Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.
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, 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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Widespread agreement in Israel opposing Palestinian diplomatic warfare, commonly called “lawfare.”
Arab terrorism against Jews and the State of Israel is not something we should be “calm” about.
The Israeli left, led by tenured academics, endorses pretty much anything harmful to its own country
Judea and Samaria (Yesha) have been governed by the IDF and not officially under Israeli sovereignty
While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.
n past decades, Oman has struck a diplomatic balance between Saudi Arabia, the West, and Iran.
The Torah scroll which my family donated will ride aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier
The Jewish Press endorses the reelection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. His record as governor these past four years offers eloquent testimony to the experience and vision he has to lead the Empire State for the next four years.
I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.
Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.
The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.
Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.
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.
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