22 April 2012

A Word of Warning

30 Nisan 5772
Rosh Chodesh Iyar A
Day 15 of the Omer
(Two weeks and one day)


A few days ago, I read something that has been bothering me - a lot. I've thought and thought about it before deciding to blog about it, so don't think I'm speaking in anger - not at all. I'm addressing this issue out of love for my fellow Jews no matter where they are. And believe me when I say that I can empathize with you and your situation wherever you are.

I feel for the Jews in chu"l. I've been there. I understand the fear, the doubt, the confusion, the conflict of thoughts and emotions when it comes to deciding whether to make aliyah or not. I can also identify with the Jews who made that choice and now feel some regret, some angst about whether they chose correctly or not.

But, while I feel I can honestly say I understand, I can't in good conscience sit by and condone by my silence what amounts to slander against Eretz Yisrael and against the Borei HaOlam. It's okay to admit our weaknesses and to seek encouragement to overcome them, but it's not okay to rationalise and justify them by condemning others.

I read an exchange recently, and unfortunately, I have to say it's not the first time, where someone justified his unwillingness to consider making aliyah to Eretz Yisrael because of a whole list of "sins" which he enumerates - terrible things to be sure. And it's true that all the horrors of Western society have found their way into our Holy Land. But, it's the height of hypocrisy to say, "I won't lower myself to live among sinners in Eretz Yisrael, but I have no problem living among the exact same sins in the impure lands of dispersion."

What's more, by refusing to come and add to the numbers of Torah-observant Jews, thereby increasing their power to amend the laws and to eliminate these sins from the Holy Land, they are partly responsible for what is going wrong. And it gets worse! All the Torah and mitzvot in chu"l is actually giving power and sustenance to the evil forces which rule over those impure lands who then use it to turn and around and subjugate the faithful Jews of Eretz Yisrael!

This might be hard to hear, but it's the truth and if it applies to you, you need to not take offense, but take it to heart and do something about it if it's in your power to do so.

Furthermore, to say that the situation in Eretz Yisrael is simply not to your liking is a slap in Hashem's face. The situation may not be to our liking or to His, but it's what it is because HE has allowed it to be so, for His own reasons, most likely to maintain free will. I mean, if things were perfect in Eretz Yisrael, who wouldn't want to make aliyah? Including the goyim!? Where would be the challenge or the reward in making aliyah then? Things are actually getting so good here that it's getting harder and harder to keep from being completely overrun by goyim from all over the world!

The kedushah that the Land imparts is absolute and not dependent on anything.

(Rambam: Hilchot Melachim, Chapter 5, halacha 12) - “A person should dwell in Eretz Yisrael, even in a city whose population is mostly non-Jewish, and not live in “chutz la’aretz”, even in a city which is mostly Jewish.”For those who prefer to remain in chu"l and only come home to Eretz Yisrael when Mashiach personally brings them out, I should also point out that were it not for your brothers and sisters who sacrificed what you are unwilling or afraid to sacrifice to build Eretz Yisrael up into what it has become today, there would be no Eretz Yisrael for you to come to with Mashiach. It's a chutspah to expect only to reap the rewards of the work others have done without any intention to assist in that work.

It never ceases to amaze me that goyim come from Thailand, the Phillipines, Korea, and every country in Africa and even while operating illegally! they manage to survive and thrive and have children and at the same time there are Torah and mitzvah-observant children of Hashem who actually belong here, - whom He yearns to see here - who doubt His ability or willingness to provide for them all that they could possibly need here.

If you knew how much you hurt Hashem when you disparage the treasure of His Holy Land and the gift He made of it to you, you would be so ashamed and full of regret. Any true Jewish neshamah would.

If you're going to rebel against the Creator's will and purposely refuse to come home, please don't compound that error by speaking against the Land and against the way Hashem runs it. You'll save yourself many sorrows.

I'll end with the following quote:

The Yalkut Shimoni, Midrish Shmuel and Rashi on Hoshea 3:5 says the following. “The Children of Israel were exiled because they despised three things: the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of David and the Beit Hamikdash.

R Shimon ben Menassiya stated: The people of Israel will not be shown a good sign until they return and seek out these three things. As it says (Hoshea 3:5) “Afterwards the children of Israel will return and seek out the lord” – this refers to the Kingdom of Heaven; “and David their king” – according to its simple meaning; “and they will tremble for the Lord and his goodness”-this refers to the Beit Hamikdash, as it says (in Devarim 3:25) “This good mountain”.

The Yalkut also states “The people of Israel were exiled only because they despised Eretz Yisrael, as it is written, “And they despised the desirable land” (Tehillim 106:24). Rav Techtiel mentions that the 3 things which we must seek out can only be attained in Eretz Yisrael. It is for this reason that our holy sages instituted that we should Daven 3 times a day in the Shemona Esrei and “seek out” these three things.

17 comments:

  1. No doubt that Eretz Israel is a gift from Hashem. I agree that every one should make an effort to live there. My point is that I can not make aliya because of many reasons and I believe others too. And here some people who try to scare others. Nobody knows exactly what and when it is going to be. That is all.
    We learned form history when false moshiah shabatai tzvi conviced many people to live their homes and at the end the felt totally broken, because they expected that it is right time and thing to do. No more pushings, no more damagings soles please,... Eretz Israel is the best place for Jews but we have to be ready for that. Please understand.

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  2. "All the Torah and mitzvot in chu"l is actually giving power and sustenance to the evil forces which rule over those impure lands who then use it to turn."

    You are absolutely right! I live in galut and I can honestly tell you, I want out of here. Hashem is winding down the tension and tsoris in America, like someone over-winding an old fashioned alarm clock. G-d willing I'll be in Israel this time next year if not before.

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  3. Moshe, there is something very wrong with a Jewish neshamah that does not want more than anything in the world to be in Eretz Yisrael no matter how good or bad it is there or wherever he is at.

    Do not compare today with the times of Shabtai Tzvi. There is no comparison. And do not continue to think that you will always have a choice in this matter. Know that if you are VERY lucky, you WILL be coming home to Eretz Yisrael and sooner than you ever imagined possible, because if you are VERY lucky, the gentiles are going to put all of you on planes and send you packing out of their countries.

    But, if you are not so lucky, then it will go like it says in Ezekiel 20:38 - "And I shall separate from you those who rebel and those who transgress against Me; from the land of their sojournings I shall take them, but to the land of Israel THEY SHALL NOT COME, and you will know that I am the Lord.

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  4. Why you think Do not compare today with the times of Shabtai Tzvi? I know many families who came back, who could not survive there. And you think is it right way to scare people with doors are closing, in diaspora we'll be korbanot, last chance, do you think that is the proper way to sweetened us with a gift of G-d.

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  5. But, if you are not so lucky, then it will go like it says in Ezekiel 20:38 - "And I shall separate from you those who rebel and those who transgress against Me; from the land of their sojournings I shall take them, but to the land of Israel THEY SHALL NOT COME, and you will know that I am the Lord.
    Are you referring this passuk for over 10 millions Jews in Diaspora, aslo those tsaddikim like Lyubavitcher Rebbe who was niftar in Brooklyn, NY?! what are you saying?

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  6. Moshe - families go back because they find it too hard, not because it isn't possible. There is no way that Hashem provides in chu"l, but is incapable of providing in His own special land. I will not make light of it. It is hard - extremely hard - especially for those who have become accustomed to luxury and ease. Also, the yetzer hara fights very much against Jews being here. There is no such battle in chu"l.

    More when I get home from work...

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  7. so why push people to hard things if they not ready yet, why to scare?
    Are you referring this passuk for over 10 millions Jews in Diaspora, aslo those tsaddikim like Lyubavitcher Rebbe who was niftar in Brooklyn, NY?! what are you saying?

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  8. Moshe, your second comment - it's not me saying. It's HASHEM. What does it sound like to you? Did this not already happen with the 4/5ths who did not want to leave Egypt? If Hashem did it before why do you think He won't do it again?

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  9. I can't believe it that you think you are allowed to say that against all righteous people in all generation who did not move to Israel, to say that with your mouth and say that is Hashem will, who you think you are?

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  10. Moshe - Once again, it was not me that said it. The prophet is quoting Hashem's words. Maybe this issue matters more to Hashem than most of us give credit for. Maybe our being here means more to HKB"H than any of us care to know.

    But, you are not understanding anything that's being said if you think it applies to people already dead and gone.

    I can't speak any more clearly than I already have. This affects everyone alive right now.

    This is yetziat Mitzrayim all over again. And the question for all the Jews in chu"l is this: "Are you gonna go out toward the promised land or are you going to have a grave in Egypt?"

    They couldn't use the excuse, "I'm gonna wait for Mashiach to come and get me." They already had the Mashiach (Moshe Rabeinu) and they still didnt want to go!!! What to do then?

    If you want to answer some of the points I raised, fine. Until now, you have ignored them. But more of the same and I just won't post any more comments.

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  11. Very Soon you'll get very clear answer!

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  12. Many people like myself and my husband have elder family here and cannot leave right now. The merit of Israel is obtained through difficulty yet the reward is sweet. Rabbanim that I know are realists and say that one should have parnassoh to come.
    My husband and I have dsicussed and looked into on several occasions. Yes, I hear the time getting tight, yet if we got up and left a job here and family, I do think we would be living in poverty.
    My husband and I live do not live in luxury and we do not take vacations. We have older parents (70's and 80's ) kidney dialysis and spine issues for one and spine issue for 2 other parents- one severe. I cannot imagine leaving right now. Are we looking into it? Yes. I don't know when it will happen, though...
    As Rabbi Pinchas Winston says, a'aif you cannot get to E'Y, then at least long to be there."
    Kol tov.

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  13. Leah - I hear you. This was not intended as an aliyah post. It was intended as musar to remind those who do not intend on making aliyah to at least cease and desist from speaking slander against Hashem and Eretz Yisrael as a way to absolve themselves of any responsibility. Hashem should prepare a clear path for you.

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  14. Leah, I have to ask. Do you have a car?

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  15. Devash - I heartily agree with your posting here - good write up.

    You made the comment to Moshe regarding Ezekiel 20:38. I have read this verse many times and on the face value it appears that those outside Israel will be in deep deep trouble if they do not get to Israel before "the big day" RASHI explains that those who rebel will be slain in the wilderness. YIKES!

    So I "googled" to find commentary. This is what I found:

    "'I shall separate from among you those who have rebelled and sinned against Me' (Yechezkel 20:38) - R. Levi said: This refers to those born of marital relations conducted under one of the following nine conditions: when the woman is intimidated, when she is forced, when she is despised by him, when he is under the ban, when he mistakes her for another wife, when they are quarreling, when they (or one of them) are inebriated, when he intends to divorce her, when he is thinking about someone else, or when she is brazen." (Nedarim 20b)

    http://www.vbm-torah.org/archive/parsha65/08-65vayishlach.htm

    and later on this same chapter 41. With a pleasing savor I shall accept you when I take you out of the nations, and I shall gather you from the lands in which you were scattered, and I shall be hallowed through you before the eyes of the nations.

    Clearly verse 38 means it is the rebels among those outside of Israel that will be taken to the valley and those that long to be in Israel but matters are holding them up will indeed see the Beit Hamikdash.

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  16. Tidbits of Torah - Your reference aside, I agree with you. But, a verse must always, always be understood within its greater context. The prophet introduces this prophecy with these words:

    And you shall say to them: So says the Lord God, On the day I chose Israel, then I lifted up My hand to the seed of the house of Jacob, and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt, when I lifted up My hand to them, saying: I am the Lord your God. On that day I lifted up My hand to them to bring them out of the land of Egypt, to a land that I had sought out for them, flowing with milk and honey; it is the glory of all the lands. And I said to them: Every man cast away the despicable idols from before his eyes, and pollute not yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the Lord your God. But they rebelled against Me and would not consent to hearken to Me; they did not cast away, every man, the despicable idols from before their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt; and I said to pour out My wrath over them, to give My anger full rein over them, in the midst of the land of Egypt.

    As I live, says the Lord God, surely with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm and with poured out fury, will I reign over you. And I shall take you out of the peoples, and I shall gather you from the lands in which you were scattered, with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm and with poured out fury. And I shall bring you to the wilderness of the peoples, and I shall contend with you there face to face. As I contended with your forefathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I contend with you, says the Lord God. And I shall cause you to pass under the rod, and I shall bring you into the transmission of the covenant. And I shall separate from you those who rebel and those who transgress against Me; from the land of their sojournings I shall take them, but to the land of Israel they shall not come, and you will know that I am the Lord.


    The exodus from the many lands of dispersion are just like the going out from Egypt. And just like then, there were those who didn't want to leave. Hashem buried them there - in Egypt.

    Only the person and G-d knows which one a person is - one who wants to leave and can't or someone who truly does not want to leave. It's clear that the "rebellion" here is talking about those who refuse to give up the pleasures of "Egypt." Their punishment is mida k'neged mida. They don't want to go - fine. They don't have to go to EY, but neither will they be allowed to remain in Egypt. Hashem honors our freewill choice. He doesn't force anyone. But freewill "choice" is limited to "do or die."

    As it was in the first redemption, so will it be at the final redemption.

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  17. My posting was needed for you to have such a emesdic clarification!

    I was walking to work on 13th Avenue in Boro Park and I cried out "HaShem! I can't take this anymore - please! The goyim have begun to dress smutty - I don't want my 2 year old seeing this - I don't want our husband's seeing this and I certainly do not want to see this!" I truly shake my head - this young woman dressed in such a provocative way - it was so disgusting that I asked HaShem for her to have a bodily waste elimination accident! So she would have to change her clothing!

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