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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, 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/the-only-true-king/2009/09/16/
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