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Gerald A. Honigman
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Ask the Rabbi
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.
Tevet 3, 5768, 12/12/2007
Ever wonder why the whole world goes crazy when a handful of Israeli teenagers put up a cluster of shacks on a barren hillside in Judea and Samaria?
Why should it bother a Frenchman in Paris, a Swede in Stockholm, or a Russian in Moscow? Why should Jews living on the mountains of Biblical Israel make the President of the United States and officials in the State Department pull out their hair?
Obstacle to Peace
We are dedicating this blog to the speedy recovery of Rabbi Moshe Levinger (Rav Moshe ben Tirtza) who suffered a stroke last week, after working days and nights to organize this week’s aliyah to eight new hilltop outposts.
Rav Levinger, the father of renewed Jewish settlement in the city of Hevron, was one of the principle leaders of Gush Emunim and the settlement movement for the last thirty years.
By taking the Land of Israel away from the Jews, the infidels can prove that G-d doesn’t really exist and that the Torah isn’t true.
In an interview just before his stroke, Rabbi Levinger explained that the continuing settlement of Eretz Yisrael was the most important mitzvah of our generation.
“Rabbi Moshe Harlop was one of the closest students of Rabbi Kook. In his book, “Maayanei HaYeshua,” he explains that if you want to know the most important mitzvah for Am Yisrael in any generation, it is the mitzvah that the nations of the world most oppose. In the time of the Hashmoneans, the Greeks made their most forceful decrees against the mitzvot that most highlighted the Jews as a unique holy nation – the commandments of Shabbat, Rosh Hodesh, and Brit Milah.”
This was because the Greeks wanted to impose their unholy Hellenist culture over all of the world. Because their culture celebrated human intellect, physical beauty and hedonist pleasure, they could not tolerate the existence of Judaism which brings G-d into every aspect of life, the spiritual and the physical as well. So they tried to stamp out the commandments that sanctify time and the human body, symbolized by the brit milah. The Greeks wanted to keep the gods in heaven and not be beholden to any holy, all-powerful Divinity here on earth.
“Rabbi Harlop writes that in the time of the footsteps of Mashiach, the mitzvah that the nations of the world most oppose is the mitzvah of settling the Land of Israel. This is because in the time of Mashiach all holiness comes to the world through the settlement of the Land of Israel.”
This is because the greatest sanctification of G-d in our time occurs when Jews return to settle the Biblical hilltops of Israel in fulfillment of Divine prophecy. The nations of the world don’t care if Jews build kosher neighborhoods in Monsey, New York or Antwerpen. Jews can keep even Shabbat in Cairo and Teheran. But when a handful of Jews erect a rickety caravan on the hillsides overlooking Shilo, Elon Moreh, or Beit-El, it is an international scandal.
"And you shall know that I am the L-rd when I shall bring you back to the Land of Israel."
This is because the Jewish prophets said this would happen, that Jews would return to these same Biblical hillsides, and its coming to pass means that there is a G-d in the world, an active, living Ruler of heaven and earth, who chose the Nation of Israel to be His messenger to teach the world His commandments and ways. Of course, the nations of the world rise up in protest. It is OK for them to pay lip service to G-d when He is restricted to heaven. But, like the Greeks before them, they don’t want to be bound by His laws here on earth. In their collective conscience, if you get rid of the Jewish settlers, you get rid of G-d. By taking the Land of Israel away from the Jews, the infidels can prove that G-d doesn’t really exist and that the Torah isn’t true. Then they can go about their stealing and murdering and fornicating in peace, without having to worry about Divine retribution.
So in the words of Rabbi Levinger and Rabbi Harlop, “It isn’t a wonder that all the nations of the world want to hinder the resettlement of Israel by the Jews. They place all of their weight and power precisely on this matter.”
And this is the reason, Rabbi Levinger says, that we must continue to build on every barren hilltop. Because the salvation of the world depends upon it. This is how G-d’s Presence returns to the world. Through the resettlement of Israel, G-d makes Himself known and returns to being the #1 superpower reigning over all of the nations. May it be soon.
And may Rabbi Levinger have a complete and speedy recovery, and return to leading the way up the hillsides of our beloved Land.