BS”D Parashat Mishpatim 5782
Rabbi Nachman Kahana
The Final Events in Human History
In keeping with my contention that to understand where HaShem is taking us and the world, don’t look at current events, but rather where the events will evolve towards the realization of HaShem’s goal for our generation. That goal is the negation of the galut punishment that we brought upon ourselves 2000 years ago, and our return to continue our national-religious life in Eretz Yisrael.
We, the Jewish nation, are the focal point of all meaningful events in history. In our generation it is the preparation of the land and the people for the final events in human history where evil vs. evil will self-destruct (Aisav vs. Yishmael).
The Russian army is presently poised to enter the Ukraine from three directions (no tears here). They might invade or they may not. In addition, China is flexing its military muscle in the Pacific. The Pentagon will realize that the US military is understaffed and undermanned. Congress will restore the selective service act and draft millions of young men and women with no exemptions on religious or academic grounds, and your sons and daughters will be called to serve for unlimited time, depending on the situation.
This is one more way that HaShem is signaling his people to leave the galut before the last great war.
For years I have been warning the Jews in the galut that the gates to Eretz Yisrael will not be open forever for aliya, so come now. In addition, economic interests in the galut will prevent people from withdrawing their money from banks, making aliya even more difficult.
Not all the Jews will hear the call to aliya, just as the 80% in Egypt did not hear or heed the call – and that is very sad.
My friends here, to a man and to a woman, call to tell me how thankful they are to be living in Medinat Yisrael, despite all the formidable challenges they face.
Aliyah With All Your Might
The Torah states in Mishpatim (23,20):
הנה אנכי שלח מלאך לפניך לשמרך בדרך ולהביאך אל המקום אשר הכנתי
“Behold, I am sending an angel to guard you in the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared for you”.
A story I wrote that appears in my book “With all Your Might” is pertinent on the background of current events.
The phone rang in the nearly desolate, topsy-turvy home of the Levines. Mrs. Beth Levine nervously let the wrapping cord fall from her hand as she ran to answer the phone. Too late. The light on the phone’s base signaled that there was a recorded message.
She pushed the “listen” button and a familiar voice spoke: “Hello, this is Miri from Nefesh b’Nefesh. I have two messages for you, a happy one and another, a bit disappointing. The movers will be coming to your home tomorrow morning, Monday, at exactly 7:00 AM, so please be ready.
And the not so happy news. I know how much you wanted the three ABC seats by the window, because of your names Al, Beth and Carol, plus the adjoining D seat of the middle section for David, on this Thursday’s flight. But because you are a family of four you were assigned the four DEFG seats in the middle section. In any event, the thrill of going on aliya will certainly overshadow such minor irritations. Aliya tova!”
Miri was so right, Mrs. Levine thought to herself. The thrill of a dream-come-true leaves no room for such mundane issues as seating on a plane; although it would have been nice to see the coastline of Israel drawing closer as the “wings of eagles” brought us home. Al and Beth Levine had decided to come on aliya five years ago, when Carol was ten and David had his bar-mitzva. However, it took five years for Al to find a suitable replacement in his law firm; in addition, selling the house for the right price was a protracted process. But thank G-d, the local shul bought it to serve as the community home for whichever rabbi would be serving at the time.
In the interim, the Levines kept up with current events in Israel, as well as developments in the Middle East, and kept their dream alive. The tension was high. Iran, patron of the murderous Hezbollah and Hamas gangs, continued to develop a nuclear capacity and other factors. But none of this could detract from their decision to come on aliya.
David is to begin Bar Ilan University right after the holidays and Carol is registered in the Ulpan in Kiryat Arba. David was the crisis person in the decision. Youngsters of his age in Israel are drafted into the IDF, but David was promised that he would be permitted to finish his BA uninterrupted by army service. With this issue behind them, there was really nothing to prevent the Levines from taking the step of a lifetime. The one annoying factor in their aliya was the attitude of some relatives and friends, who, perhaps for reasons of jealousy or personal weakness, were very critical of their aliya plans. “What’s the rush? Wait until the children finish school. You’re now at your peak earning power. Is this the time to leave?”
On the other hand, the Rabbi was wonderful. On Shabbat he spoke from the pulpit on the mitzva of living in Eretz Yisrael. He praised the Levines, saying how they would be missed in the many areas of their community involvement. Al for giving up his Sundays in order to coach the shul’s little league team; Beth for being the Shabbat kiddish coordinator; Carol for helping her mother with the kiddishes and David for managing the various teen activities of the shul. But, of course, the Rabbi was careful to point out that the mitzva of living in Eretz Yisrael was in the category of a four-cornered garment, which although not mandatory to wear, if one should do so he would be required to attach to it tzitzit and merit a mitzva. So too, one is not required to “go up to the land” until the Mashiach comes, but if one should do so he merits a great mitzva.
To their skeptical friends and relatives, Al would respond that there have been too many warnings of late that the time has come to go home. So if not now, then when?
The following day, on Monday, true to Miri’s message, the movers arrived at 7:00 AM sharp to take all the worldly possessions of the Levine family to the packing company, and from there to Israel. Packing was an unforgettable experience. Beth Levine stood wondering how they “succeeded” in 20 years of marriage to accumulate so much “stuff.”
They began in the attic, which served as a nostalgic trip into the past. Many memories were evoked as they rummaged through their possessions. The less-than-modest wedding gown which Mrs. Levine did not want her Carol to see. A 78 RPM record player; Al’s catcher’s mitt, which he could not part with. Old photographs from the Pineview and Pioneer Hotels and summer camps. How these experiences have sweetened with time. But life goes on. And with a mental scissors they will be severed in the light of the new life in the Promised Land.
Eventually, much was given away, more was thrown out, and the necessary articles were now packed in cartons to be shipped off. In the packing process, the Levines concluded that Moshe Rabbeinu was so right in ordering the Jews to leave with only a few matzot, because if they would have been permitted to bring their possessions, we would still be in Mitzrayim.
Ten in the morning and the movers had finished about half the work. A Western Union messenger suddenly arrived with a telegram for Mr. David Levine. Al signed for it, opened the envelope and read aloud. “Greetings. You are hereby informed that The President of the United States of America and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, and Congress in emergency session, have passed the Selective Service Act of 2022 to be enforced immediately. You are ordered to report on May 14, 2022 to the Induction Center at 1948 Independence Ave. for induction into the armed services for a period of not less than three years. You will be sent to Paris Island, Georgia, to commence basic training as a proud United States Marine. Your passport will be on hold until the completion of your military service. Good luck and God’s speed to you in the service of your country.”
Al handed the telegram to Beth as the phone suddenly rang. He got there too late to answer, but the light on the phone’s base signaled that there was a recorded message. Al pushed the “listen” button and a familiar voice sounded. “Hello, this is Miri again from Nefesh be’Nefesh. Good news. Due to last minute cancellations, we have been able to get for you the three ABC seats near the window and the D in the middle. Derech Tze’lei’cha.”
Copyright © 5782/2022 Nachman Kahana