27.9.11

At The Eve Of Rosh HaShana We Must Entertain The Idea To Do What We Pray For And Distinguish Between Holy And Secular

B"H

As long as we, the Jews, keep thinking of "them", of the State of Israel, as "we", as if it was Moshe, and refuse to see that it is a golden calf we are dancing around, it is clear that we run a higher than necessary risk of being destroyed by G-d. Just by doing a simple thing, accepting His Torah on ourselves and refuting Mr. Kook's replacement distortions, we could annul this risk. His Torah does not even mention knesset and explicitly prohibits political parties and "democracy". Wake up Jews, we can't afford to improvise here, on G-d's Land. In Hilchot Melachim Chapter One Halacha One the Rambam says: "Israel was commanded to fulfill three mitzvot upon entering the Land:
- a) To choose a king, as Deuteronomy 17:15 states: Appoint a king over yourselves.
- b) To wipe out the descendents of Amalek, as Deuteronomy 25:19 states: Erase the memory of Amalek
- c) To build G-d's Chosen House, as Deuteronomy 12:5 states: Seek out His Presence and go there.

Now, I understand that there are midrashim that say otherwise, however the point here is not so much the nitty-gritty of the order of things to do. What I'm hammering about is that we should allow ourselves to see the big picture, the whole forest, with other words what the State really is and what real dangers it brings onto our collective head. The present State of Israel is not only not doing any of the "Jewish things" above, it is pro-actively fighting against the realization of any of these G-dly, Jewish projects: As we are called upon to distinguish between holy and secular, let's do it! Just talking about it week after week at havdala, is worthless.

- This is a reply to the following Important Rosh Hashana Piece from Israel - By Yekutiel Guzofsky:

Let us understand the idea behind the shofar – and let us hear the wake-up-cry of the shofar before it is too late.

The Talmud says (Tractate Rosh Hashana, 16b) that if we do not blow shofar at the beginning of the year we will hear terrible sounds at the end of the year, (sounds of distress).

One might ask a basic question:

Do we not blow shofar? Millions hear the blasts of the shofar in their synagogues on the High Holidays? Yet we are hearing the miserable sounds of distress at this year’s end as in many prior years.

SHOFAR WE HEARD – YET MISERABLE CRIES OF DISTRESS WE ALSO HEAR

Over recent weeks, we heard fatal terror attacks in Tel Aviv. We heard sirens of war and counted our dead in rocket attacks on Beer Sheba, Ashdod and other Southern Israeli towns and cities, with synagogues and schools destroyed. We heard the cry of war from Turkey and from the people of Egypt. The Israeli embassy in Cairo was trashed, and six of the guards were almost lynched. Jews were murdered in a deadly terror attack on the Egyptian border. A big rabbi was murdered by one of his disciples in Southern Israel. Thousands of homeless, protested throughout the land. The United Nations Committee blamed Israel for using excessive and unreasonable force to maintain the blockade on Gaza. The PLO petitioned the UN to establish a modern day Nazi state in place of most of Israel. Bibi and Obama may be rejecting the state today but both endorse a PLO state and a surrender from most of the land, if Abbas will promise peace and pretend to accept Israel, as a Jewish state. A father and toddler were murdered in cold blood on the road between Jerusalem and Hebron, as the police initially tried to cover-up the murder. A hurricane left dozens dead throughout the heavily Jewish populated areas of New York and New Jersey. Several of those killed were Orthodox Jews, one a Holocaust survivor. An 8 year old religious Jewish boy was murdered by another religious Jew in Brooklyn, and they found parts of the boy’s body in the murderer’s refrigerator. This all happened in the last month or two of the year. And this is only a partial list. Did we not blow shofar last year??!!

TO SOUND OR TO HEAR THE SHOFAR?

Perhaps this question can be answered by understanding the dispute about the blessing we make on the shofar. If we properly understand the different views about the Shofar-blessing , this will shed light on the underlying idea that stands behind the mitzvah of blowing the shofar. According to Rabeinu Tam the blessing refers to the blowing of the shofar, (litkoa kol shofar) while the Rambam and Shulchan Aruch say the blessing is to “hear the sound of the shofar”. (Rashi maintains that we say both to blow and to hear.) There are many questions asked on the view of the Rambam such as the fact that most verses that refer to the shofar or the trumpets speak of the act of blowing the shofar and not hearing the shofar. Also, if a deaf person, or a minor blows the shofar, even if it is a perfect sounding of the shofar, one that hears the blasts does not fulfill the mitzvah. Why is this so, if he heard the sounds, and if the essence is to hear the sounds of the shofar?

SOUNDING THE SHOFAR IS NOT ENOUGH, NOR IS HEARING IT – ONE NEEDS TO LISTEN, TO ACT!

Most commentaries believe that all of the opinions agree that the mitzvah is composed of both blowing and hearing the shofar. However, the argument is over which component do we accent and which is the the main aspect of shofar…Without going into great detail, we can offer the following explanation:

Hearing the shofar is not enough, just as sounding the shofar alone is not enough. Even according to the view of the Rambam and the Shulchan Aruch that holds that we say “to hear the shofar” in our blessing, they would agree that the mere technical hearing of the shofar is meaningless if we are not listening to the sound, if we are not committing a self-act of blowing that shofar into ourselves. Yes, we must not only hear the shofar but we must listen to the warning of the shofar, the wake-up-call to repent. We must blow the shofar from our ears into our hearts. We must see the warnings and tremble as the verse says.

Thus, when the Talmud says, that one who does not blow shofar at the beginning of the year, will surely hear miserable horrible sounds of tragedy by the yearend, the gemara is talking about the blowing as understood by the Rambam and Shulchan Orach (as well as the other views) A blowing that is translated into listening and into internalizing. A blowing that is one of speaking out as well as hearing the wake-up call of the shofar. For one who refuses to hear that call to teshuva, and who refuses to change and correct his evil ways and to act upon it, will be forced to endure tragedies and plagues until he wakes up to return to teshuva. And G-d gives us an opportunity to do teshuva and pushes off the decree as far as he can. But what can be done if we refuse to hear the shofar? He sounds clear warnings through tragedies to help us recognize where the faults lie and what we must do to repent. He adds those horrible sounds in the weeks prior to Rosh Hashanah with the hope that those events combined with the upcoming shofar blasts will yet inspire us to repent, before the decree of the next year is upon us. 40 days of Shofar together with those events at the close of the year. 40 days of shofar from the 1st of Ellul until the Yom Kippur on the Tenth of Tishrei.

40 DAYS AND 40 YEARS TO REPENT –

G-d even offers 40 year periods of grace after historic events, offering us 40 years to internalize what needs to be done, to decide our destiny and to prevent the bloodshed of an unnecessary decree. Such was the case before the destruction of the First and Second Temples. So often, as Rabbi Kahane points out in his prophetic book 40 Years, is the number 40 connected to punishment, teshuva, or a last grace period to yet repent. 40 lashes. 40 years in the wilderness as punishment for lacking faith in G-d and placing our fear and faith in gentiles. 40 sah - the measurement of water in the mikveh – that purifies the impure. 40 days for Ninveh to repent in the book of Yona. The flood of forty days and forty nights. And 40 days of the Shofar from the beginning of Elul until Yom Kippur.

40 YEARS FROM THE CREATION OF STATE

If we count 40 years from the establishment of the state of Israel, we will reach 1988. G-d in His infinite mercy gave us 40 years to turn the state of Israel into a full Jewish state. We had 40 years to determine and sculpt the true character of the state. Would this be a Hebrew speaking Portugal or one that is truly Jewish, that is governed by Jewish law and the Torah. Would we finally place our faith in G-d or continue to bow and prostrate ourselves to the dictates of the gentiles? In the years preceding the 40th year, there was an open debate and conflict about the very character of the state. Should Israel be a Jewish state or a democracy? If Judaism contradicts modern western principles of democracy, which should rule? In 1988 the internal conflict that rocked Israel was resolved. Judaism lost the battle, as the High Court of Israel refused to overturn a knesset election committee banning of a party that based its entire platform on Jewish law. The state of Israel decided to ban Torah and oust Rabbi Kahane from the Knesset for laws based on Torah that he proposed to legislate in the Knesset. And we saw the Intifada.

40 YEARS FROM THE SIX DAY WAR

If we count 40 years from the miraculous Six Day war of 1967 we reach the great national debate of the years preceding the expulsion from Gush Katif and Northern Shomron. Prior to 2007, Israel again was torn between two opposing worlds, given the chance, to yet again choose between sanctifying G-d’s name or desecrating His name. Israel chose to run away from Gaza and Northern Shomron and to expel thousands of Jews. Again the choice was made, not to expel our enemies, as G-d and logic dictates, but rather a futile attempt to appease the nations of the world, only to bring the missiles closer to Beer Sheba and Tel Aviv. We made the choice: And our fear of the gentiles and lack of faith in G-d brought upon us, Gilad Shalit the war in Gaza and the second war in Lebanon. As well as the ongoing fear of rockets from the very areas we have surrendered.

40 YEARS FROM THE YOM KIPPUR WAR – THAT STARTED ON OUR 40TH DAY OF REPENTANCE

If we count 40 years from the Yom Kippur War of 1973, we will reach 2013. Yes, we are entering into yet another final cycle as we rapidly approach the point where we can still determine our fate and avert further tragedy. Will we assert our sovereignty over Judea and Samaria and the Temple Mount or will we continue to allow the biblical lands of Eretz Yisrael to slip away from us? Will we show faith in G-d or continue to suffer the natural consequences brought upon our heads for placing our faith in the nations?

BLAST THE TRUMPETS – MAKE NOISE TO CALL FOR TESHUVA AND AVERT TRAGEDY

The Rambam says in Hilchot Taaniyot, that one who sees tragedy around him and who refuses to see the hand of G-d and to search his ways to learn from the events around - him how to correct his ways, will be brought more “coincidences” until he wakes up to repent. Indeed, one, who calls the events a coincidence, will be delivered more coincidences, until he wakes up. In the Rambam’s words, Rambam, Hilchot Taniyot, Cahapter 1, Halacha 1-3:

ONE MUST RECOGNIZE THAT TRAGEDY IS FROM G-D – so that we search why and repent

“It is a mitzvah to shout and sound the trumpets upon any tragedy that befalls the community. As it says, (Behalotcha) ‘When an oppressor besieges you, sound the trumpets’, anything that brings sorrow to you such as drought…this is the way of teshuva. That when sorrow befalls upon you and you shout about it and make noise, all will know that this is because of your evil ways…and this will cause the trouble to go away. (Explained to mean that when you understand the cause of the tragedy and do teshuva to mend your ways, the troubles go away, after you have repented or accepted upon yourself to correct your ways). But if you refuse to shout and to make noise, but rather you say, this is only a natural coincidence – this is the way of cruelty and only causes them to further attach themselves to their evil ways. And the tragedy will add more tragedies…in other words, G-d brings the tragedies so that you repent, if you say it is a coincidence, I will bring upon you the wrath of more coincidences.”

THE ESSENCE OF THE SHOFAR – A WAKE-UP CALL

The Rambam in Hilchot Teshuva (Chapter 3, halacha4) says, in explaining the essence of the call of the shofar, “Awaken those sleeping from their slumber, search your ways and repent remembering your creator, those who forget the truth…and make the mistake in their sleep in emptiness and waste which will not save them or help them. Look into your souls and correct your evil ways…”

THE SHOFAR IS A WAKE-UP-CALL FOR THOSE WHO NOT ONLY HEAR THE BLASTS BUT WHO LISTEN. THE TRAGEDY IS ANOTHER FORM OF WAKE UP CALL FOR THOSE WHO REFUSE, ON THEIR OWN TO SEE AND TO HEAR WHEN G-D GIVES US CLEAR SIGNS TO WAKE US UP. UNFORTUNATELY AS IT SAYS IN TEHILIM 115, THERE ARE THOSE WITH EYES WHO DOI NOT SEE AND WITH EARS WHO DO NOT HERA. There are those who see the tragedy but who do not see, and who refuse to listen.

CHAFETZ CHAIM MADE A FAST DAY FOR A HURRICANE IN JAPAN

The Chafetz Chayim, proclaimed a fast in 1923 after hearing about an earthquake in Japan that caused the death of many in Japan in and around Tokyo. The news reached him long after the Japanese tragedy. When he was asked why he declared a fast day, the Chafetz Chayim explained that any tragedy in the world is only to cause the Jewish people to search their ways and to repent.

TRAGEDIES CRASH UPON OUR HEADS AND WE SEE AND HEAR NOTHING

We saw tragedy in Japan this year as well. But I speak not of that tragedy earlier this year. What can be said of us, as we watch tragedy after tragedy crashing upon us, and as we refuse to ask ourselves what we need to correct? Not only do we see these events and these tragedies as coincidences, we do far worse, as we see the tragedies and curses as blessings and often hide the reality of the tragedies. There is no hope of correcting our personal and national sins if we do not see the tragedy. G-d in His infinite mercy gives us hints and clues that nobody could make up. Yet we choose not to hear and not to see.

RABBIS IN AMERICA FEAR FOR JEWS IN ISRAEL – BUT IRENE HITS THERE

Before Ellul, great Rabbis in America gave a halachic ruling that yeshiva students should not leave America to go to Israel due to the dangers posed to them in Israel. Spiritual and physical dangers in Israel? That very week there was a historic and unprecedented hurricane in all of the Torah centers around New York and New Jersey, leaving Orthodox Jews dead and homeless. The name of the hurricane was Irene! Sounds like Iran. One thinks they will escape the dangers of Israel, in Borough Park, Monsey and Lakewood? One worries about the poor Jews in Israel, threatened by Iran? Irene can strike in Brooklyn.

ISRAEL REJOICES OVER PALMER COMMISSION THAT PROHIBITS JEWISH SELF-DEFENSE

The Palmer Commission in the U.N. blames Israel for using excessive force to save the Jewish hostages that had been taken on the Marmara ship. The fools in Israel “qvell” with joy, as Palmer, on the one hand, accepts Israel’s right to make a blockade. Palmer, however, rejects the right of the Jews to enforce the blockade and to save her soldiers that were moments away from being lynched. It rains and we see sun. We refused to take the necessary action, sending our finest soldiers in with toy paint-guns, and we risk their lives and end up getting condemned anyhow, and we just don’t get it. We refuse to see the collapse of Israel’s borders and the dissolution of any deterrent force we once had.

INNOCENT PALMERS LOST DUE TO OUR SILENCE OVER CRIMINAL ISRAELI ACCEPTANCE OF PALMER

G-d brings about the murder of two innocent Jews, at the same time that the United Nations meets again to discuss the type of Israeli surrender to be imposed. As the U.N. meets to discuss PLO statehood, Asher and his toddler son Yehonatan PALMER are taken from us. But we refuse to see any connection. The innocent Palmers shall be taken for no crime they committed due to our silence and refusal to fight the criminal Palmer report, and for our refusal to speak out and shout against a government that continues to appease the criminal Palmers and the evil nations of the world, sacrificing the innocent CHILDREN OF Israel on their futile altar of appeasement to the nations.

OUR LEADERS COVER-UP THE TRAGEDIES -

Yehonatan and his father have fallen. In the bible Yehonatan and his father Shaul also fall, and the reason given in David’s poetic eulogy is the refusal to teach the children of Judah archery. Here we have a government who disarms Jews and who refuses to allow her soldiers to shoot back with the necessary deterrent force against our enemies. But our sin is far worse. Not only to refuse to see the blatant warnings from Heaven but our leaders cover up the tragedies and distort the facts to prevent good people from taking action to save themselves. They tell us that terror attacks are coincidental accidents or even the fault of the reckless driver.

One has to be absolutely blind and deaf not to see the hand of G-d in the tragedies that are befalling us. We watch the timid faithless government of Israel send Israeli troops to destroy houses in Migron, to appease the nations and to maintain our fragile peace with our neighbors and peace-partners as our closest peace partner raids and destroys our house of peace and our embassy in Cairo. Instant retribution, measure for measure and we see nothing and hear nothing.

SOUNDS OF PALMER AND OF POLLARD

This is what the Talmud means when it says that, one who does not blow the shofar, will hear the sounds of misery at the year’s end. It does not mean the technical ritual of shofar blowing that we all excel in. It means the ability to hear the shofar and to re-sound it into our own hearts. It means the ability to hear the pain of Yonathan Palmer (sounds almost like Yonatan Pollard). This is what the Rambam means when he says not to view tragedy like a coincidence, otherwise we will get yet another year of escalating tragedy and worse. And G-d gives us enough hints to understand what we need to correct.

Yes, on a personal level we must show our faith in G-d as well as on a national level. We have reached a critical crossroad in Jewish history rapidly approaching the year preceding yet another 40 year cycle of mercy, to repent before the storm. Will we have the courage and the faith to blow the shofar and to take the necessary action to sanctify G-d’s name? Do we truly believe that G-d can save us from Obama and from Turkey? Will we take the necessary actions of faith such as annexing Judea and Samaria and the Temple Mount, driving out our hostile enemies and taking a preemptive strike against the nations who openly call for our destruction?

Shana Tova to all of our readers - Those wishing to contribute to help us disseminate the Jewish Idea in Israel can send a generous contribution to Mishal LYisrael POBox 6592 Jerusalem, Israel

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