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We are bombarded by constant distraction. This, I believe, is a tactic of our yetzer hora, the evil inclination, which tries to take us away from a clear view of reality by assailing our minds with a constant fine spray of distraction from every angle, much of it in the guise of “important things to deal with.”
Sometimes it seems the Ten Plagues are being visited upon us and that our world is crumbling, just as in ancient Egypt. The plague of lice can be compared to our contemporary plague of mental distraction. Like lice, these distractions seem to be everywhere, each one making you feel as if you’re going bananas – you can’t concentrate or focus on what is real and important in life. Sometimes your entire life seems to fly by while you deal with the lice. And then, all of a sudden, you realize a lifetime has passed and you’ve missed everything. The distractions have become your entire life.
“Shema Yisrael, Hashem Elokeinu, Hashem Echad.” God is One. Perhaps that means there is nothing else. Perhaps that means all the distractions are of no importance whatsoever.
Perhaps we should focus completely on God and believe that, if we do, He will solve all our problems; everything will be arranged for us if we understand He is our King and His will runs every detail of our lives as well as the life of the universe He created and maintains.
We are approaching Purim. For the longest time I wondered why is Purim so close to Pesach. Isn’t it redundant? The two holidays seem to focus on a variation of the same story. In each case, Am Yisrael is totally surrounded by mortal enemies intent on destroying us, God forbid. In each case, we do teshuvah and Hashem saves us from what would otherwise be total annihilation.
So why do we need both Purim and Pesach? Didn’t we already learn this from Purim? And then we have Pesach a month later?
Finally it hit me: I was asking the questions all wrong.
Purim didn’t come before Pesach. The events of Pesach occurred hundreds of years before the events of Purim. The questions should be: Didn’t we learn our lesson in biblical Egypt? Why did we need to repeat this scenario again hundreds of years later in the days of Mordechai and Esther?
Answer: Because we don’t learn. The same scenario keeps repeating itself. That’s why history is filled with Pharaohs and Amaleks and Hamans and Tituses and crusaders and inquisitors and Hitlers and Arafats and bin Ladens and… right up to the present.
Hashem keeps saving us and then we make the same mistake all over again. And so He saves us again. When will we learn? When will we realize that Hashem is Everything and that the lice of this world are … simply lice? Do we have to wait until we are once again at the point of annihilation? But maybe this time Hashem will finally be tired of us, God forbid. Can we assume He will save us again?
It is time to understand that the Ultimate Days are upon us. It is time to return forever to Our Father in Heaven. It is time to stop confusing distraction with Reality. We have become corrupted by the materialism that surrounds us. We have become so cynical that we don’t believe we can do teshuvah. We think we are just flesh and blood and desires and cars and salaries and computers and television and news and ….
NO. We are the Children of Almighty God, “a treasure … from among all the peoples … a kingdom of kohanim and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:5-6). We may be distracted by the lice crawling all over us, but if we truly want God to help us, He will pull us out of slavery and bring us up to the Holy City of Jerusalem to witness the coming of Moshiach ben Dovid and the rebuilding of the Eternal Temple.
Then I said, “Woe is me for I shall die, for I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell among a people of unclean lips.” One of the Seraphim flew to me and in his hand was a coal, which he took with tongs from atop the Altar. He touched it to my mouth and said, “Behold! This has touched your lips; your iniquity is removed and your sin shall be atoned.” [Isaiah 6:5-7]
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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For too long the media and international community have been preaching that “Palestinians” bear no responsibility for the consequences of their decisions and they are passive victims of the conflict.
Iron Dome intercepted over 1,000 rockets aimed at Israel with a success rate of over 90% in 2014
Amnesty International:The crippling of the power station was “collective punishment of Palestinians”
Originally scheduled to be held elsewhere, the hotel canceled, pressured by local missionary groups
It’s likely that some of the rebel factions, including US clients, have indeed made pacts with ISIS
Imam Tafsirli of the Harlem Islamic center: “You cannot be a Muslim without believing in Jesus”
If simple fuel choice were implemented, the power of petroleum and those who sell it would cease.
Value of IS: It enables people to see the place to which all other Islamist fascism is headed.
• UNRWA is controlled by or allows itself to be used by Hamas.
“When Frank does something he does it well and you don’t have to worry about dotting the i’s or crossing the t’s.”
President Obama: “ISIL is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents”
he time of the Uman pilgrimage is upon us, and we dare not ignore the opportunity to highlight the danger.
Healing requires that the victim be validated for being harmed and the guilty assume responsibility.
Our rabbis told us it’s going to be very difficult before Mashiach comes. Should we fool ourselves?
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.
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.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/time-of-our-redemption/2009/03/11/
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