Global Agenda 5:13 AM
Middle East 5:45 AM
Middle East 1:14 AM 12/13/2013
The Tovia Singer Show
Tamar & Tovia Dynamite
Best-selling author, speaker, and spiritual guide, Rabbi Lazer Brody came to Israel from the USA in 1970 after graduating from the University of Maryland’s College of Agriculture. He is a veteran of an elite IDF Unit, having served for nearly thirty years in the regular army and in the IDF reserves. Rabbi Brody pens the award-winning Lazer Beams weblog, is the editor of Breslev Israel web magazine, and the author of The Trail to Tranquility. His English translation of Rabbi Shalom Arush's international bestseller The Garden of Emuna has sold over a million copies. Rabbi Brody is also a musical composer; his Calming Waters is a collection of his original relaxing instrumental melodies and Judean Dream is an album of "Land-of-Israel" music recorded together with Guy Tzvi Mintz and Yosef Karduner. Rabbi Brody spends considerable time traveling around the world spreading the light of emuna.
King David in Psalms compares the Nation of Israel to a vineyard and the people of Israel to a grapevine; here's the explanation, from the biblical border between the hill country of Efraim and the tribal lands of Menashe, not far from Shechem near the village of Yitzhar:
Politicians have no emuna: they attribute anything good in our country to themselves, and anything less than desirable to their opposition.
The Haredi politicians, at least, should know that everything comes from Hashem, including the termination of the Tal Law (which enables military deferments for Torah students) and the Plesner Committee, which despite being disbanded, is calling for the draft of Haredim into the army. It's not Plesner, Bibi, and Mofaz that are clamoring to draft Haredim, it's Hashem. Yet, rather than stopping and pondering what Hashem is trying to tell us by way of the calls to draft, the Haredi political parties are chasing the proverbial stick rather than looking at who is wielding it. That's befitting a cocker spaniel, but not a person with emuna.
Why the ruckus? The Mishna tells us straight out who will be drafted and who will not. "Rabbi Nechunya ben Hakanah says: Whoever accepts the yoke of Torah upon himself will be spared the yoke of government and worldly affairs" (Avot 3.5). That's a hard spiritual fact. If the Torah learners as a whole were really learning Torah - as a "yoke" and not as the easy way out - Hashem wouldn't be threatening them with the draft.
Of my three sons, my first two served in IDF special forces units. My third son wanted to learn Torah full-time. I agreed, on condition that he learn with the same dedication - mesirut nefesh - that his older brothers served in their dangerous units. As someone who is every bit as familiar with the inside of a halftrack or chopper as I am with the inside of a Yeshiva, I can objectively say that if a person isn't doing his part to protect our beloved homeland by learning Torah in total immersion around the clock, than he should at least be manning a duty station in the IDF around the clock. Our enemies - the Hamas, Hizbulla, and the Iranians - are super dedicated. To defeat them, we must be more dedicated than they are.
Forget about the easy life. The Gemara tells us that three things don't come easy - Torah, the world to come, and the Land of Israel. We have to sweat for all three. If a person in Israel is living an easy life, he's not doing his job. Those Yeshiva guys who really learn with emuna and with all their hearts will continue learning. But the others who are looking for an easy life can expect draft notices, unless they do heavy-weight teshuva and start learning with day and night dedication too.
Remember, the draft notices are not from Plesner or Bibi, they're from Hashem. Let's stop whining and get to work. It's no-nonsense Torah or basic training. Choose whatever you want.
The Almighty has moved entire worlds to give us the land of Israel. How can a person refuse such a gift? Are you worried about making aliya? Pour yourself a cup of coffee, take a break, and watch "Emuna Land":
Everything is perfect in Israel.
There is no unemployment.
There is no lack of housing.
There's no crime; there are no thousands of illegal Sudani immigrants all over the country.
Our politicians are all people of upright morals. None of them have pending investigations or corruption charges filed against them.
No one in Judea or Samaria is about to lose their home, G-d forbid, and everything in Migron is hunky dorry.
There's no violence or drugs in secular Israeli schools.
Hizbolla, Syria, and Hamas don't have tens of thousands of rockets aimed at Israel.
Abu Mazan's favorite media source is Arutz 7.
The 300 rockets that fell in the south of Israel last month was really a Disney sound and light show.
Iran never dreamed of threatening us. The Iranian national anthem has been changed to "Hava Nagila" because they love us so much.
But we're now going to throw our country into turmoil with elections.
And it's all the Haredis' fault. They don't serve in the army. They don't like our soldiers. They don't pay taxes.
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You, dear reader are an individual of intelligence. You realize that all the above is satire. But, all the politicians from all the parties, both right and left, are feeding outright racist anti-Haredi garbage to what they think is a gullible and brainless electorate in order to be elected. That's sad.
Too bad; we won't be discouraged and we'll keep on spreading emuna. That's the real key to our success, not the silly elections.
We owe them a debt that no material sum or commodity can repay.
Their blood spilled so that our blood can continue flowing in our veins.
The enemy's bullets and warheads never discerned between black Jews or white Jews, religious Jews or non-religious Jews, right-wing Jews or left-wing Jews. All were maimed and killed equally.
Our beloved fallen martyrs of Ashkenazic and Sefardic descent fought side by side. Kibbutzniks from the Shomer haTzair served in the same squads with bearded Yeshiva graduates. Ethiopian, Russian, and Israeli-born Jews went up in flames together in the same burning tanks.
What can be the most befitting memorial for them?
They died together. In their loving memory, may we live together. Decide that from this moment on, you'll love every fellow Jew no matter what. Let's all commit to fulfilling the mitzva of Ahavat Yisrael in honor of our martyred soldiers of sacred memory. Our very future depends on it.