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Brain Damage

By Tzvi Fishman
11/9/2007, 12:00 AM

Thank you for your comments to our previous blog. I learned something from all of them, even from the usual gallery of crazies. As they said about Hamlet, "Though it be madness, there be reason in it."

It says in this week's Torah portion, "Dwell in the Land, which I shall tell you, live in this Land, and I will be with you, and I will bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give all of these lands; and I will perform the oath that I swore to Avraham your father; and I will multiply you as the stars of the heavens, and I will give to thy offspring all of these lands, and in your offspring all the nations of the earth will be blessed; because Avraham obeyed My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws" (Bereshit, 26: 3-5).

Can anything be more straightforward than this? G-d wants the Jewish People to live in the Land of Israel, which He bequeathed to us and only to all for all of eternity. This is not only for the sake of the Jewish People - our living in Eretz Yisrael is what brings blessings to the entire world.

When I was making a protest film against the evacuation of Gush Katif, I interviewed the Torah giant, Rabbi Avraham Elkana Shapira, may his memory be for a blessing. I asked him if it was permitted for a Jewish govrnment in Israel to surrender land to the gentiles. He answered, "Why do you ask me this question? Ask any six year old in Heder. You don't have to come here to ask me an obvious question like this."

Any child who reads the Bible knows that G-d wants the Jews to live in Eretz Yisrael. So why don't they all come? And how can a Jewish government in Israel even consider giving away to enemies the cherished Land that G-d promised to our Jewish forefathers and to their Jewish offspring forever?

The verse quoted above says: "I will give to thy offspring all of these lands, and in your offspring all the nations of the earth will be blessed; because Avraham obeyed My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws"  

Remember, the Torah had not yet been given. So what are all of these charges and commandments and laws that Avraham performed? The mitzvah of coming to live in the Land of Israel, and the mitzvah of brit milah. We can learn from this that whoever keeps the mitzvah of living in Israel, and whoever guards his life in sexual purity is like someone who has kept all of the Torah.

In the book, "Orot," Rabbi Kook explains that Jews become alienated from the Land of Israel when they don't learn the secrets of Torah. I recommend that everyone read his important essay. The "Tikunei Zohar" explains tht when the secrets of Torah go unlearned, the upper celestial waters of wisdom are shunted and blessing is prevented from flowing to the Jewish People. This causes galut and destruction, G-d have mercy. In a personal sense, the brain is dried up and people start thinking all kinds of distorted and crazy notions, like it is OK to live in galut.

Sometimes a little shock therapy is what you need.

A similar and connected phenomenon occurs because of sexual trangression. Since the seed of life originates in the brain, when the seed of life is wasted through sexual transgression, the seat of wisdom, called Daat, in the brain dries up and people start thinking all kinds of distorted and crazy notions, like it is OK to give away pieces of Eretz Yisrael. To understand this concept in greater depth, readers are encouraged to read the essay, "Tikun Now," of the holy Kabbalist, Rabbi Eliahu Leon Levi.

In short, for the optimum in physical and mental wellbeing, it is best to live a holy life in the Holy Land.

Shabbat shalom.