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Growing Up with Sally, Wendy, and Jane

By Tzvi Fishman
11/24/2010, 12:00 AM

It’s like a man who was walking past a swamp when he noticed someone drowning in quicksand. He reached out his hand to save the person, but the sinking man spit in his face.

“Grab my hand,” the rescuer insisted.

“Leave me alone!” the drowning man yelled back.

“You’re sinking in quicksand!” the rescuer answered.

“This isn’t quicksand,” the drowning man replied. “It’s a miracle mud bath filled with healthy minerals. I’m in the middle of a treatment.”

Mineral health bath treatment.


I don’t mind wiping the spit off my face in my efforts to rescue my drowning brothers and sisters who are sinking in the quicksand of galut. Actually, I have an anti-spit spam installed on my computer that filters out saliva. If any gets through, I keep a package of wipes at my side to wipe off the spit. So I’m protected. Anyway, I don’t let a handful of hawkers discourage me. In the time that I have been writing this blog, close to a million visitors have clicked on, so what’s the big deal about a little digital abuse? The vast silent majority of readers surely appreciate what I write, otherwise they wouldn’t keep coming back for more.

Sticks and stones may break my bones but spit will never hurt me!


Like I’ve said, it isn’t their fault that their brains are clogged to the message. In addition to the reasons we’ve cited, Rabbi Kook explains that the spiritual pollution of the galut is so thick that a Jew is unable to think straight.   

He writes:

“It is impossible for a Jew to be devoted and faithful to his contemplations, logical reasonings, conceptualizations, and imaginations when he is outside the Land of Israel, compared to the quality of their faithfulness in Eretz Yisrael.

“Revelations of holiness, on whatever level, are clean in Eretz Yisrael, while outside of the Land, they are mixed with abundant dross and impure husks (kelipot)” (Orot, 1:4).

An atmosphere of spiritual debris surrounds the galut.


Simply put, outside of the Land of Israel there is a lot of impure static. The poisonous debris of foreign cultures, religions, and ideologies, pollutes the environment of galut and seeps by osmosis into the brains of the Jew living there. Instead of a healthy, normal “Jewish kop” they have a “goyisha kop” which prevents them from understanding the deep foundations of Judaism, including the need to live in their own Jewish Land.

Rabbi Kook continues:

“The faculty of imagination in the Land of Israel is lucid and clear, and pure, ready for the revelation of Divine truth and prophecy and its lights.

“In contrast, the faculty of imagination which is found in the lands of the gentile nations is ugly, clouded in darkness and in shadows of defilement and pollution. It cannot rise to the heights of kedusha.

Ahhh, another beautiful day in polluted New York!
The air pollution in LA is a physical manifetation of the spiritual pollution of the life in the city.


“Because the intellect and the imagination are bound up together, and interact one upon the other, the intellect which is outside the Land of Israel is incapable of being illuminated with the light which exists in Eretz Yisrael” (Orot, 1:5).

Granted, Rabbi Kook says it far more eloquently than I do, but the message is clear, at least to Jews blessed with living in Israel. Growing up in galut, surrounded by gentile neighbors, sparkling Christmas trees, shiksa co-eds, the Star Spangled Banner at ballgames, People Magazine, health clubs loaded with Sallys, Wendys, and Janes, all-night singles bars, Presidents like Jimmy Carter and Hussein Obama, Thanksgiving traditions and the Fourth of July, coupled with the overwhelming spiritual darkness of galut, can make Eretz Yisrael seem irrelevant to Jewish life.

You can spit at me all you want, but if you don’t understand what Rabbi Kook is saying, that’s proof in itself that he’s right.