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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.


      Tishrei 29, 5769, 10/28/2008

      Oddballs Unlimited

      When I said that I wasn’t going to call Diaspora Jews names like Couch Potatoes, Cry Babies, Bed Wetters, Squawkers, Modern Day Spies, Grasshoppers, Toy Soldiers, Monday Morning Quarterbacks, Sideline Kibbitzers, Cyberspace Jews, Internet Jews, Virtual Jews, Two-Faced Galut Lovers, and Chickens, I didn’t mean that I would no longer use catchy expressions. An oddball can live anywhere. They come in all shapes and sizes. So don’t start hollering that Fishman has started again.

      For instance, only an oddball could maintain that Medinat Yisrael isn’t a Jewish State. You could say that it isn’t yet the Torah State that we all hope for, but it certainly is Jewish. Our Sages teach us that the Hebrew word for a Jewish community is “TZIBOR,” whose letters stand for Tzaddikim, Benonim, and Rashaim. A Jewish community contains righteous religious Jews (Tzaddikim,) average religious Jews (Benonim,) and wicked Jews (Rashaim.) The fact that there are Rashaim in a Jewish community does not cancel its Jewish standing. On the contrary, Rashaim are a fundamental ingredient of the community. Similarly, Rashaim are an essential part of a Jewish prayer congregation, which is not considered complete without Rashaim. We learn this from the spices that were blended together in preparing the incense for the Temple altar. If the incense did not contain the foul-smelling spice chelbenah, it was not considered fitting for the service. This is also the reason why we include the aravot (willow branches) with the four species during our lulav wavings. The aravot, which represent the Jews without Torah or good deeds, are considered a necessary part of the Jewish Nation.

      So while the major candidates for Prime Minister in the upcoming Israeli elections are nothing special to write about, at least they are Jews. Thank G-d, I don’t have to vote for a gentile, like my brothers in the Diaspora. In the Jewish State, the top candidates are Jewish, and in the Diaspora, the top candidates are gentiles. (If you don’t like Bibi, you can vote for Marzal.) For that difference alone, every proud Jew should be living in Israel.

      The Rambam states that the only difference between the time of galut and the days of the Mashiach is that in the days of Mashiach Jewish sovereignty will be restored over the Land of Israel (Laws of Kings and Their Wars, 12:2; also Talmud Berachot 34b).

      That time is now.  So to all of my oddball friends, be patient, and come join in the process - the Jewish State is the holy, necessary, and Divinely-ordained first step toward the Torah State that will soon burst forth like a magnificent budding flower before all of our startled eyes. Not apart from Medinat Yisrael, but from within Medinat Yisrael itself.   

      Blossoming out of the weeds