wouldn’t want to.
Not that I would call my writing “dark.” It’s actually light, but you can’t get to the light unless you’re willing to face the darkness that covers it. It’s like Har Sinai, which was covered in thick darkness until Hashem revealed Himself. That’s what it’s like before the Geulah. Far from being negative, I think of these things as extremely positive.
A certain rebbetzin (not a columnist for The Jewish Press) tells me repeatedly that whenever she feels down she opens up the last chapter of my book 2020 Vision. That book starts very “dark” but ends with great light. That’s what’s happening in today’s world.
Our rabbis told us it’s going to be very difficult before Mashiach comes. Should we fool ourselves? The end of Tractate Sanhedrin describes terrible tests that will occur before the Final Redemption, the Geulah Sheleimah. The paradigm for the Final Redemption, according to the Chofetz Chaim, is the redemption from Egypt, and we all know Egypt was ripped to shreds by Hashem before the Children of Israel marched out to Har Sinai.
We should look at today’s troubles the same way; they are all a prelude to the greatest event in history since Creation itself.
It will be even greater than the redemption from Egypt, and I can say that thanks to a teaching in the Zohar recounted to me by my friend Rabbi Reuven Cohen, rosh kollel of Kollel Zichron Yosef in Kiryat Sefer.
The Zohar says that the drops of wine we remove from our cup at the Pesach Seder reflect the events of the Exodus from Egypt, but the wine that remains in the cup – imagine the difference in magnitude – reflects the Final Redemption.
That gives us some idea of how big the Final Redemption will be. In Egypt one king fell: Pharaoh. At the Final Redemption, when the Jewish people assume spiritual leadership of the world, all earthly kings will fall.
That sounds pretty big. If we keep our focus on all the good that’s coming, the difficult parts will be more tolerable, just the way the Children of Israel in Mitzrayim who stuck with Moshe Rabbeinu were able to make it out of Egypt and get to Har Sinai.
About the Author: Roy Neuberger's latest book, “2020 Vision” (Feldheim) is available in English, Hebrew, Spanish, French, Russian, and Georgian. An e-edition is available at www.feldheim.com. Roy is also the author of "From Central Park to Sinai: How I Found My Jewish Soul” (available in English, Hebrew and Russian, and Georgian) and “Worldstorm.” Roy and Leah Neuberger speak publicly on topics related to his books and articles. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his websites www.tosinai.com and www.2020visionthebook.com.
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Desperate people take what they can, seizing opportunity to advance their main goal; the Arabs don’t
There was a glaring void in the President’s State of the Union speech: Israel.
Let’s focus not on becoming an ATM for that little bundle of joy, but on what you can save in taxes.
Israel has some wild places left; places to reflect and think, to get lost, to try to find ourselves
The British government assured Anglo-Jewry that it is attacking the rising levels of anti-Semitism.
Obama’s Syrian policy failures created the current situation in the Golan Heights.
Our journey begins by attempting to see things differently, only then can we be open to change.
Despite Western ‘Conventional Wisdom&PC,’ the Arab/Israeli conflict was never about the Palestinians
Confrontation & accountability, proven techniques, might also help dealing with religious terrorists
In fact, wherever you see soldiers in Paris today, you pretty much know you’re near Jewish site
Inspired by the Perek Shira pasuk for “small non-kosher animals” we named the bunny “Rebbetzin Tova”
The abuse following publication proved a cautionary tale: no one followed in Peters’s footsteps
Plainly, there is no guiding hand dictating choices across the board.
For Am Yisrael, the sun’s movements are subservient to the purpose of our existence.
Our rabbis told us it’s going to be very difficult before Mashiach comes. Should we fool ourselves?
The unwarranted hatred among us that caused the destruction of the Second Temple clearly still plagues us.
At the end of the harvest, winter begins. The earth becomes cold and hard, nights are long, and the sun seems far away in the southern sky. The sap ceases to flow in the trees. But in this season of temporary “death” Hashem sends down harbingers of coming life in the form of tal u’matar livrachah – dew and rain for a blessing – upon the earth.
“Logically” speaking, after the millennia of hatred and destruction directed against us, there should not be one Jew in the world today who still keeps the Torah.
They were lining up for gas masks in Israel.
Apparently, at the very time of year we are supposed to be full of simcha, Hashem wants us to be aware of the possibility of danger. Indeed, during the Yom Tov of Sukkos, we read cataclysmic haftaras dealing with the ultimate war, the Milchemes Gog Umagog. Where does that war take place? In the Holy Land, of course, where the eyes of the world are always focused.
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