Rabbi Lazer Brody
Best-selling author, speaker, and spiritual guide, Rabbi Lazer Brody came to Israel from the USA in 1970 after graduating from the University of Maryland’s College of Agriculture. He is a veteran of an elite IDF Unit, having served for nearly thirty years in the regular army and in the IDF reserves. Rabbi Brody pens the award-winning Lazer Beams weblog, is the editor of Breslev Israel web magazine, and the author of The Trail to Tranquility. His English translation of Rabbi Shalom Arush's international bestseller The Garden of Emuna has sold over a million copies. Rabbi Brody is also a musical composer his Calming Waters is a collection of his original relaxing instrumental melodies and Judean Dream is an album of "Land-of-Israel" music recorded together with Guy Tzvi Mintz and Yosef Karduner. Rabbi Brody spends considerable time traveling around the world spreading the light of emuna.
I certainly couldn't run for office after writing the following thoughts, for they won't garner popularity. But, these are things that need to be said and heard. Don't say in a few years, "we had no idea..."
Rabbi Shalom Arush said last year, “Those who don't come to Israel while they still can may be lucky to escape from the USA with a plastic bag and a pair of pajamas.” For the last two years now, Rabbi Shalom has been urging our brothers and sisters in the diaspora to come home to the Land of Israel. Following his recent call, which I echo on every forum possible including my weekly radio show on Israel National Radio, many of our readers and listeners in the USA and Canada asked their spiritual leaders – including some of North America’s foremost Rebbes and Rosh Yeshivas – if our urgent call to make aliya (move to Israel) should be taken seriously.
Our various readers sent us the answers that they received from their respective spiritual leaders, who ranged from Sephardi Kabbalists and Chassidic Rebbes to the heads of Lithuanian yeshivas. Suddenly, former proponents of opposite schools of thought were reaching an amazing consensus, telling the members of their respective communities, “Stay here in America! The crazy Breslevers from Israel are alarmists. There’s nothing to worry about…”
Spiritual leaders must know that Hashem holds them completely accountable for everything they say. They bear the responsibility for the spiritual future of every family that they discouraged from coming to Israel.
Alarmists? Nothing to worry about? I wonder how many rabbis in pre-Holocaust Germany and Poland told their congregations the same thing…
Even though our ongoing war against Jewish assimilation around the globe is no secret, I personally did not realize the mega-catastrophic magnitude of the ongoing "benevolent" Holocaust in the USA, until I received the following email from Arthur Englard, may Hashem bless him always:
Dear Rav Brody:
I recently discovered your web site and I find many of the things you say to be fascinating. In one of your past postings on Lazer Beams you talk about how the American Jewish population in the United States has gone from 6.1 million in 1970 to 5.2 million in 2000 which is a tragic loss of about 300,000 souls a decade. The reality is, that the ongoing holocaust in the United States is much worse than that. The National Jewish Population Survey of 1990 claimed that there were 5.5 million Jews in the the USA while in 2000 the NJPS found 5.2 million Jews or a loss of 300,000 souls. However, during the decade of the 90's, 200,000 Jews from the former Soviet Union came to the USA and that would mean that we actually lost 500,000 souls during that decade - 50,000 a year - 1000 a week.
In addition, when they counted Jews in 1970, they counted only Halachic Jews but the NJPS survey of 2000 also counts people who only have a Jewish father as full Jews. The reality is that when you count Halachic Jews in the USA the number approaches 4 million. This means that in 30 years, we lost 2 million precious souls. Sincerely, Arthur Englard
When I checked up on Arthur's figures, I found them accurate. Out of the 5.2 million people who called themselves Jews in the NJPS census of 2000, only 4.3 million are Jewish according to Halacha, or Jewish law, as opposed to 6.1 million in 1971. As Arthur noted, when we add the 200,000 Russian Jews who came to America, that means that 2 million Jewish souls have vanished from the face of the earth in the last 3 decades of the American Holocaust. Future generations will demand to know why most of the Jewish world did and said nothing to prevent this.
Rebbe Nachman of Breslev cried and screamed against secular education. He warned us that it would bring calamity on our people. Non-Jewish ideas lead to non-Jewish wives, and non-Jewish wives bear non-Jewish children. Hitler killed bodies, but assimilation and intermarriage kill Jewish souls; the latter is a much greater tragedy. The soul of a martyr can return in a different body, but the souls lost to assimilation die an eternal death; nothing could be more tragic.
Let's put things in their proper proportion: In three decades, we've lost 2 million Jews. Israel - with all the wars and the terror combined, considering both civilian and military deaths - has lost a total of 21,908 Jewish martyrs since 1948. In other words, 3 decades of the American Jewish holocaust has claimed 100 times more victims than five-and-a-half decades of Israel's ongoing struggle with the Arabs.
Historically, Jewish cultural assimilation has always invoked physical annihilation. When we don't stop the assimilation holocaust by returning to Hashem with all our hearts, then a tyrant rises to do the job for us, G-d forbid. Each of us must be an ambassador of Outreach to do what he or she can to stop the catastrophe of assimilation.
We must strengthen the home, for the slightest deviation in a minor Jewish custom today can lead to intermarriage tomorrow. As in navigation, a minor error of a mere two degrees becomes an error of 2 miles in the course of a mere 60 miles of flight. For a pilot, that could mean dumping his bombs on the wrong target. For that reason, the Torah warns us not to deviate in the slightest - neither to the right nor to the left - from what our sages tell us to do.
You can't send your child to public school or university and then complain about his or her desire to marry the nice guy or girl in the adjacent seat. You can't fill your child's head with non-Jewish ideals while pumping his or her tender mind with TV, DVD's, and Internet, and then expect them to be a Chatzkel Levinstein or a Sara Schnirrer. The best way to stop assimilation, to save Jewish souls, and to raise upright, strong, and G-d-fearing Jews is to give your children an emuna-oriented Torah education and to remove all Amalekite influence from your home. There is no place on earth more conducive to doing so than the holy Land of Israel.
In America alone, we are losing some 100 Jewish souls every day!
Esteemed spiritual leaders of America, are you still adamant in keeping your spiritual flocks close to you in Lakewood, Great Neck, Williamsburg, Golders Green and Toronto? Are you willing to bear the responsibility for the continued spiritual holocaust? No, you can’t hide your face in a Gemara or Zohar and pretend that you don’t see what’s going on around you.
Now, would you like to know why I believe that the redemption of our people is so imminent? At the rate we're going, pretty soon there won't be anyone left to redeem, G-d forbid. Hashem, עד מתי, until when? Hashem, you must send Moshiach - now!
Dear Rabbi Lazer: Just to clarify that the number is higher than what you are mentioning. You are missing the growth since 1970, if there would not have been any assimilation. This could easily be another million or more. You are an inspiration to many here outside of Israel. Thanks, Isaac Shalom & Family, Hollywood, Florida, USA
My blessings and thanks to Isaac and family, who are 100% correct. Taking Jewish growth into account, especially the growth in Orthodox and Haredi communities, the picture of assimilation is much gloomier than what I had originally painted. So, in actuality, we've lost some 3.2 million souls since 1970, when adding the additional estimated 200,000 that have been lost since the NPJS census of 2000.
It’s time to come home to the Land of Emuna – Eretz Yisrael. Think about it, while you still have the option.