Thursday, 27 October 2011

Is It Really Falling Apart or Getting Better?

The world is moving closer to something big and in a sense we are in the middle of the big moment already. The the divine light of the Creator, which drives our reality and pushes history has brought us to this point and yet there is a confusion as the mask falls from the faceless ruler of evil.

There is a covering through nature of the truth.  In the past it has been concentrated in evil and despotic rulers and yet now it is far worse, it is the machine bureaucracy and empty superlatives highlighting the benefit of Western thought and Democracy. The people vote and feel they have a say and so the old grievances feel less and over all connection to true ideology and the divine root of existence wanes.

This faceless ruler (the Memshelet Zadon according to Rav Wolbe in Alei Shur) is falling and with it the many things we hold dear.  Our comfortable world views are not so comfortable and we feel that things are spiralling out of control as the forces of globalization are stalled and shown to be broken.  Despite all of this, we see things are getting better, especially in Israel.  We are progressing and building and growing.  Is it perfect, no, but we are on an upward trajectory.  This is a direction towards something perfect, divine and true hidden in the world and covered by the faceless evil now becoming passe. This sublime truth of existence, the divine light and stream of G-dly consciousness is being revealed by us. 

The fall of Malchut Gog u Magog is not pretty.  It isn't supposed to be, but it is happening much more mercifully than we thought it would and that is the puzzle. We have imagined the end for centuries and this in many ways doesn't fit and yet when we learn Tanach and Gemorah and of course the writings of HaRav Kook and the Vilna Gaon we see, what is happening is exactly the way it should be.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Ruling From Above

לד  וַיָּגָר אַבְרָהָם בְּאֶרֶץ פְּלִשְׁתִּים, יָמִים רַבִּים.  {פ}34 And Avraham sojourned in the land of the Philistines many days. {P}

In the midst of the tension and euphoria of the pending release of Gilad Shalit I want to move beyond the pros and cons of the deal since it appears to be a done deal.  We have a problem as a Nation a sickness if you will.  In a sense we have been dwelling for far too long in our Land which in irony is the same land of the Plishtim for our Lands are one and the same.  By the Torah telling us Avraham dwelt in the Land of the Plishtim it was informing us that there are times when even in our land it is not truly ours.

These Plishtim both modern and in the past are nothing more than a non nation, a mix of outcasts masquerading as an ancient clan deserving of a home land here in our Land. Gilad Shalit represents all of us for he has dwelled in the "Land of the Plishtim for many days" as we all have.  Our Nation is bound in many ways to the Palestinian struggle.  We are stuck and submerged in the lies and falsehoods of our enemies.  We know that each member of Am Yisrael is a microcosm of the whole Nation and so Gilad Shalit suffered in captivity within Israel and yet within the Land of the Plishtim at the same time.  His release is our release.  His return home is our return home

Returning A Captive

The sages teach us that the returning of a Jewish captive is greater than all other mitzvot. It is a strange mitzvah, because by redeeming a captive we are in  sense rewarding those that put the captive there, no matter the price. Yet we go forward with it anyhow.  It is dangerous!  Many are saying.  Yes it is, but we are implored in the second to last siman in Hoshen Mishpat to risk our lives to save our fellow Jew's life and/or property.  The collective Am Yisrael seems to be willing to do that.  The deal isn't fair; we all know that.  Then again life is often times not fair. The Shalits as much as we feel for them have put the nation in a tight position.  Not everyone would.  Others have sucked it up and dealt with their fate (i.e. Jonathan Pollard), because they did not want the nation to suffer like they had, but this really isn't about the Shalit family anymore, it is about us.  Are we up for the task?  Are we ready to move on in our Land and leave the land of the Plishtim behind?

Ruling Our Land

The name Gilad Shalit hints at a greater correlation between his release and the unfolding Geulah process. Shalit means ruler. Gilad is the place of Eretz Yisrael home to Eliyahu HaNavi.  We don't know the end of this story, for the story of Gilad Shalit as every captive Jew is really all of our stories.  We as a nation are a vessel for the divine light, which holds up the world.  It penetrates our being whether we are aware of it or not.  It is this role we play as a divine nation that puts us into this world as a partner in building it and nurturing it from a spiritual perspective. Gilad Shalit's release despite the emotional dilemma it causes us will help us to move forward as a Nation towards the complete redemption.  This is simply because, like Eliyahu HaNavi, we are a Nation which rules our Land from above and beyond nature. This is the very point and power behind Pidiyun HaShevuiim (redeeming a captive), it is above the intellect and forces us to believe in something bigger than ourselves. May Gilad Shalit's release be a sign for good things to come to our Nation and may it be the key which unlocks all of our captives as well as all of us.

Saturday, 15 October 2011


Just before Shabbat I took two of our kids along with a friend and his children to our Yishuv's long time defunct Givah, named Mozia.  The youth had started it years previously in response to Gush Katif, but it has since remained dormant of activity until recently.  My community's youth or at least some of them have gone away to Yeshivot and come back energized and ready to revive Mozia.  It might not be much, but it is a beginning and just like anything else, a beginning is better than nothing.

Here are the pictures...enjoy and Chag Somayach!

The kids on the way down (we are a few meters from the last house on the Yishuv)

Behind Us

One of our community's most fearless builders

Mozia's sign

Mozia and it's Succa

Doesn't look like much, but its a start

Starting a house!