Rabbi Nachman Kahana
Rabbi Nachman Kahana Courtesy
Dear Friends;
Today is the 25th of Elul, the anniversary of the onetime event when Hashem created ex nihilo - physical matter from nothing. The day when the Torah begins and Hashem proclaimed “Let there be light”. Six days later on the first of Tishrei year 2, Hashem brought forward the first man and woman.
From then on, all that exists was formed from the original matter that emerged on that first day - day one.
Was the creation of Man a good thing? In Pirkei Avot Hillel says it was not, but Shammai disagreed; the argument ending with both agreeing that from the point of view of mankind it was not such a great idea, but since it is a fait accompli, we must try to be sin free.
As we study the history of mankind and the potential horrors in the future, one tends to agree that Hashem knows what he is doing, but for us it’s a dilemma.
Over the last 20 years I have written variations on the theme of aliya. I have cajoled, threatened, put the fear of punishment into the hearts of good Jews. I have pleaded to people’s sense of history and belonging to Hashem’s Chosen Nation. Not always was the music in my words pleasant to the ear, for that I regret. However, my intentions were first and foremost to save Jewish lives from the degradation of galut, and to rebuild our holy land after 2000 years of anger for our sins of yesterday.
Despite it all, I love every Jew for the simple reason that Hashem loves every Jew. I wish for our small band of tzadikim, not more than 12-13 million men, women and children (much less than the 18 million before the holocaust), to be inscribed in the book of life for health, clarity of mind and good deeds. However, to end this year’s sequence of my traditional warning to come home now would be negligence on my part.
Russia is soon to begin drafting another 300 thousand troops. I believe that the US will have to follow suit and reinstate the selective service act. Your sons and daughters will be taken to military service – yes, daughters too. And when that happens youngsters from the age of 14 until 28 will not be permitted to leave the US, as was the law 60 years ago when I was denied permission to leave for Israel, and I appealed before having to take stronger measures.
Life doesn’t stand still; it is volatile and mercurial with the resha’im dictating the direction of world affairs.
As I have suggested many times in the past, if you cannot come on aliya then send your sons and daughters here. It is not an easy decision to take but it can mean the difference between life and death.
In closing for this year of 5782
On Rosh Hashanah Hashem judges individuals and nations. Each individual has an intimate connection with the Creator, so, there are people who have what to be worried about, while others can feel assured of another great year.
Among nations there are those whose destiny is bleak and others who will squeak through one more year, however, Am Yisrael will ascend from strength to strength. How do I know?
The answer is in a little parable:
A passenger plane entered air turbulence and fear gripped the passengers. All aboard showed signs of desperation and fear except for one young girl who stayed calm. When she was asked how she was able to contain herself, she responded quietly, “My father is the pilot”.
Now you can understand why we in Eretz Yisrael can look forward to another great year, getting ever closer to the ge’ula.
Shabbat Shalom & K’tiva vachatima tova
Rabbi Nachman Kahana is a Torah scholar, author, teacher and lecturer, Founder and Director of the Center for Kohanim, Co-founder of the Temple Institute, Co-founder of Atara Leyoshna – Ateret Kohanim, was rabbi of Chazon Yechezkel Synagogue – Young Israel of the Old City of Jerusalem for 32 years, and is the author of the 15-volume “Mei Menuchot” series on Tosefot, and 3-volume “With All Your Might: The Torah of Eretz Yisrael in the Weekly Parashah” (2009-2011), and “Reflections from Yerushalayim: Thoughts on the Torah, the Land and the Nation of Israel” (2019) as well as weekly parasha commentary available where he blogs at http://NachmanKahana.com