Title: For the Love of Israel and the Jewish People
Author: Rabbi Dr. Nathan Lopes Cardozo
Publisher: Urim Publications
These introductory lines capture the book’s essence: “The land of Israel and the Jewish people are bound together in mysterious ways difficult to grasp. The relationship between them goes beyond the conventional”
The author then illustrates that members of Israel’s haredi world will likely number one million by the year 2020, poised to dramatically influence Israel’s future. Rabbi Dr. Cardozo points out the haredim are unprepared for that eventuality, particularly in terms of earning income. He fears that their growing numbers on welfare can collapse Israel’s economy and government and blames haredi rabbis and yeshivot for failing to make halachically valid and necessary educational system changes.
The importance of the Modern Orthodox world within Israel and the rapid departure of assimilated secular Israelis are part of a vitally relevant mix influencing this eventuality for better and for worse.
But the he sees light at the end of the tunnel.
A collection of essays, studies and lectures, For the Love of Israel and the Jewish People begins with an open letter to President Shimon Peres. It addresses Jews as moral heirs of Sinai, the option to correct the misguided removal of Jewish identity from Israeli public education that’s wrecking Israeli society, and the national need for a Jewish identity.
Marriage; why Israel and her Jews are hated in The Hague; pain; and incessant wars are among the topics of subsequent chapters. Two overpowering lessons in this book are that the Jews have risen above every form of strife known to the world – and non-Jews resent our moral tenacity. We transform the world rather than accept its limitations. We ” live for that which is greater than ourselves.” Our ethics, embodied in the Ten Commandments, offend ethically challenged gentile nations.
Integrity is our mandate, not theirs. And our enemies are additionally enraged to realize that we outlive them.
Some Holy Land residents celebrated Israel’s 60th Independence Day by singing Psalm 126 to the tune of Hatikvah. Poignant, the act was consistent with the lessons of the book’s chapter, There is No Mashiach without a Song: King Chizkiyahu could have changed history, and his son, for the better, with songs of praise. Jewish sages teach, “No one can be Mashiach unless he is willing and able to sing.” Maimonides’ letter, Kovetz Teshuvos HaRambam VeIggerotav, included in the essay, explains: “Music raises the spoken word to a level that touches prophecy the entrance to joy.”
Rabbi Cardozo’s essay, “Jewish Tradition and the Intifada” is equally soul-stirring.” … we were once strong-minded capable of standing up against the largest empires in the world, today we seem confused. We have exchanged self-confidence for limited hysteria we don’t know where to turn and how to start finding answers As religious people we’re used to consulting Biblical and Talmudic sources and drawing conclusions.
“However nothing is more dangerous than claiming to have definite insights into the mind of God… arrogance and impudence of the first order we are left with only one option study these texts… it’s our moral obligation to learn those matters that increase our moral consciousness without stating that they are authentic interpretation.”
The author’s classic lessons, from here until the book’s last page, will make you weep with shame, teshuvah and desperate prayer for yeshuah.
Grow as Jews. Read this book. Its wisdom will be inscribed upon your heart and soul. And it might help us to save Israel.
Yocheved Golani is the author of the highly acclaimed book, It’s My Crisis! And I’ll Cry if I Need To: A Life Book that Helps You to Dry Your Tears and to Cope with a Medical Challenge.