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September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
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Dust Off The Windows (Part Three)

It’s so easy to point the finger of blame at others, to believe the tragedies of Jewish history are caused by individuals who are evil or mad and not because we have turned away from our covenant with G-d due to our intense desire to become like all the nations.
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

We are a lone lamb among 70 ferocious wolves. Our protection comes only from our Shepherd. He protects us and guards us. But when we choose to ignore Him and think we are perfectly capable of living our lives without Him, the wolves are unleashed and they mercilessly pounce upon us and devour us.

Did the Jews connect the dots? Did they understand that their enthusiastic participation in the banquet was the direct cause of Haman’s ascent and his plot to kill every Jew? Alas, no one connected those dots and when the decree came that all Jews were to be annihilated, they blamed Haman’s insanity, not their own behavior.

Mordechai sent a message to Queen Esther that it was time to act. She in turn instructed him to “gather all the Jews, let them unit in prayer, fasting and teshuvah.”

Esther invited the king and Haman to dinner in her palace. Why did Esther do that? I would offer the following explanation for her action:

In order to really pray from your heart, you have to feel there’s no one else who can help you but G-d. You have to cry out to Him with your entire being and shed tears from your soul. But if the Jewish people think their salvation can come from man they will arrogantly proclaim, “We can take care of this. We are in charge. Besides, we have Esther in the palace. She will never allow anything to happen to us.”

If, however, they come to believe that Esther had aligned herself with Haman, inviting him for dinner at the palace, they will have no recourse but to turn to G-d.

Tragically, the tendency to rely on human beings rather than G-d has been our curse throughout the centuries. Today we tell ourselves, “We are well connected with the White House. I know this cabinet member. I know that senator. I helped to elect him. I make substantial donations. Nothing to worry about! America will always stand by Israel…”

So we continue to celebrate and drink until we don’t know the difference between Haman and Mordechai. We don’t want to recognize that the Mordechais are the earthly shepherds of Israel and are here to lead us to the Ultimate Shepherd, Hashem.

And we refuse to recognize that the Hamans of history are not just random madmen. We never stop to ask why and how, nor do we examine our hearts for the answer. We never ask what it means to be a Jew. But the answers are available to all of us. We read in Tehillim (Psalms), “If only My people would heed Me. If Israel would walk in My ways, in an instant I would subdue their foes and turn My hand against their tormentors….”

It’s easier for us to continue to blame blind fate and the evil of the Hamans of the world. It’s never us. We are never responsible. It’s never you. It’s never me. It’s always those anti-Semites.

If we would remove the dust from our windows and look out, we would have a clearer vision of our today and our tomorrows. The names and places may have changed but in the end it’s all the same. The dust on the windows allows us to delude ourselves into feeling we are safe, that all is well, that it’s a different world today.

It’s so easy to point the finger of blame at others, to believe the tragedies of Jewish history are caused by individuals who are evil or mad and not because we have turned away from our covenant with G-d due to our intense desire to become like all the nations.

Conversely, it’s so hard to storm the Heavenly Gates with our prayers and our love and observance of Torah. But the clouds are once again gathering throughout the world. We must dust off our windows before it’s too late.

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16 Responses to “Dust Off The Windows (Part Three)”

  1. John Davison says:

    The tendency to rely on God/s rather than human beings has been our curse throughout the centuries.

  2. Karen Bryant says:

    Human beings wanting to be their own God is the curse we brought on ourselves since day 1. That pride is our downfall.

  3. Eduardo Mazo says:

    not human being but wrongdoing of faith,to the wall of Watcher of the Lord.

  4. Joe Ritchie says:

    People have to do the right thing in order for God to use us for positive things in this world.

  5. Love her, my mentor.

  6. I met her when I lived in NY…she’s a phenomenal woman!

  7. Brian Bucy says:

    G-d takes ownership of the Jews and envy ensues. Herein lies “the curse” that has plagued people since Cain and Able – or “day one.”

    This work is righteous and motivational to myself, a non-Jew. It’s great to hear a message of non-conformity come from the Jewish community on Passover. I agree with Ester – the Jewish identity is perhaps the most criticized and misunderstood in modern times – if not the most influential and unappreciated.

    I would fair to say that Passover is more G-d’s holiday of liberty for his chosen people – than it is the chosen people’s holiday of liberty through G-d. That is to say, this time is G-d’s – not yours or mine.

    Thanks and happy Passover.

  8. this woman is a true woman of God, everyone can learn from her

  9. This is true, but unfortunately too many leaders, including rabbis, in the Jewish community are totally focused on raising money, giving honors to people who give large sums of money, instead of honoring and focusing on people who exemplify Jewish values of kindness, honesty, mitzvot and Kiddish Hashem.

  10. Dan Silagi says:

    Typical "circle the wagons" BS. Yes, the Holocaust was caused because Dan Silagi ate a pork chop (quite a few, actually), a lobster (plenty of them, too), drove a BMW on Shabbat (and every other day of the week). and G-d forbid, married a shikse. Forget that Dan Silagi wasn't yet born, G-d is prescient and knew that Dan Silagi would desecrate Shabbot and put it on his bucket list to violate each and every of the 613 so-called "Mitzvot" except those which are illegal under civil law, like murder. Thus, I as an unobservant and proudly irreligious Jew (not an atheist nor agnostic, just irreligious), am totally responsible for the murder of 5,999,999 of my landsmen. Or that's what Esther Jungreis would have you believe.

    In fact, most of the 613 "Mitzvot" have to do with self-segregating Jews from Gentiles. It's certainly the purpose of kashrut — G-d doesn't want Christians to eat food that's "unclean" and dangerous any more than He wants Jews to do so. In my opinion, this is what causes anti-Semitism more than anything else.

  11. Anonymous says:

    How sad for you, Dan, that you're such a self-hating Jew who has thrown the baby out with the bathwater. Why don't you seek out a good kiruv rabbi who can show you the beauty of Judaism? Or read "Derech Hashem" by RAMCHAL. That will blow your mind when you learn how INCREDIBLE it is to have been born a Jew.

  12. Gary Harper says:

    I went into the Lion’s Den with several Jewish friends. It is the first time I ever experienced the reality of anti-Semitism. It was the stares of hatred I noticed, for the first time. My companions pretended not to notice, but I did. I wanted to jump up and shout out, “I am not a Jew!” but I did not, as my dad spoke perfect Bavarian with a Jewish accent, and I do not know my own ancestry. My friends thought that I was Jewish. When they would ask, I would say, “No, I am a goyim,” just to see their furrowed brows at my use of the plural.

    It is a bit complicated, but it is all a matter of perspective. Every people in the world knows that the Torah says Israel is the chosen of Hashem. “But if that is true, why are they here in our country, and not in their own?” The Jews are thus resented, as the “chosen” who yet are seen as wanderers, with no roots. The peoples do not understand that Israel is chosen for both reward and punishment, depending on how the nation acts. They are symbolic.

    Also, the existence of Israel as a new state does not really come into consideration here. It is viewed (correctly or incorrectly) as an historical aberration, which has been imposed upon Palestine by the British, who wanted to get all of the Jews out of their own nation. The nations and peoples still view Israel as essentially a stateless people, who look back to their glory days of David and Solomon. “How can they be chosen, if they have been dispersed for 2,000 years, plus?” The reality of the historical presence of at least some Jews in Palestine throughout this entire time is essentially unknown to the world.

    Jewish people cooperate. What is good for one, is good for all. The peoples of the world fight within themselves. So, the newcomers to a nation, through industry, thrift, initiative, and cooperation, soon come to have a great economic, social, political, and even moral influence upon a nation. The newcomer Jews are thus perceived to have an influence on a society disproportionate to their percentage of the population. This is viewed as a cultural threat, and is also resented. It is xenophobia in action. It is seen as a deliberately self-enforced separatism that intends to assimilate an entire nation into Jewish ways, when in reality, it is just a cooperation within a specific group, which the rest of the nation does not do.

    Since the nations view the Jews as not having a nation, they cannot understand why they do not assimilate into the peoples they choose to reside among. Has it not already been proven to the Jew that perhaps he has been chosen for punishment at this time, as he has no nation, which proves that? That is the perspective. They little realize just how many Jews have already assimilated. I would not be surprised of most of the residents of Europe, Africa, North and South America, the Middle East, and Russia did not have a percentage of Jewish blood in them.

    The peoples also view the Jew as having an elevated opinion of himself, as the chosen people. The Jew knows he is chosen, and this reflects in his dealings with the goyim, whether intentional or otherwise. He is an outsider, who acts like an outsider. After centuries of persecution, the Jew is understandably somewhat cautious and insular in his dealings with the surrounding nations. The Jews insistence that his son or daughter dishonors the parents if he or she marries outside of the faith also is viewed as the Jew feeling that he, his nation, and his ways are superior. It is not correctly viewed as a national fear of the abandonment of Hashem Himself.

    I personally have found secular Jews to be the warmest, and most caring, and the most interested in the individual for the individual’s sake, of all groups that I have met. Of the orthodox, it is a mixed bag. Some sects are the nicest people you would want to meet. Others will not even look at you; and no matter what the ultimate reason for it is, it is viewed by the nations as their looking down their noses at you, because they are superior, and you are goy crap. The orthodox rabbis I have met are the worst. Some of them look at you and treat you as if you are a goy nothing. I of course understand that they do not speak for all of the rabbis of all of the sects. But they speak loud and clear to the nations and the peoples, by their actions and attitudes.

    Israel within the world is viewed as a closed community, which is not open to any outsiders. Jews do not generally actively seek to explain themselves, as it is viewed that they see no need to. Perhaps they should be more open, but I understand their caution. There is a lot of bad history here. This is unlike Christian proselytizing, which receives anyone with open arms. There is a lesson from the Torah here for the Jew.

  13. Gary Harper says:

    To finish:

    Do not look back to David and Solomon as your glory time, as it is the same as the history of the nations around you. You were warned by Samuel what would happen if you wedded the nation to an earthly king, in place of Hashem. And where are all those kings and nations today?

    The time in the wilderness was your true age of glory, where you walked in the presence of Hashem Himself, and all you needed was provided to you without your even having to ask for it. You were all made that much stronger for it.

    True Zionism is completely misunderstood. The world does not realize that it does not require conversion to Judaism, or conquest by the Jews, just right action by all before Hashem. It is strictly based upon the actions a man does pursuant to having a right heart and mind. This is the tragedy of secular Zionism; that it has been preempted as their own by a few apostate leaders, who truly believe that conquering and controlling the entire world is their destiny.

    When the peoples of the world hear of worldwide Zionism, they basically think of the philosophies of Marx and Engels, and the Bolshevik Revolution, and the ensuing horror that was the Soviet Union. Whether this has any basis in reality or not is inconsequential; it is still the perspective of the peoples of the world. The spiritual promise of worldwide Zionism, whether deserved or not being beside the point, has been given a permanent black eye by the bleak reality of the secular Communists. This must be unlearned.

    It is up to every Jew to talk to their goy friends who ask questions about Judaism, and to dispel all the misconceptions and the errant beliefs. Invite them to Synagogue, as an observer. They might even come. Most goy do not feel that they would in any way at all be welcome to set foot inside of a synagogue. You need to dispel that erroneous notion on your own. If a goy does come in, welcome him, show him where to stand. He is nervous enough as is. While the Jew does not feel that it is their business to try to make converts, how does any goy learn anything about conversion, if the Jew remains tight-lipped about his religion? Think about it.

    Most people are genuinely curious as to how such a small nation such as Israel could remain intact for 6,000 years under all of the pressures that it has faced, and could still be so influential on the world stage in the interim. It is up to all of you to dispel the suspicion of the “world-wide Zionist plot” to take over the entire world, and to show that Israel in actuality is a symbol to all nations, not an ultimate conquering ruler. You need to also let the goyim know that they are not in any way peripheral to or excluded from Hashem’s plan. Every person’s part, whether you are goy or Jew, is important to the plan. And in the end time, there will be neither Jew nor goy, only children of Hashem.

    And study the written Torah daily. Does anyone study Torah anymore? It is a sad thing, when the goyim study Torah more than do the Jews who live among them.

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