Middle East 6:12 AM 3/7/2014
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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.
Ever notice that the Israel National News articles that seem to draw the most talkbacks are about homosexuality, missionaries, or Internet porn? I am not sure what that indicates about INN’s readership, but I’ve decided to tackle all three of these controversial subjects at once to see if I can establish a new Guinness world record.
Now I don’t mean to imply that all homosexuals are missionaries, or that all missionaries are homosexuals. If someone does happen to be a missionary and a homosexual, this is double bad news. But the opposite may be more like it. After all, the first missionary was a big womanizer. That’s why he was kicked out of yeshiva.
It is explained in the Talmud that the first missionary, the “Nazerethite,” was a student of Rabbi Yehushua ben Prachia, one of the great Sages of the time and leader of the Great Assembly. Traveling together on a journey, they stopped at a lodge on the way. After a lady innkeeper attended to their needs in a diligent fashion, Rabbi Yehoshua ben Prachia praised her for honoring Torah scholars in the appropriate manner. Pure and saintly as he was, he remarked in an innocent fashion, “How pleasant this innkeeper is.” The commentator Rashi explains this by stating, “In her deeds.” However, the “Nazerethite” jumped up and exclaimed, “But her eyes aren’t pretty!”
When Rabbi Yehoshua ben Prachia heard his student say this, he proclaimed, “Evil person! You are preoccupied with this!?” meaning looking at women. And he drove him away in the most severe manner, as the Talmud records, “He thrust the Nazerethite away with both hands” (Sotah, 47A).
In his lectures about the Mashiach at the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva, Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda HaKohen Kook, of blessed memory, whose yahrtzeit is next week, explained that the Sages deliberately stated that Rabbi Yehoshua ben Prachia “thrust the Nazerethite away with both hands,” as opposed to pushing him away with the left hand and drawing him close with the right, in the usual educational manner. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Prachia reacted in this emphatic way in thrusting the “Nazerethite” away to show that he was clearly not the Messiah.
See how far looking at women can cause a man to fall. Has there ever been a greater destroyer of Israel than this one? In the words of the Rambam:
“All of the Prophets spoke of the Messiah as the redeemer of Israel, and as its savior, who would gather their dispersed, and strengthen their observance of the commandments, while this one caused the annihilation of Israel by the sword, and caused their remnants to be scattered and scorned. He caused the Torah to be altered, and brought the majority of the world to err, and to worship a god other than the L-rd” (Rambam, Laws of Kings and Their Wars, 11:4, see the uncensored edition of Mossad HaRav Kook Publications).
With the distressing news that a new missionary center is being opened in Jerusalem, let this be your answer to anyone who tries to persuade you that the “Nazerethite” is the Messiah. If anyone tries, you have my permission to thrust him away with both hands.