Middle East 3:13 AM 3/7/2014
Inside Israel 12:16 AM 3/7/2014
Global Agenda 2:15 AM 3/7/2014
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.
Readers ask why I don’t just delete Mike’s talkbacks and thus make the earth a better place to live. Since his comments are always the same ranting on about chopping off heads and raping young Jewish girls (who were assaulted at Amona but not raped,) I don’t bother to read them anymore. Nonetheless, his arguments, and the blab blab of others, does serve a purpose, in forcing us to clarify issues and explain matters which people haven’t had an opportunity to learn, because the questions surrounding the Redemption of Israel simply aren’t addressed in the traditional frames of Diaspora learning.
For instance, there are talkbackers who always write about the bad things in Israel. They cite the imperfections of Israeli society as their reason for not coming to live here. They write as if things are supposed to be perfect. This is simply a total misunderstanding of Torah.
Life in Israel wasn’t perfect in the days of our Forefathers, when idol worship filled the Land, nor was the situation any better when G-d commanded Yehoshua to bring the Jews into the Land when it was occupied by seven corrupt and immoral pagan nations.
Our job is to roll up our sleeves, conquer our enemies, dry up the swamps, and rebuild our desolate cities. Not to wait comfortably in exile and wait till G-d waves His magic wand and makes all the bad things vanish. G-d created the Jewish People, not to run away from the work of improving the world, but to lead mankind to “tikun,” or rectification. We have been put into the world to become partners with G-d in bringing an imperfect world to completion. To fix, not to complain.
The problems, corruptions, weaknesses, and challenges in building a Torah State, which characterize an aspect of life in Israel today, don’t mean that we are on the wrong course. Not in the least. This is precisely the course which G-d wants us to travel. For instance, the highway leading to Jerusalem isn’t straight. There are many windings in the road, steep inclines, and plummeting descents. Just as there are aliyot and yeridot on the way to Jerusalem, there are aliyot and yeridot on the way to Redemption. This is the way it is. Only a child thinks otherwise. Only a child expects to receive things immediately, and that everything be complete from the start.
How do I know that this is way that things are supposed to be? For one thing, our Sages have taught us that this is how things would be, as it says in the Talmud: in the generation of the Mashiach’s coming, Torah scholars will grow few in number, there will be great suffering and harsh decrees, so that before a hardship passes another one will already begin. Institutions of learning will turn into brothels, and settlers from the border towns will wander around from place to place without rest. The wisdom of rabbis will decrease, the fear of sin will be ridiculed, there will be no upright judges and policemen, truth will disappear, and the face of the generation will be like the face of a dog (Sanhedrin 97A-98B).
The Talmud goes on to report that Rabbi Ula and Rabba said that they don’t want to be alive to witness the suffering that will precede the time of Mashiach’s coming. Rabbi Yosef answered them by saying that he would be glad to sit in the shade of a pile of the dung of Mashiach’s donkey to have the merit of being alive in those times. In other words, even though the material corruption of those times will be so abundant, that you can sit in the shade of its dung, he would be happy to play a part in the Mashiach’s coming.
According to Mike, the dung heap in Israel couldn’t get any higher than it already is. Which means that G-d’s plan for Redemption is right on schedule. Things are exactly the way they are meant to be at this stage of Jewish history. So be happy – don’t worry! The Mashiach is on the way!