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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 email@example.com or through his websites www.tosinai.com and www.2020visionthebook.com. 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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Latvia, July 4, 1941 they forced many Jews in the shul putting it on fire; everyone was burned alive
There’s blood on the reporters’ hands AND New Israel Fund for funding groups feeding lies to the UN
Respect & appreciation for our country is not only a civic value but an essential Jewish one as well
Israel, like the non-radical Islamic world. will be happy see the ISIS beheaded for once.
Kids shouldn’t have “uninstructed” Internet access, better to train them how to use it responsibly
What if years from now, IS were to control substantial territory? What world havoc would that wreak?
Rambam writes the verse’s double term refers to 2 messiahs: first King David; 2nd the final Mashiach
The Gaza flotilla has been rightfully and legally blocked by Israel’s Navy, with greetings from Bibi
The president described the attack as “an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random, but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress…”
“The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” said the 69-year-old Trump.
And whereas at the outset the plan was that Iran would have to surrender most of its centrifuges, it will now be able to retain several thousand.
Now oil independent, US no longer needs its former strategic alliances with Gulf States-or Israel
Jews thank Hashem at every step. We thank Him for our most basic physical existence. We thank Hashem for every step, for every breath, for every aspect of our elevation from the dust.
In the recent Gaza war and its aftermath, we saw a totally illogical reaction from the world.
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/light-in-the-darkness/2008/12/10/
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