07 August 2016

It's A Sad Day

3 Av 5776

After being separated since Pesach, the Jews of Eretz Yisrael and the Jews of the Diaspora are now reading the same Torah portion once again.

Excerpted from yesterday's Haftarah with my comments inserted...

"...My people has exchanged its Glory for that which cannot avail." [They look around for which mortal man will come to their rescue and save them from their own folly. Will it be Donald Trump? Will it be Vladimir Putin? Will it be Bibi Netanyahu? God forbid!

"Mourn, O heavens, over this; rage forth in storm, send forth great devastation - the word of Hashem. For My people has perpetrated two evils: Me have they forsaken, the Source of living waters; to dig for themselves cisterns [stagnant water], [and not only that, but] broken cisterns that cannot [even] hold water."

"Is Israel a slave? Is he born to a housemaid?" [As a free man, son of the Great King, his will is unconstrained. He has the power of choice.] [All the bad things that have ever happened to you...] "Is this not what you do to yourself; by forsaking Hashem, your God, when He leads you on the way? ...Your evil shall castigate you; your waywardness shall chasten you; [your suffering is not because of your righteousness, on the contrary, it is the natural consequence of your wrong actions], know and see that evil and bitter is your forsaking of Hashem, your God, and that awe of Me was not upon you - ...."

I cannot emphasize strongly enough how evil and wicked it is for Jews to wish in their hearts continued success and triumph for Eisav in this world. For as long as Eisav is on top, Israel is trod under foot and this is a very great desecration of God's Name. 

In his work The Mitzvah Candle, the Maharal wrote:

...The fourth empire [Rome, whose successor is the "one remaining superpower" - America, today ] ...is not symbolized by an animal whose sign of cleanliness is hidden, for on the contrary, the split hoofs of the swine are openly revealed. This indicates that the relationship that this empire has with the Holy One, is not more than surface deep. That is, it pretentiously flaunts signs of purity, while truthfully, on the inside, it is not pure. Pretending to be pure is the closest it comes to the Holy One and to truth - by displaying their hoofs which externally and superficially indicate purity, while this is not really so.

...the fourth empire was a universal synthesis, alone equivalent to the others. ...Because of its universality, this empire is motivated to be everything, not allowing anyone else to co-exist along with it.

...The fourth empire...because it considers itself everything (a characteristic that derives from its universality) desires that no one else should exist
["melting pot"]. It therefore destroys all others [through assimilation] , and is occupied with destruction only. Thus, this beast [in Daniel's vision, ch. 7] had teeth of iron, a destructive material.... Indeed, the basic trait of this empire was destructiveness, as it burned and destroyed the Temple of our God, an unparalleled act of destruction. The first empire also destroyed the Temple. However, there is a difference; it did so only to dominate Yisrael, the destruction not being an end in itself. For this empire desired elevation above all others.... However, the fourth empire - where Yisrael was already in their hands; ...was intent on destruction and the slight rebellion merely provided the excuse.

Its destructiveness derives from the non-existence that cleaves to it, since the fourth empire is the end and finish of the world empires; their deterioration and ruin. The fourth empire is associated with void, and he who is associated with nothingness and void has the power to transmit it to another. Thus, the fourth empire derives the capacity to destroy and demolish all that is.

...non-existence does not cleave to the original empires, for they each draw an additional empire after themselves. Complete void and non-existence adheres only to the fourth empire; instead of leading to another empire, it leads to void.

I'll say it one more time for emphasis. The only vote a Torah Jew can cast in the upcoming US elections is not with his hand, but with his feet

“One should always live in the Land of Israel, even in a town most of whose inhabitants are idolaters, but let no one live outside the Land, even in a town most of whose inhabitants are Israelites; for whoever lives in the Land of Israel may be considered to have a God, but whoever lives outside the Land may be regarded as one who has no God.” (Rambam)

"...My people has exchanged its Glory for that which cannot avail [...or prevail]."

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