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.
Once upon a time, there was a Jew named Moishe who owned a plush and first-class brothel. He lived in the brothel so that he could keep a better eye on the business. He was very successful and had many important clients. Wherever he went, people would nod to him in respect. But after many years, Moishe got tired of the business. In fact, he felt guilty that he had been running a brothel for so many years. The feeling was so nagging, he decided that he had to start his life all over and become religious. He put on tefillin in the morning, went to shul, made the brothel’s kitchen kosher, and closed the place down on Shabbat. And he kept the Jewish holidays the way they were meant to be kept, carefully observing every custom and detail. He let his son take over the brothel’s operation and devoted himself to learning Torah, happy to have returned to Yiddishkeit and the ways of his forefathers.
That’s the story. Now, obviously, as long as Moishe is still living in the brothel, his t’shuva isn’t complete. For sure, he is a better person and more connected to Torah, but as long as he remains in the brothel, he hasn’t really returned to his roots. Everyone can understand that he has to get out of the brothel in order to live a true Jewish life.
There are a lot of brothels in the world. Some are called America, some are called Australia, some are called France. When a Jew becomes religious in one of these places, it is a wonderful thing, but he is still living in a brothel.
Generations ago, Moishe’s forefathers were cast out of the Holy Land and exiled to brothels all over the globe, so, for Moishe to truly return to his roots, he has to give up the brothel and return to the Land of Israel, where putting on tefillin and keeping Shabbos have their true meaning, because that’s where Hashem wants us to keep the commandments.
Have a nice day!