Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Dati Dillema

"We are commanded to inheret the land that Almighty G-d gave to our forefathers and not to leave it to other nations or desolate as it is written in the tora (Num 33:53) 'And you will conquer the Land and settle it for to you I have given you the Land to settle it' " (RAMBAN,lacunae to Sefer HaMitzvot,4) 
"Do not hate your brother in your heart.Rebuke, rebuke your fellow and you will not bear his sin" (Leviticus 19,17)
On my recent trip to the visit family in the US during the Hanuka holiday I felt very alienated. Not so muich from Santa and Xmas trees but from the American Jewish community and specifically from the Modern Orthodox community. They seemingly have it all - affluence,successful torah institutions, good relations with their Gentile neighbors, great influence and impact on American society, economy and culture. But on closer inspection we see that Orthodox Judaism in America is in a great dillema and to put it bluntly is living an illusion.

How can a religious Jew in America say three times a day "and He shall gather us together from the four corners of the earth to our land" and each time we finish a meal say   " the Merciful One will break the yoke (of foreign domination) from our neck and lead us upright (to independence) in our land"

What can this be compared to? A child asked his father to take him to the circus. After much pleading the father agrees. As they reach the bus, the child starts crying "But Daddy, you said you were taking me to the circus!" They finally arrive but the child is still screaming "Take me to the circus!!" This is when he receives a well deserved slap from his father. "Ungrateful son, I have brought you to the place you wanted, bought the ticket and made others give up their seat so you could have a place to sit." This is how Rav Teichtel in his book "Eim Habanim S'meicha" tried to explain the cause of the Shoah - the KBH arranged history so the return to Zion could take place in time to save the Jews of Europe but unfortunately the vast majority including all geddolei tora refused to acknowlege the clearly miraculous turns of history that eventually brought the State of Israel into being.

A notable exception was Harav Kook ZTZL, head and shoulders above the others of his generation who in 1923 implored the Jews of Europe to come to Israel to avoid destruction (see derasha b'Hurva, Yerach Eitanim, Mossad HaRav Kook) It is hard to see today a physical Shoah taking place in America, however a 'silent holocaust' is taking place. In fifty and certainly 100 years the 5 million plus Jewish community will most likely dwindle to a few hundred thousand Haredim and Modern Orthodox.

If a large number of American Orthodox Jews would make aliya it would  have a unique and very positive effect on Israeli society.
The return of the  Jewish People to the Land Of Israel is no longer a dream.Sixty years and more of struggle and sacrifice have made it a reality.Every Jew has a part to play  in the saga of the return of our people by the grace of G-d to our land.

As Rav Kook ZTZL said over 80 years ago in his holy spirit. The shofar of redemption is sounding who can ingnore it??


  1. Congratulations on the birth of your new blog. I cannot wait to read the future posts.

    I am a Jew who grew up in a secular home and over the last two years have been discovering what it means to be a Jew. My heart sores with love for my people and our history.

    It sounds like your blog will be a great tool to continue my learning.



  2. LOL I love how you simplified so many variables in one post...