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We stand at the threshold of a new year.
What will 5769 bring? Will we greet Moshiach? Will we see, God forbid, a world of troubles? Perhaps both.
As we approach the end of 5768, several huge financial firms, pillars of Wall Street, have collapsed or are on the verge of collapse. One can say the stock market is of no concern to him, but in today’s world everything affects everything else. The entire financial structure of our country is endangered.
The shocks to the system are becoming profound.
I believe it is time to fasten our seatbelts. I am sure most of us prefer an orderly world, but events seem out of control. Let us remember that before the Exodus from Egypt, the entire dominant civilization of that ancient world collapsed suddenly. Our rabbis tell us that our Final Exodus will resemble the biblical Exodus, and I believe we should try to prepare for events of huge magnitude.
I know this is shocking. How can we contemplate such things in our own lives? But we may not have the luxury of choice. Think back a mere seventy years. It was not so long ago that our parents and grandparents in Europe saw the collapse of their entire world.
How does one prepare for cataclysmic change?
We must constantly remember what happened in Egypt. There, the collapse of the dominant culture was followed by the greatest event in the history of the world – the Exodus from that alien society and the Revelation of the Torah at Mount Sinai. In our case, I would suggest the only way to deal with current cataclysmic changes is by having hope and belief that God is bringing about the Final Redemption and that “He will let us hear, in His compassion, for a second time, in the presence of all living … ‘I am your God.’” (from Shabbos Mussaf Kedusha based on Isaiah 11:11).
Moses, Aaron and those Children of Israel who followed them escaped unharmed from crumbling Egypt. Our rabbis tell us that those of us who grasp onto the Torah with all our strength, who hold fast to our God as we have done for two thousand years of exile, will live to enjoy the New Exodus and the New Redemption, culminating in the building of the Eternal Temple.
I recently heard Rabbi Matisyahu Solomon discussing the importance of Shema Yisrael. We say in our prayers, “Guardian of Israel, protect the remnant of Israel, let not Israel be destroyed, those who proclaim, ‘Hear O Israel.’”
What is so powerful about saying the Shema?
It is written (emphasis added), “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your resources….”
What does “all” mean? Perhaps it means exactly what it says. Perhaps it means there is no room for anything else. Perhaps it means that unless we are completely devoted to God we are not going to survive.
Perhaps it means that everything else is gornisht – of no importance, not real.
Perhaps it means that our infatuation with money, our obsession with sports and popular culture, our love for fine glatt kosher dining, luxurious cars, the “good” life, the life we have learned to value in America, the sumptuous houses, the vacations, the entertainment – perhaps they are all a trick of the Accuser to suck us into the bottomless pit of Exile, God forbid, just as our ancestors were sucked into the bottomless pit of Egyptian idolatry, where they descended to the forty-ninth level of depravity, only to be rescued by God at the very last second before disappearing forever.
But not all were rescued – eighty percent never left Egypt (Rashi on Exodus 13:18).
So we have to ask ourselves: Are we in love with exile? Are we in love with the culture that surrounds us?
If so, then we are in mortal danger. I am not speaking only about America. America has been good to us and we must be grateful, but the entire Western World is in danger right now. This is a fact, backed up by the words of our prophets, who described the events that would occur at the end of history. Listen to the words of the Prophet to the Nations:
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 email@example.com or through his websites www.tosinai.com and www.2020visionthebook.com.
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Shepherding in the Shomron isn’t your usual kind of shepherding – despite his business-minded beginnings, Eli has discovered that a strong ideological impetus powers the job.
I said to myself, “This story has got to be told. We’re losing this generation of World War II and if we don’t listen to them now, we’ve lost it.”
His entire existence was about spreading simcha and glorifying G-d’s name on a daily basis.
At some point we need to stop simply defending and promoting Israel and start living in Israel
“We Jews are the only people who when we drop a book on the floor pick it up and kiss it.”
Though Zaide was the publisher of The Jewish Press, a big newspaper,I always remember him learning
Speaker Silver has been an extraordinary public servant since his election to the Assembly in 1975 and has been an exemplary leader of that body since 1994.
He spent the first leg of his daylong visit to the French capital at Hyper Cacher.
Drawing Congress into the Iran nuclear debate is the last thing the White House wants.
Great leaders like Miriam and like Sarah Schenirer possess the capacity to challenge the status quo that confronts them.
Obama’s foreign policy is viewed by both liberals and conservatives as deeply flawed
Many journalists are covertly blaming the Charlie Hebdo writers themselves through self-censorship.
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.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/falling-out-of-love-with-exile/2008/09/24/
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