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.
The day has come. The house is clean. The chametz has been sold. The matzah is ready. We are about to sit down at the magnificent table and begin the Seder.
What does it all mean?
This year, it should mean a lot.
The ring is closing tighter around Israel. Destabilization in the Middle East is introducing increasing chaos, which is always a dangerous phenomenon, especially given the volatile and violent nature of those who surround Israel on every side. Indeed, as we have seen in recent weeks, they are getting more aggressive. In addition, they vastly outnumber us.
When you add in the Western world the numbers become huge. I’ll repeat a quotation I have used before, but it is so relevant that it bears repetition. These words stand at the very beginning of my third book, 2020 Vision:
“In the End of Days, after the Children of Israel have returned to their land, the children of Ishmael and the children of Esau will unite to attack Jerusalem. They will form a world coalition against the tiny nation of Israel. But something will go wrong with their plan. The religious beliefs of the children of Ishmael and the children of Esau will clash, and the two nations will collide and destroy each other. This is what is referred to as the War of Gog and Magog. Following this cataclysmic conflict, the Final Redemption of the Jewish People will occur with the coming of Messiah the Son of King David.” (Malbim on Yechezkel 32:17)
This is precisely the world situation we face today.
Now let’s examine our ancestors’ situation in biblical Egypt.
Was it not exactly the same?
Yes, the stage was smaller, but the entire world was “smaller” then; all of Israel was confined within Egypt, which was the world’s most powerful country. “A new king arose” over Egypt, who was no friend of Israel, “so they appointed taskmasters over [Israel] in order to afflict it” (Shemos 1). From the distance of thousands of years these words sound relatively tame, but life in Mitzrayim was every bit as frightening as the Holocaust or terrorism today. Pharaoh and his advisers devised a plan that would be copied in later centuries by Haman and Hitler (may their memories be erased). Our situation was impossible. There was no hope, no way to escape from the Egyptians, and they intended to wipe us out, God forbid.
The only hope for our survival was a miraculous intervention by God to rescue us from these impossible odds, and that is exactly what happened. God’s existence may have seemed a “theory” to some people before yetzias mitzrayim, but not afterward.
What before the Redemption may have been a hint or promise, became a reality after the Redemption, visible to everyone, including our enemies. “A handmaiden at the Red Sea saw more than the Prophet Ezekiel” (Mechilta Beshalach Shira 23).
This is what we can expect in the Final Redemption. As it was in Egypt, so it will be on that monumental day when God will end our captivity forever. The very impossibility of our situation now, the fact that we are completely surrounded by enemies wherever we are, the fact that they are much stronger and more numerous than we, simply makes it clear that the only way we will be rescued is through a Redemption that will dwarf anything seen in the entire history of the world up to now. Can you imagine the magnitude of the Final Redemption?
“A staff will grow from the stump of Yishai, and a shoot will sprout from his roots. And a spirit of Hashem will rest upon him, a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of counsel and strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear of Hashem . And it will be on that day, My Lord will again show His strength to acquire the remnant of His people . He will raise a banner for the nation and assemble the castaways of Israel the dispersed of Judah will He gather in from the four corners of the earth . There will be a road for the remnant of His people as there was for Israel on the day they went up from the land of Egypt.” – Isaiah 1:1ff/haftarah for the last day of Pesach.
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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/the-day-god-revealed-himself/2011/04/18/
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