Life Lessons with Judy Simon
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.
While cries for revenge are understandable, revenge is not the answer. Killing 10 or 20 or 200 Arabs won't make the others go away. If the government of Israel were prepared to declare an all-out war against our enemies, that would be a positive start. But the random killing of Arabs, no matter who they are, won't solve the problem.
We don't need more meaningless talkbacks. We need your bodies, your talents, your souls.
The truth is that the slaughter of the eight young yeshiva students did not have to happen. If, over the course of the last sixty years, the Jews of the Diaspora had heeded the call of the Master of the World ushering His People home, this tragedy would never have happened. If the Jewish residents of North America and Australia and England and France and Mexico and Brazil had given up there foreign gentile lands and their businesses, and flocked en masse back to the Promised Land, the Arabs living in Israel would have fleed. If over the years, with the rebirth of Israel, there had been a Jewish immigration of many more millions, the Arabs would have run for their lives. There would never have been demographic dangers, surrender of territories, illusionary peace treaties signed out of weakness, and terrorists with guns in the heart of our Land.
You can blame Rabin and Peres, you can curse Olmert and Sharon, but we ourselves are too blame for not having responded to the shofar of our freedom and the clear calling of G-d to come home. Yes, the mass immigration of the Jewish People back to the Jewish Homeland would have changed the face of Medinat Yisrael completely. Instead of giving our talents and resources to the nations of the world, we would have built Medinat Yisrael into the world's leading superpower. If the Jewish scientists, computer wizards, military specialists, businessmen, filmmakers, writers, doctors, inventors, financial analysts, atomic engineers, and baseball buffs had given up their foreign nationalities and wives, and come home, everything would have been different. If the religious had come to do their shuckling in Bnei Brak and not in Boro Park, today's Knesset members would all have beards. The Land would have witnessed miracles that would have made the world bow down in reverence, the Mashiach would have come along in the wake of a nation reawakening with a proud, mighty spirit, no Arab would have dared to throw a stone or raise a hand against a Jew.
The dream can still happen. Every Jew in the Diaspora still has the chance to be true to his essence, to stop living a lie, to hear the call of his Maker urging him home. Yes, we in Israel are taking the blows, holding down the fort for the stragglers, but the doors are still open. Come. Come now. If you really want to do something more than shaking your heads and spouting out worthless advice, come and join us. Come in your myriads and see how the Arabs flee from this Land. Come and do something real. We don't need more meaningless talkbacks. We need your bodies, your talents, your souls.
That's the only way to make sure that more Jewish boys won't be killed. Instead of pretending, come and get a job as a security guard if you have to. If even one of you had been at the Mercaz Yeshiva that night, dressed and trained as a thirty shekel an hour security guard, the massacre would never had happened.
Like it or nor, that's the truth.
A lot of readers ask me questions, and I apologize that I cannot answer them all. But this time, I have a question for you.
It was announced tonight that America's Secretary of State condemned Israel for planning to build more apartment units in the Jerusalem suburb of Givat Zev. The Secretary of the UN followed suit with a similar condemnation, along with the expected condemnation of the head of the European Union. All of them once again demanded an immediate freeze on all building in the "occupied" areas.
Now there are readers of this blog who rightfully condemn the Olmert government for having frozen all settlement building. Indeed, there are readers who call the Shas party members traitors and whores for sitting in a government that denies Jews the right to settle the entire Land of Israel.
My question is this - what is the difference between the members of Shas who support a government that forbids Jews to settle in Biblical Israel, and Jews in America and Europe who support governments that forbid Jews to settle in Biblical Israel? Aren't people like this traitors and whores too? How can they live in such places and pay taxes to such anti-settlement governments? Certainly, to readers who don't consider Israeli leftists Jews, these citizens of America and Europe aren't Jews either. They are good Americans and Frenchmen and Germans, who live in, identify with, and participate in countries that fight against the Jewish settlement of the Land of Israel. How can they call themselves Jews?
This time, I am awaiting your answers.
JEWS IN THE DIASPORA, WAKE UP!!! YOU ARE ABETTING THE ENEMIES OF ISRAEL.
We live a few hundred yards away from the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva in Yerushalayim. I usually stop by a few times a week and often daven there on Shabbat and the holidays. For a while, I had a hevruta with Rabbi Yaacov Sharpira, the new Rosh Yeshiva. Twice a week, my twelve-year-old son learns Gemara there in the library where the eight boys were murdered. We are friends of the students and the teachers in the school. Like almost everyone in Israel, we know several of the bereaved families. My older boys rushed to the scene the minute they heard that a terrorist attack was in progress. After hearing the first round of shots, our neighbor, David Shapira, also raced to the Yeshiva and gunned down the Arab killer. The quiet young man is a true hero of Israel.When the two rookie police officers who arrived first on the scene failed to approach the library, David took the cap of one of them and charged in himself while the fire was still raging. The following day, my family came home scorched with sunburn from standing outside the Yeshiva, crying with the thousands who had gathered for the hours of eulogies.
The shiva week is not a time to write blogs that may arouse controversy and strident reactions. Rather, it is a time for soul-searching and silent introspection, everyone with his or her own national mourning and pain.
This week's Torah portion begins: "If any man of you brings an offering, of yourselves should be your offering to the L-rd...."
The eight exaltedly holy young Torah scholars offered their very lives. May their transcendental sacrifice atone for all of our sins, and inspire in all of us a greater devotion to Torah and to the Land of Israel, which they so dearly loved.
The Rambam states in the Laws of Public Fasts that when tribulation comes upon the nation, everyone is called upon to cry out in lamentation and do tshuva. The Rambam writes that if people continue in their usual ways, saying the national tragedy was merely coincidental, that this insensitive reaction increases G-d's wrath, and brings more tribulation in its wake, may G-d have mercy.
In a future blog, we will talk more about the massacre at Mercaz HaRav and its meaning for the nation. For the present, our tshuva will start with an overhaul and cleansing of this blog. From now on, there will be rules for the blogger and for the blogged. All those who wish to participate in the discussions will have to follow the following guidelines or their talkbacks will be deleted.
Firstly, there will be no more insults, name calling, curses and the like. For example, while it is permissible to say "lovers of the exile," barbed epithets like "Couch Potato" are forbidden.
Secondly, heretical statements will be spammed. For example, it is permissible to say, "In my opinion, aliyah is suicide," but to actively discourage Jews from coming to live in Israel, or from keeping any other commandment, this will not be allowed.
Any call for Jews to kill other Jews will be deleted.
Any missionary activity or quotes from the New Testament will be trashed.
Since I cannot read all of the talkbacks, someone will do the proofreading for me, consulting me for final decisions, whenever there is a doubt. If Arutz 7's talkback approval system passes on a uncensored comment, we will try to rectify the mistake as soon as possible on the talkback section of the blog.
May this change be a small part in making the world a better, holier place.
We all pray for the speedy recovery of the wounded at Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav in Jerusalem.
May Hashem strengthen the mourners and revenge the enemies of the Jewish People.