09 August 2016

Is There Still Hope For Us?

5 Av 5776

Recently I wrote a blog post entitled "It Doesn't Get Any Sadder Than This" at the end of which I made the following statement: "If this is what redemption looks like, we are truly and completely lost and there is no hope left."

I owe everyone who read it an apology because although I knew that I meant to convey the exact opposite sentiment, I did not communicate that clearly enough and may have led some to the wrong conclusion.

Please allow me the opportunity to clarify that here and now.

It was my understanding of the article to which I referred in my blog post that the author, like too many other hapless souls in this generation, believes that the Zionist dream has already been fulfilled in the secular democratic State of Israel. To the Torah Zionist, "Zion" is not where Jews sit among the gentile nations as an equal, mimicking their ways. In our Tanakh, "Zion" is the Temple Mount - the place where the Divine Presence rested among us. Without the Holy Temple and without the Torah as the basis of our life and laws in this Land, "Zion" is soulless, like Yechezkel's dry bones.

To those of us who deeply feel the pain of the present situation - Greek games during the Nine Days; "Pride" parades across the land; missionaries and idolaters welcomed equally into the halls of power as well as the homes and schools of our holy children; the constant threat of Jewish communities being uprooted to please the goyim; well, you get the idea...  As I tried to say before, if THIS were the fulfillment of all our dreams for redemption, it would truly be a nightmare and there would be no hope for our future because this is the path to national suicide.

However!!!! Our current reality is most assuredly NOT what we have been waiting for, hoping for and dreaming of our entire lives. In other words, "No, children, we're not there yet". Thank God! I certainly do not want to exit the geulah train at this juncture. I'm on board til the end of the line, God willing and with His help.

As we will see during the seven haftarot of consolation after Tisha b'Av, there is abundant hope for our future, more so than at any other time in history. But, right now, we are before Tisha b'Av and this is the time to focus on what we are lacking. Just be aware in the background of the sorrow that "even when the sword is at the neck" there is still hope.