<I>Breishit</I>: The Fourth Hour

As we leave the Tishrei holiday period , we now enter the real, gashmi (as in "mashiv haruach umorid hagashem") world.

Rabbi Dr. Aryeh Hirsch,

Aryeh Hirsch
Aryeh Hirsch
"The Lord formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils a soul of life." (Breishit 2:7). The Talmud, Sanhedrin 38b, describes that day:
Rabbi Yochanan bar Chanina says: "That day consisted of twelve hours. The first hour, dust was miraculously gathered [from all over the world, to Gan Eden - Ben Ish Chai]; the second hour, a Golem [a nonhuman physical being] was made. In the third hour, his limbs were delineated. In the fourth hour, a soul was cast into him (nizrka bo neshama)....
The six days of Creation represent all of history (according to the Ramban on Breishit 2:3). The Vilna Gaon (in Kol HaTor 1:4) and Chasidic rabbis see in those first twelve hours of the Friday of the creation of Adam and Eve, the process of the ultimate redemption, if it is to come openly, by natural means. The Gathering of the Exiles, which we have seen in the 20th century and which continues, corresponds to "dust was gathered." The building up of Eretz Yisrael, with construction, agriculture, economy and security, is the stage of the second hour, the Golem, the physical entity that is Medinat Yisrael (the State of Israel).

Now comes the stage that Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook described in his letters to the Mizrachi movement:
The practical Zionism that has manifested itself up until today has lofty, elevated aspects that call us (from the depths of our Yisraeli being) to support it with all of our physical and spiritual powers. But all this, in sum, is only the Guf HaTzioni (the physical Zionist being). We, however, have a calling to cast the soul into this multi-dimensional body, this Golem - lizrok han'shama bagviyah, so that it truly be worthy of its name, Zionism, to include the whole of the nation, representing all of its present and past generations, and to give to the world what the source of Zionism, the Bible, gives to Zionism: its holy, upper source, in all its traditional depth and glory. (Rabbi A. Y. Kook, as explained by Rabbi Tzvi Tau in Neshama La'Am Aleha, pages 114-115)
As we leave the Tishrei holiday period , we now enter the real, gashmi (as in "mashiv haruach umorid hagashem") world. The soul that did teshuva on Rosh HaShanah-Yom Kippur-Hoshana Rabba, becoming an Adam HaRishon at Creation, that soul we incubated in the Gan Eden of the sukkah, now begins its Adam-like exile into the world "east of Eden."

It therefore behooves us to have a plan. And Rabbi Kook provides it, with a three-pronged strategy:

1) To involve the ma'aminim. This means to approach those who already follow Torah and mitzvot, and involve them in the Zionist enterprise. Of course, the situation has changed since Rabbi Kook's time, but only for the better: Agudat Yisrael is a party in the Zionist parliament, the IDF's Nachal Chareidi flourishes, and Chareidim take more and more part in Israeli businesses and professions. This is on the gashmi level; we must also involve them in the lizrok han'shama bagviya spiritual enterprise.

2) To involve the the lo ma'aminim. This involves education and interaction with the secular public. As the bankruptcy of secular Zionist ideas, character and institutions becomes more and more obvious, the ground becomes more fertile for true, Jewish ideals to be received.

3) To redefine Zionism as the truly spiritual-based entity that it is: "A holy nation, the treasured (segula) one of the world, the young lion Judah" (Breishit 49:9) awakening from his long sleep, returning to his ancient inheritance, the "pride of Jacob that I love," the "nation of priests and the holy People." (Neshama La'Am Aleha, p. 122)

This is the antithesis of Theodor Herzl's statement that "Zionism has nothing in common with religion," which Rabbi Kook detested. As secular Zionism implodes, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has called for declaring a new definition of Zionism (one with more limited geographic goals). It therefore behooves the religious-Zionist rabbinic leadership to preempt the prime minister and start educating the public in the true meaning of Zionism, with a national teshuva (return) to our soul and our roots. And especially to the Bible, "which is the historical description of Israel as the nation on earth with the mission of fulfilling the will of God. By reaching understanding of who we are and how we are to live, as a nation, we will plant a foundation of holiness , in its national dimension, in the structure of the lives of nations." (Rabbi Tau, ibid., p. 120)

This week's Haftara calls us, after the deen (judgment) of the High Holidays, to take stock of ourselves spiritually and physically as we start the new year. That is why the parsha features the story of Good and Evil. And we should note the following:

The evil of the Disengagement has not been corrected. Although the recent Lebanon War made many people wake up, for other Israelis, giving away Eretz Yisrael (as long as it's not their home) is still a major tenet of their belief system. These people, poisoned by the ideology of the Primeval Snake, still want to give away Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights. However, they know that now the idea is unpopular. Only a massive,sustained educational effort based on the above three-point plan can change this.

Another aspect of the evil: the Bar-Kamtza syndrome, in which Jews literally devour each other alive, like cannibalistic locusts (kamtza in Aramaic). This mindset allows some Israelis to believe it's perfectly legitimate to make other Israelis their fall guy, thereby buying "peace" at the expense of Gush Katifers, Golanites, etc.

And that leads us to Jonathan Pollard. I invite readers to read Wolf Blitzer's book Territory of Lies: Israel's Betrayal of Jonathan Pollard to understand how truly evilly the Israeli and US governments have behaved. It is obscene that the man who had Pollard thrown out of the Israeli embassy in the US, Rafi Eitan, is sitting in the Israeli Knesset (as is Shimon Peres, who was prime minister at the time, and whose culpability is well documented by Blitzer). Although many in the US are our friends, anti-Semites and oil men in the States are still powerful enough to keep Pollard in jail; and "Pollard," as a threat, is enough to keep the Jewish American lobby in line (Blitzer, pages 282-283). Jonathan Pollard is a microcosm of what these enemies want to do to the Jewish state.

Finally, the Left and the IDF. When the Oslo Accords were first promulgated, one of the chief lies of Peres, Yossi Sarid, Yossi Beilin and others was that, at worst, even if given a country, the "Palestinian" Arabs are no strategic, existential threat to Israel. But after 14 years of Oslo and its bastard descendants, it's obvious that our army has spent so much time and energy fighting terrorists and manning every street corner in Judea and Samaria (and fighting Jews) that it cannot effectively fight foreign enemies; i. e., the Palestinian Authority is a strategic, existential threat. And a "country of Palestine" has not even had its chance yet to shoot missiles at Ben-Gurion Airport.

The message of Neshama La'am Aleha (a soul for the people in Eretz Yisrael) is an old one, as Yeshayahu the prophet said: "So says the Lord Almighty, who created the Heavens and stretched them forth, and gives a soul to the people in the Land, and spirit to those who walk therein: 'I the Lord call you to righteousness, and support and guard you, to set you [Isaiah] to establish My Covenant with My People, and to be a Light to the Nations." (Isaiah 42:5-6)

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