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.
Hashem Melech. God is King.
That is the theme of Rosh Hashanah.
What does it mean for us?
We are accustomed to a world in which “the people rule.” That is the theory. One man casts a vote, and it is tabulated along with the rest. The winner theoretically becomes the leader. We have grown up to believe democracy is normal and irreplaceable and irrefutably correct.
In the world of Torah, it is not like that. In the Real World, we have zero say in Who’s the Boss.
I am not joking when I say God is terribly unpopular in this world. If you don’t believe me, just look how people behave. They know He has made rules for us, and they usually ignore those rules and behave as if He does not exist. As the Prophet says (Isaiah 1:3): “An ox knows his owner, and a donkey his master’s trough; [but] Israel does not know, My people does not perceive.”
God is King.
It does not alter the situation one iota whether we want Him to be King or whether we believe He is King. We can vote against Him until our finger is numb from moving the voting machine lever, but it won’t help. In the Real World, we are the ones who lose if we don’t understand that He is the Complete and Eternal Master.
In reality, there is no such thing as democracy. We decide nothing – except to the extent God has given us permission to decide. We have no power except what He allows us to have. If we want to live in reality and to have a good year and a good life, we had better come to terms with this.
There is a corollary here. We are surrounded and outnumbered. The world is trying to kick us out of Israel and frighten us everywhere by declaring that we are the villains, the outcasts and the pathetic minority. This is an old story, but it is becoming a worldwide phenomenon.
This is a positive sign, because just before the coming of Moshiach it will seem we have no hope whatsoever and that we are completely surrounded by our enemies. Not only that, it will seem that we are so totally hopeless ourselves that there is no reason God should even want to rescue us.
Where is there a hint of this? In the Chumash, of course. Ma’ase avos siman l’banim – the actions of the fathers are a sign for the children. In Egypt, we were at the 49th level of descent into the morass of idolatry. One more millimeter and we would have become … Egyptians. At the very last second God took us out of slavery and rescued us from the utter depths.
And then we marched out of Egypt to the shore of the Red Sea, and there we were totally surrounded, the Egyptians on one side and the sea on the other. It was all over. Or so it seemed. But “Moses said to the people, ‘Do not fear! Stand fast and see the salvation of God that He will perform for you today’” (Exodus 14:13).
At that moment, God’s will became visible to the entire world. The Children of Israel marched through the sea and were saved; our enemies were drowned, never to rise again.
These are our marching orders for Rosh Hashanah 5770: “Do not fear! Stand fast and see the salvation of God that He will perform for you today.”
The nations of the world call for change. They want something new, but we are exactly the opposite. We endure forever precisely because we cling with a tenacious grip to the unchanging words of the holy Torah.
The Torah has not changed. God has not changed. We cannot allow ourselves to be afraid of these empty people who threaten us.
God is with me. I have no fear. How can man affect me? [Psalm 118]
Our entire responsibility is to hold fast to our Torah and trust in God. But it is a huge responsibility, because it implies we must give up our belief that alien cultures can save us.
Remember, only 20 percent of the Children of Israel made it out of the Land of Egypt. Only 20 percent marched with Moses. Eighty percent, in the words of Rashi, were “wicked individuals who did not wish to depart from Egypt.” If we want to live in the world of Moshiach, we will have to want to leave exile, and exile means the civilization of the other nations.
When God brings about our redemption, there will be nothing we or the nations can do to stop it. No matter how filled the earth is with rebellion and moral pollution, at a moment He will choose, “His kindness [will] overwhelm us” (Psalm 117) and the rule of idolatry will end.
Do you think you will never see it? You are wrong. Yeshuas Hashem k’heref ayin – the redemption of God comes in the blink of an eye, when we least expect it. The moment is not ours, but God’s. The Prophet assures us, “In its time I will hasten it” (Isaiah 60:22).
He is the King. When it happens, it will be so blindingly fast that our mouths will drop open in amazement, as the jaws of the brothers dropped when the ruler said, “Ani Yosef” – I am Yosef. And then there will be no doubts, no recounts, no protests. God’s Rule will be blazingly clear to the entire universe.
K’sivah v’chasimah tovah. May this year be filled with blessings for Israel and for all those who love and obey the King of Kings.
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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The answer is an emphatic no.
The meaning of “God’s watch” here is not entirely clear.
Don’t Israelis and Arab Palestinians deserve more than this? Is it not time to stop the insanity?
At age 104, my mother was still concerned about her relationship with Hashem.
Obama’s incompetence, the way his naive worldview and credulity have made a fool of him, are equally frightening
“The only difference between this world and the time of Meshiach is our bondage to the gentile kingdoms.”
You’ve discovered our little secret!
Klein’s challenger has demonstrated a propensity to unleash poisonous vitriol, even to other Zionists
President Obama’s foreign policy is based on fantasy.
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.
Yeshiva University Museum recently hosted an exhibit titled “Threshold to the Sacred.”
Even a foxhole Yid has to admit that antisemitism is on the upswing.
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-only-true-king/2009/09/16/
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