To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.
Eliezer, Avraham’s servant, was a great man. Head of his master’s household, he was entrusted to find a wife for our father Yitzchak. He was the man who asked God for guidance and his prayer was immediately answered as Rivkah appeared and offered water to him and to his camels. He was treated like a potentate in the house of Besuel. And yet, the Torah repeatedly refers to him as a “slave.”
How can this great man, entrusted with the conduct of affairs that would affect the future of the world, be referred to as a slave?
The society in which we live tries to give us an illusion of power, but in truth we are not in control of anything. We are taught “empowerment” and we suffer under the myth that we control the world. “Some rely on chariots and some on horses but we call out in the Name of God” (Psalms 20).
If we are lucky we try to control ourselves, but it is a lifetime battle and a hard one at that. “Everything is in the hands of heaven except the fear of heaven” (Brachos 33b). Fear of heaven is all we can try to accomplish in this world.
Now, however, the pitiful state of our weakness is becoming apparent, as the world seems totally out of control. Yes, it is spinning out of our apparent control, but the Master of the Universe is the same as He always has been.
Can we begin to comprehend what is going on in the world today? The forces at work are so massive that no man can understand them, let alone control them. Fires scorch the West; economic tsunamis devastate the heartland; madmen threaten the world with fiery missiles.
The United States has just elected a new president on a mandate of “change.” His power and charisma seem awesome. Yes, the world is changing, but not the way the politicians think. There is only one Master in this world, and it appears that He is preparing the kind of “change” that only those who deal in matters of Torah can understand.
We must seriously prepare for a new world. We must seriously prepare for a total change in the way of life to which we have been accustomed. This is not what I or any other individual may desire, but it seems clear that this is what is happening.
There will come a day when the center of the world will not be New York or Washington or Rome or Beijing or Moscow or Tehran. There will come a day when the center of the world will clearly be understood to be the Temple Mount, lehavdil, and from the Bais Hamikdosh a light will shine forth that will penetrate the entire world.
Do we understand how different that world will be from the present one?
The “light” currently emanating from the bastions of the West and the East will sputter and go out. Commerce will no longer rule the world; “news” will no longer be important; no one will care about Wall Street, about prices and statistics and auto sales and advertisements and vacations and entertainment.
The Word of God will emanate from Yerushalayim. As we say in the Aleinu prayer, “On that day Hashem will be One and His Name will be One.”
My wife and I spent the month of Tishrei in the Holy Land. The evening before I returned to the U.S., I prayed at the shul of the well-known posek and Torah leader Rav Yitzchak Berkowitz in Sanhedria Murchevet, Yerushalayim. Between Mincha and Maariv Rav Berkowitz gave a shiur on the upcoming sedra, Lech Lecha. At the time I was upset about many things, including leaving Eretz Yisrael. The economic news was catastrophic. I needed a lift.
What is Lech Lecha? asked Rabbi Berkowitz. What did God say to our father Avraham? What was the rock upon which our holy way of life was founded?
God said to Avraham, “Come away from everything on which you ever thought you depended. Leave it all behind. There is no stability in this world except with Me. You can depend on nothing except Torah. Leave your land, your concepts, your ideas behind – leave everything you thought was real. To the extent you think you can depend on anything else, you are distant from Me. Come to a way of life I will show you. Come to Me and My Torah and then you will live and be a blessing to the world.”
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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As Arabs murder and maim Jews, Jordan’s leaders bark the blood libel of “Israeli aggression.”
Perhaps attacking a terrorist’s legacy broadly and publicly would dissuade others from terrorism?
R’ Aryeh yelled “Run, I’ll fight!” Using a chair against terrorists to buy time so others could flee
The “Media” didn’t want us to know what a kind, giving, loving young woman Dalia was.
A “Palestine” could become another Lebanon, with many different factions battling for control.
Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165
Having a strong community presence at the polls shows our elected officials we care about the issues
Israel’s Temple Mount policy prefers to blames the Jews-not the attackers-for the crisis.
When Islam conquered the Holy Land, it made its capital in Ramle of all places, not in Jerusalem.
I joined the large crowd but this time it was more personal; my cousin Aryeh was one of the victims.
Terrorists aren’t driven by social, economic, or other grievances, rather by a fanatical worldview.
The phrase that the “Arabs are resorting to violence” is disgraceful and blames the victim.
Tuesday, Yom Shlishi, a doubly good day in the Torah, Esav’s hands tried to silence Yaakov’s voice.
Because of the disparate nature of the perpetrators, who are also relatively young, and given the lack of more traditional targets and the reverence Palestinians have for their homes, one now hears talk of Israel returning to a policy of destroying the houses of terrorists’ families.
In the recent Gaza war and its aftermath, we saw a totally illogical reaction from the world.
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.
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.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/light-in-the-darkness/2008/12/10/
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