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.