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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.


      Adar 1, 5769, 2/25/2009

      A Nation That Should Dwell Alone

      Holy brothers in Israel, when you go to the mikvah each morning for your holy immersions, when you take a shower, be sure that you don’t waste water.

      A Mikvah a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

      How unfortunate it is when a holy brother, whose love of G-d brings him to strive for added saintliness by purifying himself in the mikvah each day before his prayers, treats himself to a long ten-minute shower, as if he were vacationing in some luxurious health spa. Why waste so much water in a time of drought, when just seeing the dry banks of the Kinneret can bring a person to tears?

      And while we are in the mikvah, a few reminders. The mikvah is not an exercise pool. Do your immersions and make way for others. Also, it isn’t the locker room of a health club where you can sit around naked and gab about politics and the like. In fact, a person shouldn’t talk in a mikvah at all. And be careful not to look at another person’s nudity. Gazing at someone else’s brit is a serious offence that can damage one’s eyes and lower one’s level of holiness. People who strut around the mikvah like peacocks on parade without covering their nakedness are transgressing the precept, “Thou shall not put a stumbling block before a blind man.”   

      Guard Your Eyes!

      Since we mentioned locker rooms, a memory comes to mind, scores of years ago when I was in high school in America, before it became standard medical practice to circumcise all babies after their birth. In those days, back then, in the locker room after sports, the majority of students walked around like  uncircumcised Philistines. Only the handful of Jews were circumcised. The difference was obvious to all – just like Hashem intended it to be, to let everyone know that we were His chosen holy people. Today, in the locker rooms and health clubs of America and Europe, the distinction is no longer apparent, and it is no wonder that assimilation is on a perilous ascent.

      Health Club Bar in LA

      Of course, the hospital circumcision of the gentiles isn’t real, and we are still the ONE AND ONLY holy people. But having a holy Jewish circumcision, in the proper manner when we are eight days old, isn’t enough to preserve our Jewish future. We have to live holy lives as well, separating ourselves from the heathens. That’s why we have our own Land, as it says in the Torah, “It is a nation that should dwell alone, and not be reckoned amongst the peoples” (BaMidbar, 23:9).

      With a student of Rabbi Kahane in the new Knesset, let’s hope that it comes to pass soon.