07 September 2016

Beware False Messianism!

4 Elul 5776

(h/t P.E. and YY)

Although we are supposed to be yearning for the geulah and anticipating Mashiach's arrival every day, we have to keep even this in perspective and not allow ourselves to be drawn to any extreme. If the Yetzer HaRa can't tempt us to forget about the geulah altogether, he will change tactics and cause us to become obsessed with it to the point of thinking we have to force the issue.

This is what led to the terrible tragedy of Shabtai Tzvi and Jacob Frank. In Frank's case, he and his followers based their false teachings on the saying that "Am Yisrael will be redeemed in a generation that is either all good or all bad". They saw that they could not all be good, so they determined to become "all bad" in order to force the redemption to come. In a recent online shiur, I actually heard a yeshiva bachur make just such a suggestion based on the same exact reasoning, God forbid! Of course, his rebbe set him straight.

How is it we don't know our history so that we can learn from past mistakes? Why do we blithely ignore the threats with some smug self-assurance that we are immune from such errors?

Here is another timely and relevant example of what is happening today. The following was posted to the Israel Rising Blog a month ago:
Amar’e Stoudemire is coming home. After travelling back and forth to Israel since 2010, he has experienced what many African-Americans have noted as a sort of realization that somewhere in their past a Jewish ancestor is rooted. Stoudemire confirmed that his Jewish roots reach back through his mother’s side, linking him to the Jewish people. To many observers this sort of awakening is surprising, but it has been going on for quite a while.
...a new crop of younger African-Americans find interest in Hebrew customs and beliefs. This Hebrew awakening is beginning to ripple across the African-American world. Influential leaders like Rabbi Capers Funnye are publicly advocating for Black Jews to become fully integrated members of the broader Jewish world, dropping the racial division. In the past traditional Jewry shunned such overtures, but something is occurring now for the first time throughout world Jewry: tacit acceptance.
...Now, with this tremendous awakening underway, a piece of of the redemption is unfolding in front of us. Jews from all over the world are meant to return. Amar’e Stoudemire’s return to his roots is not only his personal journey, but in light of clear documentation, his journey is part of the redemptive process of the people of Israel.
Three months ago, this website (along with other geulah-related websites like Breaking Israel News, and at least one well-known anti-missionary rabbi who even brought him to Rabbi Kanievsky) was promoting "King Ayi"...
King Ayi: We Have a lot of Work Ahead
The first thing one notices when they meet King David Ayi, is a deep sense of personal humility.
...The three times I met with King Ayi, I witnessed countless people come and speak with him, seeking confirmation that there is in fact a Jewish King from Africa. Some asked for blessings and others just wanted to feel part of something mazing.
Interestingly, the first comment under this posted article on BIN's Facebook page says...

Gerd Schulz Hi, I read that article and wanted to know more about this king. So, I googled and found the following:

Royal Ruse Or Really Royalty?
June 24, 2000|BY MEGAN O'MATZ Staff Writer

"People bowed their heads in his presence. They addressed him as "his majesty." And they gave him the key to the city.
Fort Lauderdale's political, business and religious leaders feted King Ayi of Togo, West Africa, on Friday, unaware or unconcerned that his royal heritage has been questioned.
"It's a scam. He's no more king than I am," said the Rev. Gordon White, a Pennsylvania minister who knew Ayi in Togo, where White worked as a missionary from 1978 to 1986.
"He's perpetrating a total fraud," White said."
I also googled it when I first read about him with similar results, as would anyone else who bothered to check him out.


But regardless, I seriously doubt if this will stop them from seeking out other questionable African tribes and leaders to "return" to the Jewish people in order to "bring about" the final redemption. Hashem have mercy on the rest of us!

The final sentence of the article linked above: "...We must filter those who seek to harm us and our friends from within and connect with those forces who are like-minded in seeing a world that is rectified."

This is the crux of the problem - seemingly "religious" Jews who are prepared to violate the clear teachings of Torah and halachah in order to bring about the Redemption on their own terms. This just proves they have no faith or trust in HKB"H that He will do what is needed at the most opportune time.

(To be continued, iy"H...)