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Saturday, September 08, 2007

Putting Our Actions Where Our Prayers Lie



In the summer now and in the Selichos recitations leading up to Rosh Hashana, we mourn the loss of the temple. Yet when the remains of the temple are being destroyed before our very eyes, what do we do? Where are the massive protests and the rallies? The gay parade, as abominable as that was, seemed to excite far more outrage than a desecration of the temple itself. If the outrage was truly over the kedusha of Yerushalayim, then where are the massive protests now from the Haredi world or from any other?

Instead it seems the religious communities are each preoccupied with their own issues, from settlements to religious affairs budgets. Each community fights for its own but all the religious communities are not prepared to rally together to fight even for the remains of the Bayit. And if they are not prepared to do unify even around that, then why pray expecting it to be rebuilt?

The symptom of the disease is a complete lack of unity. We are not a nation. If we were then no force on earth could move us. Instead we are a collection of special interest groups, a collection of communities, alphabet organizations and causes that overlap only in fighting and in occasionally providing aid to each other. The picture of the Jewish world looks much as it did at the end of Bayit Sheini.

The "Divide and Conquer" that has so spectacularly shredded Israel and the Jewish consensus in support of Israel, abroad... occurred precisely because of that. The Labor Party was so desperate for relevance and to stay in power that Rabin endorsed Peres' wholesale adoption of a New Left platform to negotiate with the PLO and grant them a state within Israeli territory.

Despite general opposition and skepticism to the plan, it proceeded because multiple parties and MK's could be bought off, because they put personal and communal interests ahead of the welfare of the nation and the Jewish people. Today the Olmert government which the entire nation virtually without exception considers an unmitigated disasters and wants gone, remains in power for much the same reason.

To paraphrase the words of Tanach, There was no King in Israel and so each man did what he wished. Today that remains true. We have a government but no king, not a corrupt king of flesh and blood, who lives and dies, but G-d as our King. Today the House of G-d continues to be assailed. If we are serious about our prayers, then it is time for all the scattered religious communities in Israel, Haredi and National Religious, Chassidish and all the others to put their actions where their prayers lie.

4 comments:

Lemon said...

Division is never good for things.
And, its sad.
I don't think too many would welcome a beit hamikdash today really.

Lemon said...

Sadly, I don't think most will do one thing about it.

Keli Ata said...

Very beautifully and passionately written, Sultan.

I do pray that Israel will unite before its (her?) enemies ungulf and devour it.

Anonymous said...

Boker Tov
Lemon, I agree with your two comments here. They are both true.

As Jews, we are a people chosen by the Living G-D; however, we also have the choice of following such a charge. The choice to follow the Torah arises each day, akin to standing before the mountain: standing before it EACH DAY, and choosing yes or no. Devarim 29: the covenant was made with the people then (Yisraelim v'gerim) and now.

The Rambam's letter to the Jews of Yemen is profound. In the letter, he exhorts the Yemeni Jews to [paraphrased] "follow the tenets of their faith...even if they should have to remove to a desert to do it."

Such it is with us. The majority? Yes, they are the "most," you correctly referred to, lemon. One of the greatest things about our faith is that even when the majority were sinning or in the wrong, there were always still the few who would not betray the Living G-D and His Torah.

It still is this way. We must strive for unity and help one another; yet, if we will not unite? The words of Yehoshua in 24.15 that he and his house would serve G-D can serve as example for us.

Everyone have a nice day.
Yesha Galluzzo

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