The Debate for Aliyah: G-d, the Rabbi’s, and a little thing called Jewish Destiny

By Ezra - Posted: Monday, June 21, 2010
Save & Share - 6 Comments

In the last few weeks I have been engaged in a little back and forth concerning some of the substance of my blogs, with someone known to me only as “rd”. What I have learned about him is the following: he is a knowledgeable G-d-fearing Jew with the utmost respect for the Torah and the Rabbis both past and present. He writes with the inspiration of Ahavat Chinam and takes the time to write his reactions with only good intentions. Unfortunately though, he seems to be a classic Galut Jew who thinks he is living an inspired life while completely missing the fact that true inspiration lies a world away here in Israel.

The purpose of me writing this is not to take him to task personally. He cares enough to respond to me and takes the time to put his feelings out there, which is already going way further than most people care to venture. Rather, my intention is to respond to three statements that he made to me in comments to my blog which can be found at:

http://kumah.org/2010/06/what-if-we-blew-the-iranian-aid-ships-out-of-the-water/#comments

The first quote goes like this “The real war is a spiritual one and Jews have the upper hand”. This was in response to my suggestion that in addition to the fact that war with our enemies is inevitable, we also need
to take the war to our enemies instead of waiting passively for them to kill us first. In a sense, I agree with “rd” that what we do spiritually effects greatly what happens in our physical reality. At the same time, I am not able to reconcile the fact that if most Jews don’t see Israel as a value not just somewhere down the line but right now, then through what magical merit will they earn it’s deliverance? We all know that across the globe, holy pious Jews throughout the ages have been killed and tormented, without it mattering that they were in the right and G-d fearing. They had all kinds of Emunah, and yet in the end many died and simply didn’t make it to Israel. However. we are right now in a position to change that. Alavay! We should be on the level where G-d will simply shower us with open miracles and all of Brooklyn will supernaturally find themselves at the peak of Mt Moriah. It’s sweet but that’s not how it works. We need to show G-d that we want it like we did back when we bellowed with unity, the words of “Naaseh Venishma!”

The second quote I am going to respond to is “(Remember 67,73,48?) You seem to demonstrate either a lack of Emunah or a lack of understanding, because our answer is not in our weapons as it is said of Yaakov Avinu that prayer was his weapon”.

How can you possibly use my proof of point against me?! Its precisely the outcome of those wars we fought that is G-d’s way of telling us that Israel is back and He fights with us! What else could possibly be the
message?! If we weren’t meant to be here then we wouldn’t be here! Why on earth have we been so successful? Why specifically now, after 2000 thousand years? Doesnt is just make sense that this is the crack of light being given to us by G-d in order to expand it and make it brighter?

As for Yaakov, if you go back to the posukim you will find that he simply did not pray to G-d but sent Eisav a bribe/tribute, and strategically prepared his camps for war by splitting them. Prayer alone has never been enough. When an enemy is at your door trying to kill you, you pick up your gun and shoot him first. Obviously.
Afterwards, you can pray and thank G-d that you had the presence of mind have purchased the gun earlier.

Lastly, you had theorized (which was the most interesting thing you said) that “Rabbis in Galut take on stringencies to strengthen their connection, whereas the Rabbis in Israel do it because they want Moshiach”
Last time I checked, wanting Moshiach was a universal value and not just for the Jews in Israel. Why would you look to add stringencies to your life in order to strengthen your connection when you could strengthen your connection simply by living a complete Jewish life here in Israel, which is what G-d expects and demands anyways? As far as hiding behind your Rabbis and the perception that they can do no wrong, well that’s just naive, and dishonest. If you just study our history a little bit, you will find that time and time again, great men made mistakes both in their actions and in dis-actions.

Here are a few examples that illustrate my point:

The Vilna Goan upon hearing about Hassidic movement, placed all of Hassidism into Cherem. Clearly, we know that today it has become quite the accepted path, and one that people associate with beauty and warmth.

David Hamelech sent out a man to die in battle because he had seen (via ruach hakodesh) that he was meant to be with his wife (Batsheva), and yet later he would be chastised and then go on to do teshuva and be forgiven.

Lastly, the greatest man ever to have lived – Moshe – “Ish HaElohim” – “The Man of God” sinned in this past week’s parsha of Chukat for hitting the rock and not speaking to it as G-d had commanded him to do.

Please don’t propose that you are going to try and convince me that your community or Yeshiva Rebbis, are on a greater level then those three men I just listed! Just open your eyes and see my brother! When Ezra and Nechemia rallied the Jews to come back to Israel, there were even greater Rabbis declaring that they didn’t have to go and they could happily remain in Bavel. Was the Second Temple not meant for everybody?

We are now in 2010, and we currently have a foothold on our ancestral Land that G-d promised us. This is by no means a coincidence, and it certainly behooves every Jew to work on making their lives here while the terms are favorable. Don’t wait till things get really drastically unfavorable. Think it can’t happen? Six million dead says it can. Choose the light that shines forth from the twenty percent and do not allow yourself to be blinded by the thick darkness of the eighty percent.

Posted in Aliyah, America, Beauty of the Land, Beit Hamikdash, Blog, Chassidus, David, Exile, Ezra, Guest, History, Jewish Pride, Land of Israel, Redemption • • Top Of Page

6 Responses to “The Debate for Aliyah: G-d, the Rabbi’s, and a little thing called Jewish Destiny”

Comment from rd
Time June 22, 2010 at 2:07 am

your kind words are appreciated. but to brand me a ‘classic galut jew’ is not appropriate. it is insulting, as you don’t know my status. also, ‘taking the war to our enemies’ is not wise, nor is it toradich. self-defense? absolutely! strength? definitely. annexing our traditional land? of course. militarily, israel has to use alot of sechel for reasons i listed previously. ‘taking the war’ spiritually to our enemies…means increased deveykut, ahavat yisrael, torah outreach to our secular brothers and sisters, and of course aliyah.
perhaps you misunderstood my reference to 48,67 etc. or i didn’t make it clear. the point was that we were victorious due to first, emunah/torah and second, military might. my point was this must be the order of priority.
going back to ‘self defense’. this is a very serious issue right now as our enemies have many weapons aimed at us. how to proceed is not something i can answer. i would want to know what the council of torah sages in yerushalayim says. this also goes back to the point about sechel etc
the point about stringencies, sorry, again i was not clear: both galut and israel ravs want moshiach, of course. i was responding to the criticism of galut ravs and stringencies, saying that perhaps this is their way of compensating for not being in the land.
please, don’t accuse me of hiding behind rabbis or being ‘naive and dishonest’. i wold never put anyone over our avos. it is unfair for you to accuse me of this. re david and moshe, what happenned with them is a very deep torah discussion. it is not so simple as a ‘chet’.
your passion and devotion to eretz yisrael is most admirable. we certainly need more and more jews to stand up and strengthen am yisrael.
my brotherly counsel would simply be: please try to use some sechel in your writing. ‘taking the war to the enemy’ or criticizing galut rabbis or jews is not the way to strengthen our people, nor to bring mashiach.

Comment from rd
Time June 22, 2010 at 2:13 am

re moshe and david. one reason we know about moshe not enetering the land is from rebbe nachman. he says in likutey moharan that moshe is buried in moav to sanctify that land because the precursor for moshiach (ruth) comes from there. she is david’s great grandmother. as for david; the incident with bat-sheva and uriah is discussed brilliantly in the artscroll tehillim commentary. the upshot is that david’s actions resulted in bringing more teshuva into the world. i am not a chacham so i cannot explain these things further.
one final note. it is helpful to consider what yehoshua or david, our most famous warriors, would do today. certainly, before doing anything militarily, they would be immersed in the yeshivas with the rabbis to discern the most effective and torah-true path to take. ultimately this is our raison d’etre and only this way can we be truly victorious.

Comment from rd
Time June 22, 2010 at 5:43 pm

re self defense…israel has made bad mistakes in the past several years…we should’ve never quit gaza. the jews of gush katif are still suffering.
in 06 olmerde was terrible, bowing to the u.s. we should’ve taken out hizbullah. in cast lead we should’ve re taken gaza, destroyed hamas and restored gush katif.
at this point, the stakes are much higher because enemies on three sides have stockpiled alot of weapons. that’s why we need to use sechel particularly at this time.

Comment from rd
Time June 23, 2010 at 12:22 pm

upon further reflection, i can see that the essence of your letter is a call for me, and all of us, to make aliyah, now. thank you.
it took time to get past the ‘back and forth’ of details to understand what is the underneath message you are communicating.
as i mentioned, you don’t know my status, my situation. i’d be glad to communicate with you via email. thanks.

Comment from Michael Berezin
Time June 23, 2010 at 1:41 pm

You preempted a whole response I had that was going to state exactly what you just communicated. You are right I don’t know your personal status, but I do know your position and arguments. I was not targeting you personally. Rather it’s the state of apathy and rationalization that many Jews both in and out of Israel hold, in reference to the path we should or should not be taking vis a vie living in Israel in 2010. I spent most of my formative years not caring nor knowing what I was missing by not being here. Now that I have been living here for the most part of the last 9 years I can tell you that I can’t understand being anywhere else despite many of the struggles we face here on the day to day. Anything worthwhile for the most part hardly ever comes easy. Living in Israel as a Jew is a value and a mission. If you have not read the book Em Habanim Sameacha I insist you do and then maybe we will both be more on the same page. My email is mnberezin@gmail.com I would be happy to talk to you directly about Israel, Ideology, and politics.

Comment from rd
Time June 23, 2010 at 6:52 pm

http://www.tsel.org/torah/emhabanim-eng/contents.html

thanks it’s an amazing sefer, that can be read online.

Write a comment