Consideration, Emancipation & Fulfillment
The Torah has a way of condensing complex issues with countless details into a few words; for example, how Jews should relate to each other, with the short phrase:
ואהבת לרעך כמוך אני ה’
Love your fellow Jew as you love yourself, I am HaShem.
I take it one step forward and reduce it to one word – consideration (for your fellow Jew).
The Torah contains many verses that instruct us to be HaShem’s chosen nation in Eretz Yisrael.
I reduce it to one word – emancipation (freedom for the neshama and the body).
Moshe descended from Har Sinai with a message from HaShem to Am YIsrael:
ואתם תהיו ל ממלכת כהנים וגוי קדוש
And you shall be for me a Kingdom of Kohanim and a holy nation.
Or in one word HaShem granted us – infinity.
However, in the light (or darkness) of our “disappointing” history when our nation did not achieve those two goals; except perhaps in the 40 years beginning with the reign of King Shlomo until the reign of his son, Rechav’am when the nation succeeded into Yehuda and Yisrael.
HaShem’s message and the ultimate process towards that goal which has turned into 3000 years of unfulfilled struggle, I call in one word – fulfillment.
True, we have returned home – a giant leap towards the goal, however there are deep pitfalls still in front of us.
- Like the 400 thousand non-Jews from Eastern Europe who were welcomed here by way of the asinine grandfather clause in the Law of Return, passed by our government many of its members who had no idea what it means to be a Jew or to be a Zionist.
- The 2 million plus Moslems and other religions who reside here are a drawback from attaining the goal.
- The observant Jews in the galut, are they contributing to the goal of a Kingdom of Kohanim and a holy nation even by their intense spirituality in the Torah centers of Florida and California?
I believe that all world history revolves around HaShem’s relationship with the Jewish people, so all history in one way or another are particles of energy driving us towards the goal of being a Kingdom of Kohanim and a holy nation.
Based on this premise, I have over time taken the precarious and sometime ludicrous step of predicting the future based on what I see in the present. These predictions are not necessarily what I hope for, some are even distasteful – but it is what it is. Among them:
1- The US, home to the largest Jewish community in the world, second only to Eretz Yisrael, will soon be forced to restore military conscription. The US has not had a draft since 1973 and Congress and the president would have to authorize one in the case of a national emergency. World events such as the war in eastern Europe, an increasing US presence in Poland, and the Iranian threat continue to evolve, but they might not necessarily evoke the draft.
However, the way I view current events, what will force this change will be the very tenuous and fragile social interaction between political, racial, ethnic and socio-economic groups that could suddenly erupt into mass demonstrations and from there into chaos, necessitating strong police and military forces based on conscription.
So, the smart Jews will leave for home now, in contrast to the 80% of Jews who at the time of the Exodus refused to leave the flesh pots of Egypt and are now a mere footnote in our literature.
2. Large numbers of Israeli residents, perhaps even in the millions, will “relocate”. No one is leaving yet, but there are rumblings among certain groups who have decided or are contemplating the possibility -as long as there are places for Jews to “relocate”. Of those, there are also the hundreds of thousands of above-mentioned non-Jews who entered the country by way of the “grandfather” clause in the Law of Return. Their departure will contribute to our metamorphosis into a kingdom of kohanim and a holy nation. The dramatic increase of churches and stores that sell pig which did not exist previously are the results of these gentile immigrants.
3. Then there are Jews here who are by choice or by upbringing disconnected from Judaism; they feel comfortable in the presence of goyim but are annoyed when a religious Jew passes by – they too are candidates for relocation (yerida).
ALL in all, those who will remain will be the proud and dedicated descendants of proud and dedicated generations of Jews who tenaciously fought to remain Jews.
The next prediction is the collapse of our democratic governmental system and the necessity of the military to replace it. Ours is a democratic parliamentary system with local and national elections.
Question: if this system is so great why isn’t it recommended in the Torah for the Jewish nation?
The Torah’s social and political system is a four branch Theocracy. Initially twelve tribes each under the leadership of a shofet (judge) like Gidon or a prophet like Shmuel, and when it became necessary for all the tribes to act as one the system changed to four branches: Monarchy, Kohen Gadol (High Priest), Sanhedrin, and the reigning prophet of the time.
There are no national elections in a Torah government. So, the words of Abraham Lincoln, “government, of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth,” that is based on a fundamental trust in the logic and morality of the ‘people” spoken at Gettysburg, are not stated in the holy Torah.
Perhaps our basic makeup is not fit for democracy, where the loser accepts the outcome and plays along. The Jewish mentality is that any dispute be it even over a minor item like the neighbor’s cat crossing into one’s yard, becomes a matter of principal (it’s not the cat, it’s the principle) and principles cannot be compromised. So, the loser never forgets, and the winner never remembers (those who helped him).
In any event the vector of Jewish history in our long and challenging pilgrimage towards the goals set for us by HaShem is pointing upwards. We have returned to Eretz Yisrael and HaShem has returned Yerushalayim to us. The holy atmosphere of Eretz Yisrael has rejuvenated the dry souls of galut and we have today a Kingdom of Torah.
Our parasha begins with HaShem promising the Jewish nation “bracha” if we deserve it, or G-d forbid “Klala” if we deserve to be cursed.
It is apparent that the klala of the galut has run its course. HaShem’s blessings can be seen and felt in every corner of this country. If you wish to feel HaShem’s presence, go to a yeshiva here, if you want to see HaShem’s blessings go the shuk of Machane Yehuda.
Copyright © 5783/2023 Nachman Kahana