Rabbi Lazer Brody
Community by community, the Diaspora is coming to a dead-end. Why? Moshiach is so phenomenally close, as so many of our spiritual leaders have said recently.
Until now, Hashem has been giving gentle prods to almost every Diapora community, telling them that by perpetuating the Diaspora, they're delaying the Geula, the full redemption of our people. As the time of Moshiach comes closer, the wake-up calls become louder. The gentle prods turn into painful pinches, and the painful pinches become electric shocks. The Diaspora can only pin the blame on its own deaf ear. To paraphrase the Prophet, if the lion roars, who shall not tremble?
The Jews in the Ukraine are now caught in the middle; they've been targets of antisemitic thugs from both sides of the fence, the pro-Russians and the Ukrainian nationalists. A trickle are making Aliya daily, but there's no mass exodus yet. What are they waiting for, another pogrom, Heaven forbid?
I could go on and on. One thing though - Rashi quotes the Gemara in his commentary on this week's Torah portion and says in Hashem's Name (bold letters are the Torah, italic letters are Rashi's commentary): I took you out of Egypt so that you will accept My mitzvoth, even if they're difficult for you...I will give you the Land of Canaan in return for your accepting my mitzvoth...and I will be a G-d to you for anyone who lives in the Land of Israel, I Am his G-d, and anyone who leaves the Land of Israel is like an idolator (Leviticus 25:38 and Rashi's adjacent commentary).
What is Rashi telling us? Hashem is not particularly enamored, to say the least, with Diaspora style Judaism. The Rambam rules (Hilchot Melachim, 5:12) - right out of the Gemara at the end of Tractate Ketubot, 110b - that it's better to live among non-Jews in Israel than it is to live among Jews in the Diaspora. Most people don't want to hear this, but it's Halacha...
Just last night, Robert Singer, the chief executive officer of the World Jewish Congress - an international umbrella organization that represents Jews from more than 100 countries - declared in Ottawa that a dangerous wave of anti-Semitism is on the rise, especially in Europe. Yesterday also, the Supreme Court of Belgium decided in a major-precedent decision that Jewish children, who throughout history received Torah education in the traditional cheder, will now be forced to learn the local language and secular subjects. Coincidence? By no means, for everything comes from Hashem.
Jews around the world are still misleading themselves that they can be good Jews outside of the Land of Israel. Hashem thinks otherwise. Whereas every farmer and consumer in Israel feels the ramifications of Shmitta (Sabbatical) Year, few Jews outside of Israel - even observant Jews - give it a second thought.
Hashem has been yelling at the French Jews for a long time now. Yesterday's Supreme Court decision in Belgium is Hashem speaking to the Chassidim living in Brussels. There are messages being transmitted to every Jewish community worldwide. Countries are banning shechita (kosher slaughter) and mila (ritual circumcision) right and left, giving all kinds of "humane" reasons, but it's all thinly-veiled anti-Semitism.
Diaspora is a dead-end with no future. It's time to come home to our Land of Israel - the sooner the better.
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