04 September 2013

Which Came First, the State or the 'Egg'?

29 Elul 5773
Erev Rosh Hashanah

If you ordered a scrambled egg and it came with eggshell mixed with it, you'd no doubt be more than a bit surprised, to say the least.  Everyone knows that you crack an eggshell, extract the egg and throw the shell away.  It's only there to contain the egg until it's ready for use or in the case of a fertilized egg, to protect the developing chick until it's fully formed and ready to hatch.

The present State of Israel is like that eggshell.  It is not the egg.  It is no less a creation of the Creator, as is everything in existence, but it is only a means to an end, not the end in itself.

Rav Aryeh Carmell wrote:

...the first to predict the rise of a secular Jewish state as prelude to the coming of the Messiah is Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel of Prague (1525-1609) known as "Maharal", in his discussion of the rise of "the Kingdom of the Messiah".

Maharal affirms that the coming of the Messiah is not, as often thought a sudden event; it is a process. The "Holy kingdom of Israel" - Maharal's term for the reign of the Messiah will emerge from an earlier, non-holy kingdom.

...Maharal, in a telling parable, describes the relationship between the embryonic "kingdom of Israel" and its "Edomite" environment: Fruit grows within a husk; when the fruit ripens the husks falls off... So it is with Israel. Their kingdom emerges and grows from within the kingdom of the nations i.e., from the existential power of the kingdom of the nations, and from their level, it raises itself to a higher level. And when the kingdom of Israel reaches complete maturity the kingdom of nations is removed, just as the husk is removed, and falls off when the fruit reaches its perfection.

For our purposes, we'll continue with the egg analogy since the concept is the same. The first sign that the chick has become viable and is ready to hatch is when it begins to crack and peck holes in the shell. The shell, which has been home for many weeks is now too uncomfortable, so the chick begins to break his way out and let me tell you, it is a long, hard struggle to break free of that shell.

We can learn many lessons from this for our own time and our own situation here in Eretz Yisrael.  

My first thoughts are: Why are we so comfortable inside the shell that we don't care about breaking out into a new reality?  Are we afraid or do we just lack vision and faith to get there?  Are the current "decrees" against the Torah-observant community a way for Hashem to say "It's time to hatch, little chick?"

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