Stop Hiding Under Your Beds!
Tzvi FishmanBefore making Aliyah to Israel, Tzvi Fishman was a Hollywood screenwriter....
Ha ha ha ha ha! What a riot! Ha ha ha ha ha! That cracks me up! Ha ha ha ha ha! I’m sorry. If it wasn’t so funny, it could make you cry! The new excuse for not coming on aliyah. I never heard anything so funny! “As long as Yassamniks are beating up boys and girls and dragging families out of their homes, I’m staying put here.”
What a laugh! Ha ha ha ha ha! They’re hiding under their beds, ten thousand miles away in Brooklyn and Melbourne, and they’re complaining about the Yassamniks! Ha ha ha ha ha! It cracks me up!
Of all the people I know from Amona, Gush Katif, or Homash, now of them has packed up their belongings and left the Land. Some have stubbornly taking those same Yassamniks to court and won. Other determined and unbreakable Jews are establishing new settlements and hilltop outposts. Many tenacious idealists keep returning to Homash. Yet others are still in Amona, a few caravans down the street. No one is giving up in surrender. So when someone writes that they are not coming to live in Israel because of what happened in Amona and Gush Katif, it cracks me up! Ha ha ha ha ha!
Ha ha ha ha ha!
Ha ha ha ha ha!
I can’t help it.
Sure, we have lots of problems in Israel. Sure there are lots of things we still have to correct. But we aren’t running away from the challenge. We aren’t throwing up our hands in surrender and crying, “Let someone else do the work.” Not at all. We are here, come hell and high water, working to improve things, each of us working with G-d, in his or her own fashion, in order to transform Medinat Yisrael into the true Torah state.
I’ve written in the past how I would do it if I were Prime Minister. Since some of you asked to hear more of Rabbi Kahane’s teachings, here is what he says has to be done to bring us to the final Redemption:
(From the book, “The Jewish Idea,” Vol.2, Ch.39):
FROM everything stated previously, it is clear that the sudden, majestic, final redemption, redemption “in haste,” is in our hands to bring “today — if we listen to G-d’s voice” (Ps. 95:7). How greatly G-d wishes to give it to us in order to redeem us, and to redeem Himself, so to speak, from the Chillul Hashem (desecration of G-d) of so many hundreds of years, the blasphemy and ridicule by the nations! Indeed, redemption is in our hands; and it is our duty to know how to bring it before the deadline arrives on redemption “in haste,” and we are condemned to redemption “in its time” with all the tragedies, suffering and Messianic birth pains this entails, Heaven help us!
Final redemption “in haste,” which comes to sanctify G-d’s name, cannot come as long as Israel profane G-d’s name, nor will it come unless G-d alone brings it. It says, “G-d shall guide them alone, with no alien power with Him/them” (Deut. 32:12). The word “alone” here relates both to G-d and Israel. G-d, alone, will help Israel, and they, Israel, will be alone, without help from any nation and without any ally. Only G-d will come to their aid, for “with them,” Israel, and certainly “with Him,” G-d, “there is no alien power.”
The great, lofty, awesome Kiddush Hashem (sanctification of G-d) will come only when G-d stands alone against the whole world that schemes against Israel. Only then will it be clear to all, till the ends of the earth, that “the L-rd shall be exalted alone on that day” (Isaiah 2:11), and that He is the Supreme King of Kings, Omnipotent, “in Whose hands are the depths of the earth” (Ps. 95:4), Who does His will with the hosts of heaven and earth. Moreover, only when Israel cease to have even one ally from among the nations, will they, and the nations as well, understand that “Israel are saved by the L-rd” (Isaiah 45:17), and only by the L-rd. Then, all the earth’s inhabitants will prostrate themselves and accept in fear and holy trembling the yoke of G-d as their King. Israel’s isolation is an immutable precondition for final redemption.
Thus, the ultimate key to bringing final redemption in glory and majesty, and to obviating the need for terrible Messianic birth pains, is repentance based on “a nation dwelling alone” in isolation (Num. 23:9). This is impossible without real, complete faith and trust in G-d which direct the Jew toward seemingly dangerous mitzvot that incur the wrath of the nations. Only through such trust will we be able to exchange, even at this late hour, redemption “in its time,” with all the terrible suffering it entails, for quick, majestic redemption “in haste.”
Here is a monumental principle in the redemption of Israel, and had our sages not said it, we could not say it ourselves: The righteous believer, the person who trusts in G-d with complete and perfect trust, casting off all fear of mortal man and ready to do mitzvot which will isolate Israel, “forces” G-d to awaken and bring redemption. This is why King David concluded chapter 83, with the following: “That men may know that You, alone, Whose name is the L-rd, are the most high over all the earth” (v. 19).
One might ask: Why does G-d enable flesh and blood to dictate decrees to Him? The answer is simple: G-d fiercely longs to sanctify His name, profaned daily by the nations, but He demands that Israel sanctify His name first through complete and perfect faith and trust in G-d. They must take hold of dangerous, frightening mitzvot which leave them isolated and alone, with the nations opposing them, for only this can prove their real trust in Him. Then, when they have sanctified His name in this way, He will go forth in His wrathful revenge against the nations who profane His name, and will thereby save both Israel and Himself, so to speak.
Thus, complete and perfect deeds of trust in G-d sanctify His name, blot out the terrible Chillul Hashem inherently associated with fear of the nations, and pave the way for majestic redemption “in haste.” What, then, are these deeds? I shall enumerate them, dear friend, and you should engrave them on your hearts and proclaim them loudly in the streets to the Jewish People, before G-d’s great and awesome punishment visits us, Heaven forbid!
1. Those Jews who dwell in the impure exile, thereby scorning the Pleasant Land and its holiness, profane G-d’s name by their very habitation under the yoke and sovereignty of the nations. Through their dependency on the nations, they transform them and their false religions to masters over the Jewish People, to whom the Jewish People must lift their eyes. G-d will not bear this Chilul Hashem. He will not tolerate the assimilation and the influence of the alien culture on Israel. These destroy their souls and introduce foreign thoughts into the Jewish People and their Torah.
This conquest of Jewish bodies and souls is a Chillul Hashem, and also prevents the Jewish People from being a chosen, special people who dwell alone in their holy, special land. G-d, therefore, decreed that Israel had to leave Egypt and go up to Eretz Yisrael, and that otherwise, it would be their burial place.
The first exile is an omen for the last. G-d will not give in regarding Israel’s scorning the Land. When it comes time for G-d to punish the nations for their sins, raining down upon them His wrath, He will “turn their hearts to hate His people, to scheme against His servants” (Ps. 105:25). All this will be in addition to the tragedy He will unleash upon all Jews who live among the nations, when He takes revenge on the nations for all their sins through the collapse of lands and peoples. G-d’s liquidating the exile through Israel’s leaving it and going up to Eretz Yisrael is a major part of His removing the Chillul Hashem and sanctifying His name.
2. The impoverished regime, whose conception and birth occurred in the alien culture of the nations, and who denies the Torah of Moses, has refused to apply the authority and sovereignty of the people and G-d of Israel upon all parts of Eretz Yisrael for fear of the nations. This constitutes a Chillul Hashem, a rebellion against and degradation of the holiness of Eretz Yisrael, large parts of which have remained under the authority of the nations. A condition for complete redemption through Kiddush Hashem is control and sovereignty of the G-d and people of Israel over all portions of Eretz Yisrael in our hands.
3. For many hundreds of years, Jews lifted their eyes to the Holy Temple, about which was decreed, “Any alien who comes near shall die” (Num. 18:7). Here was the Holy of Holies where only the Kohen Gadol could enter once a year. The presence at this site of heathens who wholeheartedly hate the Jewish People is blasphemy.
The impoverished regime is handing over to the impure Ishmaelites ownership and authority over the Temple Mount and simultaneously preventing G-d’s people, Israel, from ascending to the permissible places. Let all ears be spared hearing about this! For this shall Zion sit in sackcloth, in somber mourning. Could any Chillul Hashem be more severe, more degrading? What can one say, knowing that the cause of all this is the heretics’ fear of the nations and absolute lack of trust in G-d? Israel are turning the Divine blessing and kindness associated with the beginning of redemption, which are a Kiddush Hashem, into an unprecedented nightmare, a sordid, abominable Chillul Hashem. G-d’s wrath looms over us, and woe to the insult to our holy mountain! We bear a holy duty to remove the cursed Ishmaelites from the site of our Temple and to remove the disgrace of their mosques which daily anger G-d, if we hope to save our souls from the day of wrath.
4. The call of the hour is to “drive out all the Land’s inhabitants” (Num. 33:52). Woe to us for having dealt treacherously with the Land and its owner, G-d! Through our fear of the nations, we have refused to conquer the Land by banishing the enemies and revilers of Israel, the lowly Ishmaelites.
How much innocent blood has been spilled in the Holy Land through murderers being allowed to remain in it! Even regarding a Jewish murderer, the Torah cries out, “Do not pollute [tachnifu] the land in which you live. It is blood that pollutes the Land. When blood is shed in the Land, it cannot be atoned for except through the blood of the person who shed it” (Num. 35:33). Sifri comments (Masa’ei, 161), “‘It is blood that pollutes [yachnif] the Land’: R. Yoshiah would treat yachnif as an abbreviation. ‘The blood will cause wrath to settle [yichan af] in the Land.’” (See the Jerusalem Talmud, Ta’anit 3:3, for a similar text.)
We see something extraordinary here. The Torah is talking about leaving a murderer alive in exchange for his paying some sort of indemnity; in other words, treating him with chanufah, flattery or hypocrisy — and the Torah uses that very root chanufah. The verse can thus mean: If you for any reason hypocritically indulge the murderer and do not kill him, then by poetic justice, the blood you did not avenge will bring G-d’s wrath upon you and the Land.
All this is said regarding even a Jewish murderer. Our sages derived that even his bloodshed “pollutes the Land and removes the Divine Presence” (Sifri, Ibid.). What, then, can be said to an ungrateful, unwise nation which rebels against G-d and His attributes, ideas and decrees, adopting the false “morality” of the alien non-Jewish culture? By flattering the cursed Ishmaelites, they give them an opening to murder Jews and shed innocent Jewish blood. Is it not poetic justice if such flattery “causes wrath to settle”? Who of the impoverished regime of the mixed multitude can proclaim, “My hand has not shed this innocent blood” of Jews murdered by non-Jews whom they allowed to live in our midst?
Who will stand up for the insult to the Torah when non-Jews are appointed over Israel and sit and judge them, and out of Ishmael go forth lawmakers to the legislature of the impoverished regime?
Who shall rise up like Pinchas and, spear in hand, execute zealous judgment against the alien culture and abominable concepts which have destroyed the uniqueness, holiness and separateness of the chosen, supreme people? The result has been assimilation and mixed marriage. Moreover, Israel have been contaminated by the nations with loathsome falsehoods, such as the equality of the heathen non-Jew and the holy Jew, and the non-Jewish concept of “Democracy,” which transforms evil and good, bitter and sweet, darkness and light, to equals. These people have introduced leprosy into the holy camp! “Their clothing must have a tear in it, they must go without a haircut and must cover their heads down to their lips. ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ they must call out’” (see Lev. 13:45).
Expelling the anti-Semitic gentiles is the call of the hour, before the arrival of that “day of wrath, of trouble and distress, ruin and desolation, darkness and gloom” (Zephaniah 1:15). It is a mitzvah for us to banish them from the Holy Land and to rid ourselves of every ounce of chametz, every vestige of foreign culture so beloved by the mixed multitude. This culture is an evil which murders the Jew’s body and robs him of his soul. The presence of the non-Jew who hates G-d and Israel, and the presence of that culture profane G-d’s name.
5. “You are a nation consecrated to the L-rd your G-d” (Deut. 7:6). Israel, both as individuals and as a people, must become holier through return to mitzvot. They must experience the holiness of the Sabbath. They must hallow the body by eating kosher foods and by leading chaste lives. Indeed, they must fill the Land with holiness, purity and Torah study, as it says, “For the Land shall be full of the knowledge of the L-rd, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9). Through all this, they will rid the Land of abominations, the idolatrous churches and cults which are to be “shunned totally” (Deut. 7:26), which arrogantly seek to influence the holy Jewish People to abandon the true faith.
Whoever is for G-d must sacrifice!
One might wonder whether the nations will not be incensed by this “provocation” against them and rise up against it. It is reasonable to assume that that is just what will happen, but should we be afraid because of it? G-d surely knew when He gave us these mitzvot that the nations would react with fury. Did that stop Him from giving them? Do we still live in the shame and lowliness of the exile, where the sound of a rustling leaf was enough to make us flee? Surely, G-d has returned us to our land as a first stage of redemption, and to sanctify His name and grant us the possibility of transforming grief to joy through our trusting in Him without fear. Whoever fears mortal nations, does not trust in G-d; and whoever thinks speedy, majestic redemption can sprout forth in the malodorous vineyard of such fear and Chillul Hashem, has studied no Torah whatsoever — and let him not teach it.
“Whoever is for G-d, join me!” (Ex. 32:26), cried Moses on seeing the Calf, and his enlisting the Levites was conditional on their being ready to sanctify G-d’s name through self-sacrifice. It says there (v. 27): This is what the L-rd G-d of Israel says: “Let each man put on his sword and go from one gate to the other in the camp. Let each one kill [all those involved in the idolatry], even his own brother, close friend, or relative.”
Imagine how hard it is, how cruel it is for a person to obey G-d with such self-sacrifice as this! Yet, only in this way will G-d sanctify His name and bring the redemption. Already above I quoted our sages in Berachot 20a: R. Papa asked Abaye, “Why did previous generations merit miracles while we do not? If it is a matter of learning, in R. Yehudah’s day only Nezikin was learned, while we learn all six orders of the Mishnah... All the same, R. Yehuda would no sooner remove his shoes [to pray for rain], and rain would fall, while we cry out and no one listens.” Abaye responded, “Our predecessors sacrificed their lives for Kiddush Hashem, but we do not.”
Such is the way of redemption.