Wednesday, August 31, 2016

HaRav Nachman Kahana on Parashat Re’eh 5776: Jewish “States” vs. The Jewish State

Parashat Re’eh 5776
Rabbi Nachman Kahana

Intellectual Dilemmas

A group of youngsters were playing hide-and-seek. A little girl was hiding in a bush and crying. When asked why she was crying, she replied “no one is looking for me.”

In the challenges we face as HaShem’s chosen people, the Creator conceals Himself and we have to search Him out. Most people live their lives not searching for the Omnipotent. However, there are those who long to understand the ways of HaShem despite the impossibility of the mission; for HaShem’s thoughts are above and beyond the understanding of man.

Consider playing a multilevel interconnected chess game composed of 5 chessboards one above the other, all by heart.

One of the great intellectual dilemmas facing the “healthy” religious segment of Am Yisrael is the phenomena of seemingly important rabbis in the galut who would rejoice at the dissolution of Medinat Yisrael. Even to the extent that they praise and visit Iran, which is inching up to achieving weapons of mass destruction to use against the Jewish State.

These rabbis and scholars adamantly refuse to recognize that the Jewish nation of post-1948 will never again revert to the situation of pre-1948 Jewry. The way HaShem related to His chosen people during the 2000 year galut has taken a turn from seemingly “hester panim” – concealment or avoidance, to “gilui panim” – total involvement in the rapprochement with His people, Am Yisrael.

But these spiritual leaders and their innocent, guileless adherents refuse to see what is so clearly written in the heavens.

I would like to relate to this phenomenon.

Jewish “States” vs. The Jewish State

I received a video of hundreds of children and their counsellors at summer camps, hurling eggs at a car meant to represent the convoy of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu while chanting extreme anti-Israel slogans.

As we know, this scene is repeated every year at the summer camps sponsored by Hamas in Azza and in the P.A. in the liberated areas of Shomron and Yehuda.

However, this particular video was sent by Yeshiva World News showing the children at two summer camps affiliated with the Satmar leaders R. Zalman Leib Teitelbaum of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and his brother R. Aharon Teitelbaum of Kiryas Yoel, who divided their father’s dynasty after his death!

In our world there is only one Jewish state, regarding which the Torah (Devarim 11,12) says:

ארץ אשר ה’ אלהיך דרש אתה תמיד עיני ה’ אלהיך בה מרשית השנה ועד אחרית שנה
It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.

However, there are many “states” of Jews dispersed around the world.

A “state” of Jews has its inclusive laws and mores which determine who will be accepted as a citizen and who will be rejected. A “state” of Jews is identifiable by its absolute conformity in all the important features of life: food, language, dialect, dress, marriage within the group, conformist education, absolute dictatorial leadership and elitist self-image.

The Satmar adherents have two “states” of Jews in New York; one in Williamsburg and the other Kiryas Yoel. Not to be outclassed, the Lithuanian school of thought has a major state of Jews in Lakewood, New Jersey. And there are other “states” of Jews dispersed around the United States and Europe. Despite the competitive differences between these “states” of Jews, there is one dominant common feature: they are all united in their opposition to the Jewish State.

The Jewish State is different than “states” of Jews in every way.  Firstly, it exists on the ancient soil of our God given homeland – Eretz Yisrael. It is glaringly diverse, with people from over 100 lands speaking different languages, preferring different varieties of food, dress, values, speech, marriage without the closed group, and diversity in education. It is called Medinat Yisrael. And it is the challenge of the Medina to synchronize these “tribes” into one united nation dedicated to the advancement of Am Yisrael.

Although the goals and the challenges of the Jewish State are far different than those of the various “states” of Jews, each fulfills an important role in shaping the future redemption of our people.

Medinat Yisrael, the Jewish State, has to coalesce in finding the common bond that exists among the six and a half million Jews who have come here to carry on Jewish history which was so dreadfully and abruptly severed 2000 years ago with the Temple’s destruction and the exile.

The Medina is in need of positive forces of love and optimism for our future. Forces that join together in defense of the land and toil to strengthen our security, as well as our economic and political independence.

The Medina is not in need of negative, critical and undermining elements which would weaken the fabric of our society.

The Midrash relates that when 80% of the Jews in Egypt refused to leave with Moshe and died during the plague of darkness, Moshe asked HaShem why it was necessary to take all these people away? HaShem replied that he left 2 individuals out of the 80% alive so that Moshe would understand the justification for that extreme move. They were the infamous Datan and Aviram. Moshe then understood what HaShem had done for the future of Am Yisrael. These two men spilled Moshe’s blood; what would a million like them do?

The various “states” of Jews as described above fulfill an important role as distillation elements for the future of Am Yisrael. They attract and draw away from the Medina the haters of the Jewish State. The Medina is not in need of people who would sit by the sidelines and criticize, curse and undermine what we are doing here.

These foreign “states” of Jews in the galut serve to distill and remove the impurities from our land, whose presence would hamper and impede the re-establishment of the God-led nation, with the Bet Hamikdash at its forefront.

The citizens of these “states” of Jews have found their peace in the golden lands of the exile, so that Hashem and the healthy segment of our nation can proceed to build the infrastructure of the Third Jewish Commonwealth.

With all my heart I wish these “states” well. Let them prosper and add more and more electronic stores etc., and be happy with their spiritual leaders, but not here in the rejuvenation of the Jewish nation.

In any event, they should know in the back of their minds that when the hatchet is poised above their heads, the Medina will be here to save them.

Shabbat Shalom,
Nachman Kahana
Copyright © 5776/2016 Nachman Kahana

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