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.
We are at war. We are all at war, not just our brothers and sisters in Gaza and southern and northern Israel.
We are surrounded. The Children of Israel are surrounded, both inside and outside the Land of Israel.
But with what are we surrounded? We are surrounded by the Clouds of Glory. If we but look, we will see that God is our shield and protector.
We just completed the book of Genesis/Bereishis. We bid farewell to our father Jacob. There is a famous and astounding passage as he begins to bless his children, the Twelve Tribes of Israel:
“Then Jacob called for his sons and said, ‘Assemble yourselves and I will tell you what will befall you in the End of Days. Gather yourselves and listen, O sons of Jacob, and listen to Israel your father.’” [Genesis 49:1-2]
Rashi tells us that at that moment “the Shechina [Divine Presence] departed from [Jacob]” and he was unable to describe the End of Days to his children. But perhaps one could also look at this passage another way. Perhaps Jacob tells us exactly what we need to know to navigate the End of Days:
“If you assemble yourselves, then you will know what to do in the End of Days. You will gather yourselves. You will listen to Israel your father.”
What does this mean?
If you assemble yourselves as one Nation you will understand what to do in the End of Days. Stop bickering, stop competing, and realize that your only salvation is to come back together as one family living by the eternal laws Our Father in Heaven gave us at Mount Sinai.
A rabbi in Beersheva said last week that he had never before seen so many people in shul, praying, putting on tefillin, starting to keep Shabbos, kosher and other mitzvos. Hundreds of people he had never seen before.
This is happening not just in Beersheva but all over the world. Soldiers who never prayed before are saying Tehillim.
Our father Jacob is telling us, “Wake up, my children. Stop fighting among yourselves. Assemble yourselves as one. Come back home now. Return to Torah. Return to unity. Return to Israel. This is the time to assemble as One Nation because God is preparing the imminent Final Redemption for you, to take you out of the subservience to the values of other nations, and for this you must assemble as one and rededicate yourselves to the service of God.”
Gather yourselves: Prepare to receive the Torah again, the way we did at Mount Sinai, as, in the words of Rashi, “one man with one heart.” When we marched through the desert we were surrounded by Clouds of Glory that protected us from enemy arrows and missiles, snakes and scorpions, the burning sand and the freezing night. We ate manna and we drank water from the traveling well of Miriam.
Today, if we but look, we will see the same thing happening. Every day, we hear of miracles. God is saving His children.
Our friend was sitting shiva recently for her father, who grew up in Europe. As a young boy, he saw with his own eyes his father, a chazzan who was leading Kol Nidrei services, shot by the Nazis (may their name be ground to dust) on Yom Kippur night. They took the boy to a concentration camp. He stood at the edge of a grave he had dug, waiting on line to be shot. But he said he felt an angel push him in before he was shot.
He survived, but when he went to Israel at the age of seventeen he gave up all allegiance to God. He wound up at a completely irreligious kibbutz. One night he had a dream. His holy father was pacing up and down, saying “Mendele, if you don’t put on tefillin, I cannot daven for you!” Over and over his father spoke to him. Mendele woke up the next morning and put on tefillin. He left the kibbutz, married, came to America and, at the end of his life, was the patriarch of a magnificent Torah family.
Let us open our eyes to reality. Let us listen to our father Israel. Let us live the way he lived. Let us follow him to life. He battled the angel of Esau and we are battling the angel of Esau. He lived in a world in which Ishmael and Esau teamed up against him and so do we. He emerged victorious by hanging on to the Torah with all his strength and so will we.
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/thoughts-on-war/2009/01/14/
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