Parshiot Vayakhel-Pekudai 5772
ויקהל משה את כל עדת בני ישראל ויאמר אלהם אלה הדברים אשר צוה ה' לעשת אתם
And Moshe assembled the whole community of Israel and said to them, "These are the things the LORD has commanded you to do.
The presence of 600,000 men, and a much larger number of women, and innumerous children was an awesome spectacle. They were riveted together as a single body and mind, captivated by Moshe’s every word, as he described how, starting at that moment, they were to prepare for their future in Eretz Yisrael.
Moshe focused on the two dimensions which define Man’s relationship with his environment - time and space, and whose specific details define the Jewish nation’s relationship with the Creator; the time of Shabbat and the space of the Bet Hamikdash in Eretz Yisrael.
Gentiles may work without limitation, but on Shabbat the Jewish nation must refrain from all acts of a creative nature in the public domain as well as in the privacy of one’s home, as HaShem had done after the initial six days of creation. This collation and identification between Creator and a specific created entity - the Jews, is the Creator’s expression that the world, and all that is in it, was brought about only for the sake of the Jewish nation.
The Bet Hamikdash:
The temporary Mishkan (Tabernacle) to be erected while the Jews were still in the desert, was meant to prepare the people and the kohanim (priestly family that performed the sacrificial functions) for the Bet Hamikdash, to be built on the Temple Mount in Yerushalayim. Here again the exclusive preference of a specific place on the planet -Yerushalayim in Eretz Yisrael, is another of the Creator’s expressions that the world and all that is in it was brought about only for the Jewish nation who is commanded to live in Eretz Yisrael.
We cannot know how many times the audience stood up at Moshe’s words in thundering ovation. But "coincidentally", last week, we witnessed another very impressive event of a Jewish leader, who, like Moshe Rabbeinu is from the tribe of Levi, holding his audience spellbound at his every word. It was our Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, addressing 13,000 people in Washington DC’s convention hall.
Mr. Netanyahu did not speak about Shabbat nor of the Bet Hamikdash. His subject was more basic than any of the 613 Torah mitzvot. He spoke of the existential threats facing the Jewish people in Eretz Yisrael, and by necessity Jews the world over; because as the Jews fare here, so goes world Jewry. Why "more basic?" Because the building of the Mishkan or Bet Hamikdash does not defer Shabbat, however, the saving of a Jew whose life is in jeopardy does defer Shabbat.
I saw the event on video. It was an amazing speech by the Prime Minister. The audience stood and clapped tens of times in total agreement and identification with the logic of his words. Iran and its resolve to build nuclear weapons and delivery systems to targets many thousands of kilometers away should awaken even the most apathetic of people.
But, the subject of this week’s message is not Moshe Rabbeinu directly, nor is it our Prime Minister, and not even Eichmann-Ajad of Iran; it is the 13,000 people who heard that speech in the convention hall!
Let’s project for a moment that all 13,000 are on their feet after the members of Congress had left. The chairman of the session requests that whoever has a gentile mother to kindly be seated. I estimate that about 1000 would sit down. Then he requests that whoever is married to a gentile as well as the gentile spouse be seated; another 2000 sit down. He then requests that whoever has a son or daughter married to a gentile to be seated; another 3000 sit. Whoever has a grandchild married to a gentile, please be seated; 3000 more sit down. He then requests whoever underwent a reform conversion to be seated; another 1000 sit down. That would leave about 3000 people standing on their Jewish feet.
This is not an exaggeration, it is the stark and ugly face of the failed American Jewish community.
The Jewish community in the United States is indeed a failed one. It is failing financially because the United States economy is in an unstoppable downward spiral; and it has failed spiritually because the vast majority turns their backs on the only spiritual life boat available today - Eretz Yisrael.
The situation is a bit better with the orthodox community. But they too will go the way of the others, albeit a bit more slowly, because they too are apathetic, at best, when it comes to aliya to the Holy Land.
It is thought that any estimate of the number of Jews in the USA, whether it be 4, 5 or 6 million, at least half are not Jews by halachic standards.
Whoever values his or her family’s 3500 years of being an important component in the family of Jews, must realize that the thread is running out. Membership in AIPAC and support of the Jewish State are certainly admirable, but in no way will they guarantee that one’s children will remain Jews.
Come home! That is the only path to save yourselves physically and spiritually.
At one point in his address, Mr. Netanyahu raised the specter of danger from Iran, imploring the sane world not to be oblivious to the words of the Ayatollahs.
Mr. Netanyahu said: "If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck and swims like a duck, what is it? It’s a duck! But this duck is a nuclear duck".
I recently saw an interview on Aljazeera that broadcasts from Doxa in the Persian Gulf, with a certain American. He has long peyis. He has a full beard. Wears a long kaftan and tzitzis and speaks with a deep accent. So what is he? He is closer to a duck than to a Jew!
He goes by the name Yisrael Dovid Weiss, and represents the Neturai CARTERr of the USA. The venom he spurts out is of the sort heard in Shushan, Rome and in Spain of 1492. He was so disgusting that the Moslem interviewer asked him, "Are you an anti-Semite?"
He, and the people he represents would declare a festival with shtreimel, white socks and all, if a calamity befell the Jews in Eretz Yisrael. I believe that even their spiritual mentor, the Satmar Rebbe, would disown them if he knew the "bad seeds" that grew out of his teachings.
These people travel to Teheran to embrace Eichmann-Ajad and wish him and his nuclear engineers success in developing the ultimate weapon of destruction. And all this in the name of the Torah!
The grievous sin of King Menashe of Judah, for which he lost his place in the world to come, was his perversion of Biblical texts.
My immediate reaction to this man was disbelief, then anger ensued, but at some point he turned into a comical figure, who I would place in Disneyland.
But this comical figure is a radioactive duck. Like the destroyed atomic reactors in Japan and in the Ukraine, he spurts out poisonous messages of hate that kill one’s soul.
One need not delve into the commentaries to understand who Datan and Aviram, the nemeses of Moshe Rabbeinu were. You need not go further than seeing this man and his cult.
But the great tragedy is that the Satmar Rebbe and these people have won the day in American orthodox Jewry. They are aware of the fact that they will not convince an American Jew to accept their own self-hatred; but it is sufficient for them to cool down the American Jews’ enthusiasm for the miracle of Medinat Yisrael. To create a doubt is enough for them, because the doubt will cause one to say, "I am not a Satmar Chassid. But the Rebbe was such a religious man, and his adherents look so frum, that I am not convinced enough that the final redemption of the Jewish people has begun, so I won't sell my house and change my life".
This tragic-comic figure and his cult demonstrate at the drop of a shtreimel, identifying with the poor downtrodden murderous Arabs in Eretz Yisrael.
You can find them influencing politicians and the media who drink up their words of hate toward the Jewish people, as a vampire bat laps up the blood of an animal.
May HaShem have pity on His holy name, and deal with these people as befits them.
As for us, we will continue to praise the name of HaShem, and look to the fantastic future promised to us by HaShem as we build a Torah society in our ancient Holy Land of Eretz Yisrael.
Copyright © 5772-2012 Nachman Kahana