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      Hollywood to the Holy Land
      by Tzvi Fishman
      Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Jewish Creativity and Culture

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      Before making Aliyah to Israel, Tzvi Fishman was a Hollywood screenwriter. He has co-authored 4 books with Rabbi David Samson, based on the teachings of Rabbi Kook, Eretz Yisrael, Art of T'shuva, War and Peace, and Torat Eretz Yisrael.


      Adar Bet 27, 5768, 4/3/2008

      Where Will You Be When Mashiach Comes?

      The esteemed Torah scholar, Rav Nachman Kahana, gave us permission to post this piece from a Torah article he wrote last week. The passion of his brother, the holy Rav Meir Kahane, may Hashem avenge his murder a million times over, echoes in his words:  

      Our Rabbis have taught that when the Mashiach will appear, he will stand on the roof of the Bet Hamikdash and announce to the nation, "Righteous ones. The time for your salvation has arrived. And if you do not believe, look at the light which has shined upon you... upon you alone and not upon the other nations of the world."

      The same skepticism and refusal to believe that HaShem really loves His nation Israel and that redemption has begun, as the Midrash describes, is now very much upon us.

      The U.S. Vice President visited Israel last week (which the majority of religious Jews from the USA have never done), and made the following public pronouncement, "The establishment of the State of Israel from out of the ashes of the Holocaust is one of the great miracles of history."

      Mr. Cheney knows what he is saying even more than we do, because he is privy to the machinations and intentions of our many enemies who would destroy the Medinah but cannot.

      The great heartache of our times is that millions of gentiles are aware of what HaShem’s own chosen people are blind to. Thousands of gentiles pass by the square in front of my home in the Old City every day in awe of their merit to be in the Holy Land, when the majority of Jews in the USA have never stepped foot on the holy soil.

      The Medinah is the first sign of the redemption of our people. Only a fool can imagine that HaShem will send the Mashiach to a desert land empty of Jews. The Medinah with all its seeming faults is performing what it was set about to do - to bring willing sons and daughters back to Eretz Yisrael.

      While we build the "roof of the Bet Hamikdash" for the Mashiach to appear from, many leaders of galut Jewry convince poor, well-meaning Jewish souls not to come home. Had the rabbis ordered our people to return in the wake of the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which declared Eretz Yisrael on both sides of the Jordan River as the "national home" of the Jewish people, Churchill would not have written in his memoirs in the 1920s: "On the porch of the King David Hotel, with my pencil, I established the Hashamite Kingdom of Jordan."

      Had the Jews of Europe come back, they would not have gone to heaven through the chimneys of Hitler’s extermination camps. Had the Jews returned en mass after the Six Day War in 1967, there would be today no Palestine Authority in Shomron and Yehuda or Hamas in Aza.

      In any event, the Mashiach will come, and he will ask every Jew one simple question: "Where were you when I came?"

      My family and friends will all answer: "We were in Eretz Yisrael," but there will be many other answers such as: "Teaneck," or "Williamsburg," or "Crown Heights" and "Square Town," and the long list of recommended places that I saw on the OU website for young Jewish couples to live.

      I am quite certain that the Mashiach is an understanding person. He will appreciate the stressful situation our people are going through in the galut and the difficulties they encounter in having to uproot themselves from their familiar surroundings to come to a country on the edge of the desert surrounded by fierce enemies. But at the same time, the Mashiach will also be a very practical leader; and in his capacity of bringing Torah to the entire world, I would not be surprised if he would institute a very practical solution for his problem: that all the Jews who will be in the galut upon his arrival will have to remain in the galut where they will be the Mashiach’s emissaries to teach the goyim their seven Noachide laws. And while they will be busy in Africa and in the jungles of South America and the city jungles of NY and Chicago, we in Eretz Yisrael will be putting the final touches on the roof of the Bet Hamikdash.

      Shabbat Shalom
      Nachman Kahana

      Book of the Year

      Don't forget to buy the book. Great Pesach reading!

      Adar Bet 26, 5768, 4/2/2008

      Johannesburg Blues

      Let's say this letter comes from Johannesburg, but it could be from LA, or Monsey, or Paris, or Melbourne. There are tens and tens of thousands of young Jewish males with the very same problem, living this Catch 22 purgatory all over the globe. True, there are many things in Israel that need fixing, but there is an underlying spiritual, cultural, and physical impurity in the Diaspora that has warped Torah values and corrupted the Jewish soul with the immoral and profane aspirations of the nations. Like a deadly, invisible gas, the Diaspora has poisoned our holy values, threatening to wipe out the young generation of Jews. It is a spiritual Tsunami. Like it or not, only the lucky ones who reach the shores of Israel can hoped to be saved.

      At least here in the Holy Land, a guy can find a wonderful wife without having to own a Mercedez, a penthouse, a stock portfolio, and a boat. When you go out on a shiduch, the girl doesn't even ask what you do. She wants to know who you are. What you drive in, and what you live in don't matter. What you believe in is what really counts.

      Here is the letter:

      Dear Tzvi,
      I am a young minded 35 year old Jewish guy in Johannesburg South Africa.
      While Africa is a crappy continent and South Africa has issues,
      the Jewish community of Johannesburg is generally well-off.
      There are 100's of poor Jewish families but also 1000's of wealthy ones.
      It is a very materialistic place to be with everyone trying to outdo each other,
      who can go to Thailand or Bali- who can drive the newest Merc or BMW etc.
      This is really how it is. Very material.

      one for Abba, one for Emma, one for the kids

      My point is that to fit in anywhere, you need to walk the talk.
      Which where I live, means money. Cold hard cash.
      I'm nearly 36 so it's time I looked for a wife etc.
      But honestly- the Jewish girls here are brought up spoilt by their parents,
      and they always want "better" for their children.
      So if you are brought up with money- you want a guy with money-
      so you can continue the upmarket luxurious lifestyle you are living.
      And if you're a girl with no money- you still want a guy with money-
      so you can live the luxurious lifestyle your friends are living.
      I am not generalizing- this is how it is here.

      Sure there are enough rooms for the kid and the dog?

      I am not a very material person. So I feel out of place here.
      Yes I have a degree but not in business.
      I'd love to live in Israel if I could find a job there but I have no money to get there.
      I simply cannot afford overseas air tickets.
      Now here is why I email you-

      The TORAH says a man (I am a man) must marry a woman and have children.
      How can I possibly do that? Girls here ask "what do you do?",
      and "what car do you drive?". I say a "Toyota" and well it does not work.
      A girl here does not wish to date a guy with no money.

      SO I am STUCK in a catch-22.
      I need to get married and start living but I need money to do that, fact.
      But I have no money. The Torah says to get a wife and then the money will come.
      But here to get a wife- you need the money first.
      SO I am stuck.

      What makes it a terrible catch-22 is that I have spilled lots of seed.
      I know this can damage making a living and other things as well.

      I have slept with Jewish girls
      • I have slept with non Jewish girls
      • I have done naughty things
      • I have spilt seed
      • I have masturbated
      • I have watched porn
      • etc

      If I have a wife, then I can sleep with only her.
      And be with only her.
      Don't need to spill seed anymore.
      Or watch porn. etc.
      So it's really best if Heaven gives me a wife-
      and the MONEY to afford her-
      but no- I am kept in a stuck state.

      And being single with no money is depressing.
      And Hashem gave me hormones.
      At 35 must I be celibate?

      So I masturbate. Is it not better than sleeping with non Jews?
      Or sleeping with Jewish girls? 
      If not,
      then one watches porn.
      Really what else is there to do?

      SHOULD I rather study Torah?
      There I will learn that a man to be complete-
      must marry a woman and have sex with her-
      and build a family with children and Torah.
      Great..... I'll also learn that when I get married-
      the Ketubah tells me I am obligated to support my wife-
      Great...........so I'll learn that I must get married-
      with money to support a wife-
      so where is my wife? where is my decent livelihood = parnasah?
      I don't wanna be rich. I want to be average.

      So how will studying Torah help me actually?
      It will just reinforce my stuck position.
      I want a wife and want to only be with her.
      But I have no parnasah to afford this.

      Catch 22.

      I believe in Hashem and the Torah.
      But I am battling in keeping faith in light of all the above.
      I can't talk to any Rabbi here about this.
      They're all too busy. And don't properly answer questions anyway.
      They also can't relate- they live in nice houses-
      get paid good salaries- have wives 
      and so they just cannot relate.
      Also I don't know any Rabbi very well- and to go to one and say,
      "I'd like to talk to you about sex and masturbation..",
      well....it just won't happen.

      So that's why I am emailing you and maybe you can shed some light on this matter for me,
      who knows?


      Adar Bet 25, 5768, 4/1/2008

      More Champion Awards

      We know that Rob already won a Champion Award, but he deserves another for another brave step forward, as revealed in this heartfelt letter.

      Adam from Monsey, NY. gets a Champion Award also for his giant step out of the darkness.

      Champions of Truth 

      Keep strong, brothers. Take this tip from the Jedi Jud. There are always trials when a person comes to cleanse himself from impurity. The Evil Prince of Galutia doesn’t want to let go of his captives. Keep your eyes fixed on your holy goal and you will make it. Close your ears to all those who would fill you with weakness and doubts. Go with the Force! 

      Go with the Force!


      Here’s Rob’s latest letter:

      After conversations with my wife concerning the future, we have decided that the best option for us to pursue would be Aliyah. We have a piece of land here we have been working on for the last four years. I have come to the conclusion it is basically a waste of my time to put energy into something someone else will eventually own. I know it would be better for us to invest our energy into building the Holy Land.
      I know my cyber buddies will flip out on me, but this is a decision I have been contemplating for a few years now. I am not worried about being killed because I would be buried there for sure.  Also I'm pretty sure my blood is not any more precious than those who live and die in the Holy Land.
      I also realize we can never fully understand the struggle without actually being a physical part of it. In my own defense, I must do what is right. And the right thing for me to do is come and join in.
      Thanks Tzvi, we love you man, Rob
      Here’s Adam’s talkback:

      80% of our ancestors died during the plague of darkness when we were slaves in Egypt. Why? Because they didn't have any desire to be redeemed. They would rather be slaves in Egypt, where they were familiar with their surroundings. The same thing seems destined to happen with the final Redemption. I'm not sticking around in the Exile and miss out on the Redemption that Hashem has promised us. While I pray that anyone reading this who is still in Exile (like I am) will wake up - I don't worry about it too much either. Tzvi and many others will keep on teaching the Truth - and the 80% who don't want to serve Hashem and be part of the Geulah will go back to sleep. However - if these blogs strike a chord with you, and you know deep inside your soul that the Land of Israel and the Final Redemption is your destiny - then don't wait any longer! Start planning your aliyah now!

      Adar Bet 24, 5768, 3/31/2008

      “Medinat Yehudah Now!”

      A woman was arrested the other day for throwing a newborn baby boy into a garbage bin across the street from the hospital where it was born. During the police interrogation, she said she threw the baby away because she didn’t want a baby – she wanted a fully grown son. The police tried to explain that the baby would one day grow up to be a fully grown boy, but the woman was adamant. She didn’t want all the hassle of a baby. She wanted a grown-up son that could take care of himself now.

      Just as there is “Peace Now,” and “Mashiach Now,” there is “Medinat Yehudah Now!” All are infantile obsessions, irresponsible, perverted orientations to life, as dangerous as letting a child drive a car when his feet don’t even reach the pedals.

      The prophecy of Ezekiel teaches us this by describing the Redemption of Israel as a slowly evolving process that unfolds over time, and not as something that is born complete from the beginning. Once the Jewish People return to the Land of Israel, they undergo a spiritual metamorphosis, like that of a butterfly emerging from a caterpillar cocoon.
      Post Zionism Today
      On The Way
      The prophet describes it as a spiritual heart transplant, in which our unfeeling, exile hearts and confused mentalities are removed and replaced with new, holy minds and hearts. Like a transplant, the process is accompanied by a lot of uncertainty, fear, and bleeding. But the operation turns out a success:
      “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; from all of your filth and from all of your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel, Ch.36).
      A New Heart

      When we wake up from the surgery, we wake up anew, not American Jews, or French Jews, or secular Israeli Jews, but as G-d’s People:

      “And you shall dwell in the Land that I gave to your fathers; and you shall be My people, and I will be your G-d.”
      This national rebirth of the Jewish People in the Jewish Land leads to the ultimate goal of world history – the sanctification of G-d throughout all the world, when all mankind will proclaim that the G-d of Israel is king:

      “And they shall say, ‘This Land that was blighted is become like the Garden of Eden, and the waste and blighted and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited.’ Then the nations that are left around you shall know that I the L-rd have rebuilt the ruined places and have replanted that which was blighted; I the L-rd have spoken it and I will do it.”

      We have G-d’s assurance that He will do it. Everyone must play his and her share in this grand historical pageant, and know that G-d will bring it to pass.

      There are those who will have the fortune to board the boat of Redemption and take an actual part in the rebuilding in the Land; there are those who will help from afar; and there are those will write angry, complaining talkbacks, like a baby who doesn’t get his bottle now.

      Builder or kvetcher? Take your pick.  


      Adar Bet 23, 5768, 3/30/2008

      Sorry Fellas

      Sorry fellas. The Prophet Ezekiel said it, not me. We read it yesterday in synagogue on Shabbat. For those of you who couldn’t make it to shul, and for those who you who have trouble with the Hebrew, here it is in plain English. The Haftorah (Ezekiel, 36:16-38) describes the process of Redemption – what happens to the Jews when they are expelled from the Land because of their sins; and what happens to them when they return to the Land of Israel. We’ve written about this before, but our Sages require us to reread it ever year, so that the message sinks in. This is what G-d has to say via the Prophet Ezekiel:

      “And when they came to the nations to which they came, they profaned My holy Name, in that people said of them, ‘These are the people of the L-rd, and they are gone out of His Land.’”

      This means that when a gentile in America sees a Jew eating a hot dog at a ballgame, or lining up on the Upper East Side to see the latest movie, or studying the labels in the supermarket for microscopic OUs, or hurrying in their black coats and black hats through the Manhattan Diamond District on their way to work, the non-Jew is moved to exclaim:

      “Hey, Momma, what is going down here? Looky, looky, here’s a Jew.  Didn’t G-d give him the Land of Israel to live in? What the hell is he doing here? He likes the old USA more than the Land that G-d gave him? Man, what a put down of the L-rd! Hey, brother, whatch you doin here? Why don’t you get your Jewish @@@ home?” 

      A Picture Says a 1000 Words

      This, in the words of the Prophet, is a desecration of G-d, or what is called a Chillul Hashem. The Jew doesn’t have to do anything bad. His mere presence in a foreign land is a profanation of G-d.

      Seeing the Jews at the country club and theater, other gentiles say, “Man, I thought that G-d was all powerful. But if He can’t even keep His own people in their Land, He ain’t no super power after all. We don’t have to be afraid of Him or believe in the Torah, cause the G-d of the Jews is weak.”

      This too is a desecration of G-d. In fact, Jewish life in the Diaspora is such a terrible shame, the time comes when G-d can’t bear it any more:

      “But I had concern for My holy Name which the House of Israel profaned among the nations into which they came. Therefore, say to the House of Israel, ‘Thus says the L-rd G-d; I do not do this for your sakes, O House of Israel, by for the sake of My holy Name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will sanctify My great Name which was profaned amongst the gentiles, which you have profaned in the midst of them; and the nations shall know that  I am the L-rd, says the L-rd G-d, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.’”

      And how does this great sanctification occur? The Prophet continues:

      “For I will take you from amongst the nations, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own Land.”

      The cessation of the exile is the greatest sanctification of G-d that there is. When the Jews give up Virginia, and Monsey, and Manchester, and Kyoto Japan, and return home to Israel, the gentiles proclaim the greatest of G-d for keeping His promise to the Children of Israel.

      “Holy cow!” they exclaim. “The Torah is true! The Prophets are  true! G-d is the greatest super power of them all!”

      With G-d’s help, we shall continue to look at this prophesy tomorrow. In the meantime, do some homework, and try reading it again. Remember, Fishman didn’t write it. It’s the word of G-d.