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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Bais Hamikdosh’

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 7/02/10

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Dear Rachel,

 

Rabbi Willig’s response to the couple who refused to press charges against the abusive husband who entered their home and threatened them after which they became a target of abuse from their son’s Rosh Yeshiva was right on target. It brought to mind the seriousness of this issue with regard to Israel. I know this is a community crisis forum, but what is happening to our community on a national level is so frightening that I feel I must address it.

 

What happened to this couple and their lame reaction of refusing to press charges is similar to what is happening to our nation. The Arabs are claiming that our land belongs to them and our leadership responds by offering to share it  - freezing settlements, offering to live side by side in a 2-state solution, expelling 10,000 Jewish citizens from Gaza to give it to them

 

Of course we know the result of all of this is outrage from the world, the U.S. included, over our refusal to give them everything they want (which will, of course, G-d forbid leave us stateless).

 

My question is: What did you expect? Bullies will use whatever weapons they have, including PR and violence to get what they want, until they are confronted. Instead of “pressing charges” our leaders in Israel show further weakness by offering more to the “intruders” who have broken into our Homeland.

 

             It sickens me that they would rather claim our right to defend ourselves than claim our right to our Homeland. Because our leadership has no faith in G-d, they cannot face and admit the truth of who we are as a Jewish nation and how we need to deal with our enemies. We pretend that our enemies are our peace partners when we all know it’s a phony peace process.

 

How can it have come to this, to our having lost our sense of purpose as a nation? How is it that so few of us protested the sinful expulsion of our own people from Gaza? Our leaders have now put a freeze on Judea and Shomron; how is it that we continue the shameful silence?

 

Why are we not protesting and refusing this as well? When will our people wake up and see that we desperately need authentic Jewish leadership in Israel with a leader who has faith in G-d and has the courage to claim that the Land of Israel is the G-d-given right to the Jews?

 

We need to stop blaming the world and start looking within. It is up to us, within our own hands, to make it right. Then, with G-d’s help we will begin to emerge as a nation that will truly make Him proud.

 

Beyond exasperated

 

Dear Beyond,

 

The answer to your question of how it could have come to this would fill pages and pages. But you have managed to encapsulate it quite effectively yourself: “Because our leadership has no faith in G-d.”

 

What a tragic irony that Eretz Hakdosha – G-d’s palace – is being desecrated, on a daily basis, with the sanction of Israel’s so-called leadership. How any human entity has the temerity to declare Israel a “democracy” – which in essence translates into giving freedom to its (Jewish) citizens to do as they please; to violate the Shabbos, to consume non-kosher food and to wile away precious time on holy soil without paying any heed whatsoever to the Torah which was given to us as a prerequisite to occupying the holy Land – should boggle every authentic Jew’s conscience.

 

“It is up to us, within our own hands, to make it right ” you say. It certainly is – it is up to each and every one of us to fulfill our obligation to serve Hashem, abide by His Torah and see to our children’s chinuch baderech haTorah wherever we set down roots.

 

Until Hashem deems the time right for beias HaMoshiach, it is up to us to prove ourselves worthy of His rescue and to beseech Him daily to redeem us.

 

There is a compelling story making the rounds as told by Rabbi Avrohom M. Alter in the name of Rebbetzin Kanievsky.

 

Not long ago, a car packed with explosives was parked at a mall in Haifa. The consequence of an explosion that would have had multiple gas tanks detonating in the heavily populated mall is unfathomable.

 

As it happened, a passerby who saw smoke emanating from the car alerted the police and the explosives were deactivated before they could wreak destruction.

 

Several weeks prior to this incident, a girl in Haifa was given a grim medical prognosis: she had stomach cancer and the large tumor had metastasized. She was told that nothing could be done.

 

This non-religious girl and her parents appealed to the doctors to try to help her. She was then scheduled to return for surgery.

 

On the night before the surgery, the girl prayed to Hashem: “When we had the Bais Hamikdosh people could bring you korbanos to plead their case. Now we have no Kohanim and no Bais Hamikdosh. But I still want to bring you a korban.”

 

She took all of her immodest clothes out to the yard and burned them. As she watched them go up in flames, she cried out, “This is my korban!”

 

The next day she had the surgery and doctors discovered that the giant tumor had not metastasized after all. It was easily removed – and it was benign.

 

When the girl had recovered enough to stand on her own two feet again, her friends brought over all of their own immodest clothing and made another fire.

 

At the time the bomb at the mall was set to explode, these girls were inside shopping for their new, modest wardrobe.

 

A miracle as a reward for tznius ?

* * * * *

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A Daily Dose Of Tisha B’Av

Wednesday, August 25th, 2004

Another Nine Days have come and gone, and we gratefully give a sigh of relief knowing that these days of deprivation – no meat, no swimming, no showering, no music, culminating in a 25 hour fast – no food or water – are finally behind us, and the rest of the sun-drenched summer is there for us to enjoy.

Within days, the tragic realities which the Nine Days represent are relegated to a distant storage bin in our warehouse of memories, to be dusted off in 12 months’ time, when the next Nine Days come around. That is the way human beings operate. Unpleasant happenings are quickly discarded if they do not affect us directly. People go to hospitals, funerals, to shiva houses, and they genuinely feel awful about the specific situation, but the adage “out of sight – out of mind” holds true. We go on with our lives as soon as we walk out the door.

During the week of Tisha B’Av, we mourn the destruction of the Temple and centuries of tragedy and exile, but for many, it is more of an intellectual exercise. We acknowledge the ruinous event that happened so long ago, but I sense that for many, we are basically paying a shiva call – we are upset, even tearful, but just for a moment. The loss of the Bais Hamikdosh doesn’t really affect our day-to-day lives, at least not in America, not for the current generation of Diaspora Jews. We come and go as we please, without fear, hesitation or restriction. The only thing stopping a person from living la vida dolce are his/ her self-imposed limitations.

I find myself disturbed by my own lack of awareness of how terrible galut is – cushioned by a comfortable and relatively safe North American lifestyle. However, when I say galut, I am including a pre-Moshiach State of Israel. Today, Israel lacks peace and harmony from both within, as religious and secular factions bicker and fight over economic and cultural issues, and externally, as fanatical Muslim factions fueled by blood-lust murder, maim and mutilate indiscriminately.

And of course, there is the predictable, self-righteous indignation from hypocritical international governments who condemn, censor and criticize Israel for employing self-defensive measures. Israel is “damned if they do - and damned if they don’t.”

I try to rectify my “head in the sand” oblivion by taking a time-out every day and reading The Jerusalem Post and Arutz Sheva on-line. Almost daily, a smiling, “eyes brimming with life” photo of a young soldier, or that of a child, or a young mother, or a man eager to take care of unfinished business, look out at me. And accompanying the photo is an age, and a mention of a status – son, daughter, fiancee, spouse, father, mother, grandparent – and a description of how he/she came to a premature and violent death.

And because we are all related, I often see someone I know, or that I feel I know. Sometimes there is a passing resemblance to my own kids, or a friend, or colleague. Or maybe because I know that their dreams and goals and aspirations were the same as mine. And it becomes personal – and real.

The next day, there is the follow-up photo of grieving relatives, their faces exploding with grief as they fall on the coffin in a desperate try to get in one last hug, before the physical essence of their loved one disappears underground.

And for a few minutes, I see and feel the churban. I understand its horror and I finally experience Tisha B’av on an emotional level. Until I click off the web-site. And let my sugar-coated reality rescue me from grief. Until the next day. For like a bitter pill that must be taken daily, we must experience a brief taste of Tisha B’Av on a regular basis, so that we will reach out to our Heavenly Father with genuine tears, and hasten the ultimate Redemption.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/a-daily-dose-of-tisha-bav/2004/08/25/

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