Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pastor Hagee quotes Tanach. Links Holocaust with the Land of Israel.

Let us appreciate G-d's gift to us, the Land of Israel.  That is the mission of our Generation.  The consequences of rejecting the Land seems intimately linked with another Holocaust (G-d forbid).  Pastor Hagee has spoken with knowledge and conviction.  Let us all delve into the holy words of our Torah and from beginning till the end, the Land of Israel takes center stage.  So many of the commandments are contingent on the Land and we have been taught by our sages that the observance of commandments outside of Israel is simply practice for when we observe the commandments in the Land.  
The sin of our generation as it appears to me, is the lack of yearning and desire for our precious heritage, our  Holy Land of Israel,  when G-d has graciously returned Jewish Sovereignty after 2,000 years.
I call upon Jewish Leaders to ignite the spark that is dormant in our souls and let the flame of Torah, observed in the Land of Israel warm the hearts and minds of all the inhabitants of this earth.
The following is written by Rick Richman.  Thank you Doris Wise Montrose, President CJHSLA for the link.
In the sermon from 1990 that caused the current flap (via a video posted on YouTube on May 17, 2008), Pastor Hagee cited two Biblical sources for his belief that both the tragedy of the Holocaust and the miracle of Israel were part of God's ultimate plan.  Both were from the Hebrew Bible:  Jeremiah 16 and Ezekiel 37. 

These are not obscure references (at least to the "trained ear").  With respect to Jeremiah 16, perhaps it will suffice to note a story told on April 30, 2008 (on Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day) in the pages of the Jerusalem Post, written by Naphtali Lau-Lavie, a former Israeli diplomat, who was among the last Jews of Buchenwald lined up at the gate of the camp on April 10, 1945 when American soldiers arrived:

Recently, while searching in the Yad Vashem archives, I came across the testimony of a survivor from Treblinka, who later immigrated to Chicago. This is what he wrote:

"In the early morning [on October 21, 1942] we arrived at Treblinka on the transport from our ghetto. On the ramp the selection process had begun. Together with a group of youngsters, I was taken from the crowd and pushed aside. We stood and watched the groups being led in the direction of the gas chambers.

"Suddenly, we heard the familiar, strong voice of our rabbi. He was standing in the midst of the Jews of his community reciting the confessional viduy prayer, said when Jews know they are about to be martyred. The rabbi said a verse, and his "congregation" repeated it after him, verse by verse." . . .

The Jews described were from the city of Piotrkow in Poland, and the rabbi referred to was my father.

My father's life was taken at Treblinka after he said the viduy. . . . At our last meeting, as . . . we were standing on the doorstep, he recited from Jeremiah 16:6-7: "Both the great and the small shall die in this land; they shall not be buried; neither shall men lament for them, nor cut themselves, nor make themselves bald for them; neither shall men break bread for them in mourning, to comfort them for the dead; neither shall men give them the cup of consolation to drink for their father or for their mother."

Then he stopped for a while, looked straight into my eyes, and continued, again from Jeremiah, 13:16: "And there is hope for thy future, saith the Lord, And thy children shall return to their own border."

Next he addressed me directly: "If you manage to get out of here, go and return to the Land from which we were expelled, because only there will the Jewish people be itself and become strong enough to prevent such tragedies."

As for the reference to Ezekiel 37, perhaps an even shorter explanation will suffice.  Above the parking lot at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, the first thing one notices is a prominent quotation in large letters.  It is from Ezekiel 37:14, reflecting a promise in the preceding verses that God will "open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves . . . and I will bring you into the land of Israel."  The quotation is this:  "And I will put My spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will set you on your land."

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