Friday, February 10, 2006

Two Fabulous Articles: Roy Neuberger Amona and Emunah, YYJacobson's article entitled What Nietzsche Didn't Understand About Judaism Love Thy Ego.

bs"d

I have been in contact with Roy Neuberger, author of Worldstorm begging him to speak up. He has in his latest newsletter.


B"H

AMONA AND EMUNAH

Dear Friends:

The Prophet Yirmiahu/Jeremiah says in last week's Haftara, "do not be afraid, My servant Jacob, and be not frightened, O Israel, for I shall save you from afar, and your offspring from the land of their captivity, and Jacob shall return and be tranquil… and none shall make him tremble."1

Obviously, G-d knew there would be something in our future that could make us tremble. Today, the news is more than enough to make one tremble. The situation in Eretz Yisroel breaks one's heart. I met some "non-religious" Jews last week who told me that they are glad they would not have to live their children's lives. There is much fear in today's world.

Let's try to get perspective on today by looking in the Torah.

Our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob changed the world when they introduced the knowledge of G-d and His laws, but in each generation there was trouble.

Ishmael, Isaac's half brother, wanted to usurp our father Isaac's position as Abraham's spiritual heir. But how could he? Ishmael is a "pe're adam,"2 a wild ass of a man, half human, descended from an Egyptian mother. He is not capable of inheriting Abraham's mantle. Thus, G-d assures our mother Sarah, "I will fulfill My covenant through [Isaac]."3 Today Ishmael's descendants, the Arabs, are still indulging their hatred, trying to usurp our position as the People of G-d and the rightful owners of the Land of Israel. Ishmael tried to kill Isaac4, but as long as Abraham was alive, Ishmael remained subdued and under control.

In the following generation, Esau battled Jacob for the inheritance. Esau lived for the satisfaction of his material desires and this led him to become a hypocrite, a thief and a killer. He was also completely unfit for the spiritual role he tried to wrest from his twin brother. But while Isaac lived, Esau was unable to succeed in his challenge.

Only in the following generation did the Children of Israel become vulnerable to the jealousy, the hatred and the violence of Ishmael and Esau. What changed?

The answer is to be found in this verse: "[Joseph's] brothers … hated him, and they were not able to speak to him peaceably."5

Hatred among the Children of Israel was the prelude to all our troubles. It led directly to the Egyptian Exile. In our days, hatred among the brothers is the cause of our current exile and the worldwide hatred which continues to burn against us.6

Do you understand this? This is amazing! The threat to our family exists only when there is internal dissension! When there is unity, our enemies cannot touch us because we are under the protection of our Father in Heaven! When that protection is removed, we become subject to the laws of the other nations; we become vulnerable to their hatred and cruelty. Eventually – worst of all – we actually become LIKE THEM and disappear into their midst, G-d forbid, as so many of our brethren have over the millennia.

Recently, when Leah and I were on a speaking tour in Florida, I met a holy Jew from Russia. Besides pouring me a little too much vodka on Shabbos, this Jew said something that struck me with its simple directness: "You have to be up to living in Israel. If people don't have the guts, they shouldn't live there."

Our Torah records the tragic incident of the spies who did not have enough betochan, trust in G-d, to survive in the Holy Land. They discouraged and disheartened their brethren. For that reason their entire generation was wiped out in the wilderness and was never privileged to enter the Holy Land. The anniversary of the day of their terrible report is Tisha b'Av, the most tragic day in our national history.

WITHOUT FAITH IN G-D AND A LIFE OF MITZVOS WE CANNOT SURVIVE IN THE HOLY LAND!

There is no other way, my brothers and sisters, inside or outside the Land of Israel, but this is true especially within Israel! We simply cannot survive unless we unite as brothers and sisters under the banner of Torah. Otherwise, we will be swallowed alive by the other nations, either through assimilation or physical annihilation, G-d forbid!

But G-d sent Moses to rescue us from Egypt.

Yes… He sent Moses, but only when we cried out to Him! Not only that, but four-fifths of our people never made it out at all; they perished in the Plague of Darkness7. G-d will also rescue us now, in this most terrible time, but only when we cry out to Him, and perhaps not all of us.

Let us come to the present.

The infighting, the terrible hatreds among our people are EXACTLY the reason the other nations hate us! The hatred of the other nations is possible only because of our own self-hatred, Jew against Jew. Forget treaties with the Arabs or treaties with anyone for that matter. There is only one treaty that counts, only one treaty that will protect us, and that is the treaty we all signed with G-d at Mount Sinai. That treaty is the only reason there is a single Jew left in the world. Only G-d's protection counts, nothing else. It is a merit for non-Jews to befriend us, but we do not depend for our survival upon any man or any nation, including the United States, only upon the Ribono shel Olam, the Master of the Universe.

The terrible problem is that our government in Israel rejects Torah. America has a doctrine called "separation of church and state." There is no such thing in the Torah as separation from G-d. Nothing is separated from G-d, not government, not agriculture, not business, not marriage, not education, not child rearing, not greeting another Jew or taking a haircut. Nothing! What is wrong with us! Have we learned nothing in 5700 years? Did we return to the Land of Israel to be like the other nations or did we return to bring about World Redemption and the coming of Moshiach ben Dovid?

WE SIMPLY CANNOT HAVE A GOVERNMENT IN ISRAEL THAT HATES TORAH!

You cannot vote Torah in or out.

It is not simply the policy of the government that is at fault, it is the very nature of the government, which thinks it is superior to Torah and to G-d Who created the world. Inevitably, a government that hates and spurns Torah will hate the Children of the Torah, its own people, and ally itself with our enemies, because that government has become its own enemy!

Is it any wonder, then, that our own policemen and soldiers smash the limbs of our own children almost to the point of death? Have we gone crazy? Quite clearly the answer is "yes." These same policemen and soldiers, in a moment of sanity – and may G-d grant that we all come quickly to sanity – would collapse in grief at the understanding of what they have done.

But a mood of insanity has enveloped our nation. We have descended to the forty-ninth level of impurity. We have caught the disease of Egypt; we have become like the other nations. We are exactly like the miraglim, the Biblical spies, who did not have the faith in G-d and Torah to live in the Holy Land.

To attack our own brothers and sisters and destroy our Holy Land by living in defiance of Torah is to desecrate G-d's Name and subject ourselves to destruction, G-d forbid.

How will we overcome these Himalayan problems? Well, we must, because there is no other way out. It is clearly a matter of life and death. We must understand that world society is crumbling, east and west. It's not just war and global warming, it's plagues, it's dissension, it's immorality on every level. G-d tells Jeremiah in this same Haftara, "I shall make an end of all the nations where I have scattered you, but I shall not destroy you utterly."8

Is this a fairy tale?

No, it is reality. Our world is crumbling. Whoever shuts off the radio, TV or cell phone and thinks, is aware of it. But now we must act on it. We must unite under the banner of Torah. The skeptics will say it cannot be done, but our lives are at stake! Anyone who needs proof that the Torah is real, need only contemplate the fact that we Jews have survived two thousand years of exile surrounded by our mortal enemies. G-d is guarding His precious children; if we would only open our eyes, we would see it.

My friends, Jeremiah tells us, "do not be afraid." We do not have to fear Arabs or any outside threat. But we DO have to fear our own rebellion against the Ribono shel Olam, our Father in Heaven, and our own self-hatred.

It's not just the soldiers in Amona and the politicians in Israel: all of us are deficient; all of us are guilty. Do we realize the extent of the problem? Are we aware of our worldwide danger? Are we aware that G-d is about to "make an end of all the nations"?

When G-d says, "I will not destroy you utterly," what does "utterly" mean? It means that not one of us is assured of a safe passage; no one is guaranteed a place in the world of Moshiach. We each have to increase our mitzvos, our self control, our constant efforts to love our brothers and sisters and treat them with respect.

We stand at the brink of the Final Redemption; Moshiach's footsteps can be heard in the dark Night of Exile. Rav Kaduri, may his memory be for a blessing, said that he had met Moshiach, who is already here in our world, waiting to be revealed!

All of us, every Child of Israel, must feel the earth shaking beneath our feet. Great tremors are shaking the nations. Are we prepared or are we in denial? Our only salvation is to cling to Torah as we did at Mount Sinai, like "one man with one heart," one Nation united in love of G-d and love of our brothers and sisters. That is how we will survive and usher in the Age of Redemption!

Roy S. Neuberger

1Jeremiah 46:27
2 Genesis 16:12
3 Genesis 17:19
4 Rashi on Genesis 21:9, Bereishis Rabbah 53:11
5 Genesis 37:4
6 Talmud Tractate Yoma 9b
7 Rashi on Exodus 10:22-23
8 Jeremiah 46:28

Our website address is: www.ToSinai.com.
Our mailing address is: Roy S. Neuberger, P.O. Box 940517, Rockaway Park, NY 11694-0517


Rabbi/Dr. Neuberger, amv"sh

You have comforted me...

Do not be surprised if it seems to you that your words are not heard. I didn't know if my emails to you made an impression. Perhaps they did. But words that come out of the heart go into the heart. You have a much greater reaching listening audience. I believe that your words will touch the hearts of many.

I loved almost the entire post. I have a few comments.

>The answer is to be found in this verse: "[Joseph's] brothers … hated him, and they were not able to speak to him peaceably."

My comments:

It would not have made a difference if Joseph loved his brothers more. One can not argue that if Joseph loved his brothers more they would have not thrown him into the pit. Joseph did love his brothers. They hated him. According to one Peirush (I don't recall which one) the brothers were afraid that Yaakov might disinherit them after hearing bad reports about them. They knew that Yishmael and Eisav did not merit getting Abraham's and Isaac's inheritance.

At least according to that explanation they desired the inheritance. (Unlike the current State of Israel).

Speaking out strong for the Covenant does not mean that we hate Secular Jews or the State of Israel. It simply means that we are holding on tight to G-d's Torah and our ultimate purpose of being Mamlechet Kohanim.

By speaking out for the Covenant, the Land of Israel, and the Torah we are accused of destroying democracy, being religious fanatical extremists, imposing Torah lifestyle on others and taking away individual freedoms such as the right to eat pig in the Land of Israel, marrying whomever we choose etc., wanting to take over the world.

I would like discussion about forming a model gov't based on Torah on land that the gov't themselves have chosen to abandon to the Palestinians. (e.g. Settlements in Yesha which the government wishes to destroy) By being independent from the Secular State, the religious will not feel that the secular is imposing their value system on them as is currently the case, and the secular will continue to have a gov't that they feel comfortable. Of course the purpose is not to divide the country. It is to bring unity. Two Jewish governing authorities living side by side in peace and love.

A governing authority based on Torah is revolutionary and many mistakes are bound to happen. If it is set up as a model then it is not threatening and the bugs (mistakes) can be worked on and corrected without major confrontations. It's lehavdil like a draft copy of a working document. As the Torah governing authority gains more knowledge and experience it will prove to be a blessing to all.

Avraham said to Lot, why should two brothers fight? Let us separate. The only way for the Shechina to rest on Avraham was to separate from Lot. Lot's shepherds were not careful about stealing from others. They were corrupt. This government has history of bribes and corruption. There is no way we can make peace with this government without seriously compromising on Torah and Mitzvot our true value system.

I would like to see us united with the Chareidi parties. Satmer (My aunt is Satmer) has always claimed that the State is evil because it rejected Torah. Religious Zionists now say the same thing. The time has come to unify the Torah communities. Can the Rabbanim finally make a statement about Eretz Yisroel and against the Roadmap? I would lobby the Rabbanim in the Chareidi parties such as Agudas Yisroel to join with National Union etc. This isn't about politics. It's about Torah. I would welcome the strong Zionists of the left that established the State of Israel and loved the Land. They in fact have much in common with the pioneers of the Yishuvim. In fact a group of Left wing Kibbutzim met in Chevron right after the Amona incident. (On a personal level, My husbands close relatives live in Kibbutz Eilon and Shaar Hagolan leftist Shomrei Hatzair Kibbutzim). 17 years ago, newly married we visited these Kibbutzim and I as impressed by their deep love of the Land of Israel (especially the grandparents, the vatikim). I thought they had much in common with the people I knew in Kiryat Arba and Hebron. In fact the grandchildren of these Vatikim, my husbands cousins, strongly speak out against the present policies of the government.

When the Jewish idea (Kach) suggested an autonomous government they were hit big time. Their internet cafe was closed and their computers confiscated. They even took away chairs that were used in the dog training centers.

I have no real connection with Kach but I agree with others that the time is right for a gov't based on Torah and a Sanhedrin. There is nothing wrong with having an open discussion about how the secular gov't has imposed their secular value systems on a substantial segment of the population and that we are looking into ideas to correct this blatant persecution of freedom of religion in the H-ly Land.

We would have the support of many Christian groups as well.

One last comment. Today I read YYJacobson's article entitled
What Nietzsche Didn't Understand About Judaism
Love Thy Ego.

http://www.algemeiner.com/generic.asp?ID=1160

What I understood was that to confront the Ego of Pharaoh G-d needed to promise Moses that He Himself would accompany him to the king.

YYjacobson writes "Yet an important question remains, what did the Jewish people do with the "will for power" which according to Nietzsche runs supreme in man's psyche? Did they ignore it, repress it or transcend it? What was the emotional and mental mechanism they employed in order to transform themselves from "masters" into "slaves"?

YYjacobson says that Hashem Hikdim "Refuah Lemakah to Nietzsche's powerful accusation against the Jews.

The Jewish Ubermensche, his very unbridled lust for power and self affirmation, came to embrace the G-d of morality, justice and compassion. The Jews needed not to crush or deny their sense of selfhood and vitality in order to find G-d; on the contrary the vibrant brute and selfish ego led them to G-d just as much as the call of transcendence and mystery that spoke to their souls. Rabbi Schnuer Zalman of Liadi gave the Refuah to answer Nietzsche.

Rabbi Jacobson writes:

Astonishingly, though, and contrary to the accepted notion of the function of religion, the author (Rabbi Schnuer Zalman) attributes the profoundest divinity to the egocentricity of human nature, to his will for power!

...The sense of self with which we are born, also derives from G-d; is a reflection of the divine "ego". It is not the ego that is evil, but the divorcing of the ego from its source. When we recognize our own ego as a reflection of G-d's "ego" it becomes the driving force in our efforts to make the world a better, more G-dly place. On the other hand, the same ego, severed from its divine moorings, begets the most monstrous of evils.

We needed work on our car. My mechanic, who is a Chozer Betshuva gave me a dvar Torah today. I asked him how much we owed and if we could pay by credit card. He told me the amount to fix the car and said he needed to add tax. I asked him and if I paid by check rather then credit card would there be then no charge for State tax?..I said to myself out loud, I suppose the State as well needs to make a living. He replied (Your husband can relate to that. My husband works for the State)

He then remembered something that he had learned. He quoted the first Pereq in Tehillim "Ashrei HaIsh Asher Lo Halach Baatzas Reshaim". Ilan told me there is only one thing that is free in this world. That is Torah. It is a gift from G-d. He said we can become one with Torah.

When he said that I thought of Rabbi Jacobson's article. It is possible for our ego's to be one with Torah when we are totally involved in Torah (Ki im Betoras Hashem Cheftzo) and then to be linked with the Ego of Hashem and Hashem's desire to be all powerful to be metaken the Olam.

YYjacobson writes

Said G-d to Moses: "Come to Pharaoh." Come with Me, and together we will enter the great serpent's palace. Together we will penetrate the self-worship that is the heart of evil. Together we will discover that there is neither enduring substance nor eternal reality to Pharaoh's and Nietzsche's ego - that all it is, is the misappropriation of the divine in man.

Isn't this the theme as well as in the first Perek of Tehillim. "Lo Chen Hareshaim, Ki Im Kamotz Asher Tidfenu Ruach...."
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