Across Israel, Meir Panim responds to the growing needs of the country’s 1.75 million impoverished residents through various food and social service programs.
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 and Russian with a Georgian edition in preparation. 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, Georgian edition in preparation) and "Worldstorm." Roy and his wife 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. Roy and his wife 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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Welcome the book of Leviticus!
If the nationalist Knesset members don’t provide the answer, the Arab MKs will do so in their place.
International Agunah Day falls annually on Ta’anis Esther, this year on March 13.
Even a foxhole Yid has to admit that antisemitism is on the upswing.
As shocking and insulting and horrifying as it is, Nazi war criminals are still living freely among us.
One can almost imagine a shocked Mr. Kerry thinking to himself, “How could he?” Yet not only did Mr. Putin do what he did, China, one of the three major international players along with the U.S. and Russia, agreed with him, not with Mr. Kerry.
Ramaz is a venerable Modern Orthodox educational institution whose mission statement contains the explicit commitment to “Ahavat Yisrael, and love and support for the State of Israel.”
In the course of the ages there wasn’t a Jewish community more convinced of its capacity for survival than the Jewish community of Hungary in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Liberals got an Affirmative Action president who doesn’t have the wisdom or the authority to change the battle plan.
The world excuses Islamic murder, but focuses on flaws, often imaginary, on the part of Israel.
Abbas also sent wreath to honor suicide bomber who killed 8.
It has been a very challenging year that has taken a toll on the Cohen family.
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.
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.
At the mikveh they were discussing Egypt.
So many things seem to be unraveling. It’s not just Egypt but the entire Middle East. No, it’s not just the Middle East; it’s the entire world.
What is the relationship between Pesach and Shavuos?
Rabbi Naftali Jaeger, rosh yeshiva of Sh’or Yoshuv, relates in the name of the Ishbitzer Rebbe a striking metaphor:
“In those days, when King Achashveirosh sat on his royal throne which was in Shushan the capital, in the third year of his reign, he made a feast for all his officials and servants, the army of Persia and Medea; the nobles and officials of the provinces being present, when he displayed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honor of his splendorous majesty for many days, a hundred and eighty days.
“Israel has bad public relations.”
This is the perennial cry. “Israel must improve its image to convince the world of the justness of its cause.”
Let’s face it: this is not going to be an ordinary year.
We are praying very seriously this year because we are praying for our lives. Yes, I know: every year we pray for our lives. But how many feel it? This year, whether we want to or not, I think we are beginning to feel it.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/falling-out-of-love-with-exile/2008/09/24/
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