Shabbat Parashat Emor| 5765
From the works of Hagaon Harav Shaul Yisraeli zt”l - The Proper Reaction to Israeli Independence - Part II - From Zeh Hayom Asa Hashem, pp. 8-9
[We saw last time that in the beginning of the State, almost all religious leaders saw the Divine significance of its establishment. Even though we are disappointed and even surprised by some of the State’s religious shortcomings, it is our responsibility to respond by acting to improve the situation through our positive involvement.]
Now that we have witnessed the outbreak of a wave of hatred from our neighbors from foreign nations [ed. note- the “first intifada”], whom we had thought had reconciled with our existence, there are some who have reverted to a tendency that was prevalent in the Diaspora. Now, as then, many communities of people dedicated to Torah observance distance themselves from identifying with the re-establishment of a national entity in our land. We hear calls to the tune of “we told you so” that they dared not voice when the State was first established. They do not understand that the difficulties we face today are [not a sign that the State’s establishment was not a Divine blessing, but are] a result of our misdeeds.Let us open up Shir Hashirim, which Chazal described as Holy of Holies, which brings the discussion between Israel the Maiden and her Beloved (Hashem).We find the following inspiring p’sukim, which are so appropriate to our times. “The sound of my Beloved, behold it is coming, skipping over mountains, jumping over hills.” “Behold, He is standing behind our wall, observing from the windows, peeking through the lattices.” “I am sleeping, but my heart is awake; the sound of my Beloved is knocking, ‘Open up…’” “I removed my cloak, how can I put it back on; I washed my feet, how can I dirty them.” What does it say afterwards.? “ I got up to open for my Beloved, but my Beloved had already moved on.”The significance of this interchange was already explained by one of the great Amoraim of Eretz Yisrael, in reference to the aliya that began the Second Commonwealth period. It could have been the beginning of the Messianic Era, but the people of the time pushed off redemption with their own hands. This is what Reish Lakish (Yoma 9b) had to say on the matter. “Scripture says: ‘If she is a wall, we shall build on her a tower of silver, and if she is a door, we shall build on her a frame of cedar’ (Shir Hashirim 8:10). If you had made yourselves like a wall and come en masse to Eretz Yisrael at the time of Ezra, you would have been compared to silver, which does not rot. Now that you came like doors (Rashi- a gateway with two doors, where one opens a door and another closes a door. So too, you came to Eretz Yisrael only partially), you are compared to cedar wood, that rots.”R. Yochanan pointed out, in that context, that the time of redemption had not yet come. In our case, we have already undergone 2,000 years of degradation and despair since the Temple’s destruction. Should we once again push off Hashem’s revelation to His nation and enter into complex arguments over whether this is the era when all of Hashem’s promises will be fulfilled? We are unaware that, by doing this, we alone are pushing off the redemption, the blossoming of our redemption, with our words, which are planting doubts and uncertainty in our midst. Let us see what the Kuzari (II, 24) had to say about the matter. “The Divine matter does not take hold over a person but according to his preparations for it, whether they be a little or a lot.” It is not too late to do something about it. We still have control over the boundaries that were set for us when we entered the Land the first time (spelled out in Parashat Masei). Maybe we can stop arguing and unite, as one person with one heart, in order to hasten the promised and desired goal. “[Hashem] will choose for us our portion, the pride of Yaakov which he loved, selah” (Tehillim 47:5).
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