Meir Panim’s Tiberias Free Restaurant not only provides warm meals, but the opportunity to socialize as well.
We are in the month of Nissan, the month of Redemption. How we yearn for the geulah. As our Exile becomes more painful and our hearts ache with sorrow, grief and fear, many of us find ourselves crying out to our Father in Heaven:
“Tati, we can’t take it any more. We cannot cry another tear. We have none left. We’re willing to give up all the toys of Exile: the cars, the cell phones, the entertainment, the ‘good life’ we have learned to pursue … all of it! Just bring us back to our Holy Land in peace and harmony. Let us immerse ourselves in Your Holy Torah. That’s all we want. It is enough!”
Nissan is the month in which Redemption becomes reality. But how do we bring it about? What can we do?
On April 8, 2009, a little less than a year from now, we will recite Birkas haChama, the Blessing on the Sun. Our rabbis have instituted this prayer to be said every twenty-eight years when the sun returns to the exact position it occupied relative to the earth at the moment of original Creation.
But that’s not all.
Occasionally, a few times throughout history, Birkas haChama has fallen on the 14th of Nissan, the day before Passover. One of those times was directly before Yetzias Mitzraim, the Exodus from Egypt. Another time was directly before the original miracle of Purim.
The next time will be … next year.
According to the Kadosh Elyon, the Ostrovster Admor, this will be the very last time in history that Birkas haChama can fall on the day before Passover and that, “shortly afterward, the Redemption must come.”
That’s right – the cosmic event that preceded the two greatest Salvations in the history of the world will take place again next year.
We know the Children of Israel are chosen by God to be His emissaries in the world, to live by His Torah in the Holy Land. Why is it that we are universally hated, reviled, cursed and attacked? Why are we the universal scapegoat? Why is the entire world shooting words, bullets and missiles at us?
Why? Because the world’s peoples are trying to kill God Himself, trying to free themselves from moral restraints in order to carry on their depraved lifestyles. They can’t reach God, however, so they attack His emissaries.
But we seem so helpless, so weak, so powerless. What can we do?
Look at the events of Passover. The Children of Israel were subjugated and enslaved, victims of the “superpower” Egypt. No one could challenge the “mighty” Pharaoh. Then came a man named Moses, a servant of the Almighty. God ruled that Egypt must fall, and Egypt came down like a pile of matchsticks or a house constructed of playing cards. The mighty nation disintegrated before anyone knew what was happening. What had seemed the ultimate power, a civilization that would never end, blew away like a puff of smoke.
We must not be blind to the signs that are before our eyes. Did we not see the World Trade Center topple in seconds? Did we not witness the mighty economic structure of Bear Stearns falling apart before our eyes? Did not the powerful governor of one of our great states fall in the blink of an eye? These were mighty structures and mighty men.
I am not casting aspersions on any man nor making any moral judgments. There but for the grace of God go any of us.
Yet we must know that to assume the invincibility of anything but Almighty God and His Torah is to depend upon straw. Egypt became a shambles and its great army drowned in the Red Sea. The nations of the world who strut in today’s sunlight are ephemeral creations in the Eternity of God’s Reality.
We must know that God is preparing great acts that, with His mercy, we will see in our lifetime. Cosmic events greater than the power of any man to control are unfolding. We cannot stop them, but, if we stick like glue to God and His Torah, we will live through them and enter a new existence so great as to be the stuff of our dreams.
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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It would still be too hazardous for an Arab government to accept Israel’s nationhood.
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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-story-of-our-generation/2008/04/23/
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