May 2007

be-jewish.jpgI just read an article on Arutz Sheva about the weakening of Jewish roots in the world Jewry. While the Israeli Jewry feels more Jewish. This is an perfect example of how chutz l’aretz is affecting us. We can sit in shul whole day, we can eat kosher and live in Brooklyn, Boro Park, or wherever we have our communities. Yes, we can even have our own community at SL, but it’s no Eretz Yisroel. Our soul, the Jewish soul is yearning for it’s return to Eretz Yisroel. We even have a kotel and some Zionist organisations at SL… And all of this is because of the yearning of our soul.

So… what are we waiting for? “We see that the Jewish attachment of millions of Jews around the world is getting weaker,” Jewish Agency chief Ze’ev Bielski said Thursday at the Ruppin Conference for Immigration and Social Integration. “In the past, every Jew [sic] spoke Hebrew, but today many Jews prefer to have their children study physics instead of Hebrew, so that they will be able to go to university.”

So.. since we cannot fit in the goyische society less we assimilate. That left us with only one option, and a Torah option! Make aliyah, leave, go, emigrate to Israel. As you know we a chazon, a ‘vision’ of shivat Zion. Every day we pray three times daily “Va techazena einenu b’shuvcha L’zion” (May our eyes behold thy return to Zion). With Pesach we utter the joyfull wish of “L’shana habo b’yerushalayim!” – next in Jerusalem. But why do so many of us, stay in chutz l’aretz? The Jew, whose sojourn in an exile two milenia old as corrupted and perverted the most basic of real Jewish values. Bearded and piously payotic, clean shaven and woolly skullcapped, knittedyarmulked they all join with all the others in the ecumenical worship of the Golden Calf of our times: The Golden Exile.

Go up to the Land concerning which they shed hot tears every Tisha B’Av, anniversary of the national day of national mourning? Actually uproot themselves from the Exile and go dwell in the Zion and Jerusalem they piously seek every year, “next year?”

But the chandeliers and the expensive shaitel wig and the quicksand, which is the good life are far more powerful than commandments.

“For you are to pass over the Jordan to go in to possess the Land which the L-rd your G-d giveth you, and you shall possess it and dwell therein…” Deuteronomy 11.

“And they scorned the desirable land…” Psalm 106

And so they invent all kinds of rationales, all cloaked in a tallis that is all blue. “Israel is also Exile…” “This is not the beginning of the redemption, merely the footsteps of Moshiach…”

Can one look at a state that rises miraculously after two millennia and watch an ingathering of exiles from a hundred lands and not see in this the beginning of the great vision and redemption? Regardless of the sins and abominations in the land? No, that which we do not wish to do, we do not. But first, we must stamp the swine with the halachic label of kosher…

Nothing moves the “religious…” they have been inordinately twisted and corrupted by twenty centuries of abnormality. One simply cannot live as a minority for twenty centuries, two thousand years, supping at other’s tables, pleading for a smile, a tolerant act, love, and remain normal. One cannot live in a stranger’s home and remain stable. A minority must, of necessity, inherit insecurities, complexes, fear, and instability. A minority must, of necessity, be exposed to and influenced by the majority culture that insidiously enters, corrupts, changes, lays its permanent hand on Judaism, so that the Jew assumes the Gentile value and assumes too, that it is Jewish.”

But on the other hand in Israel, a recent poll shows that half of Israelis feel they are Jewish first, and 45% says they are Israeli first. The remaining 5% told the pollsters – of the Mutagim Polling Institute, in honor of Israel‘s 59th Independence Day – that neither title represented them. The poll found that 82% of those who are religious (92% of Hareidi-religious) and 64% percent of those who said they were right-wing, said they were more Jewish than Israeli. On the other hand, 72% of secular Israelis said they were more Israeli. These numbers says great deal about the goyische influence of chutz l’aretz on the Jewish people. We get influenced by the goyischkeit, and the only way to avoid this, is to make Aliyah and live in a Jewish state.

New immigrants to Israel also feel more Jewish. The numbers in a recent Ruppin Academic Center survey that nearly 85% of Ethiopian olim (immigrants), 80% of those who came from the former Soviet Union, and a bit more than 60% of Western olim characterize themselves as more Jewish than Israeli.

So… let us not wait to be a victim, twice over..

Why are we there, why are we in SL? Ofcourse for some people it’s a fun game, for others it’s more then just a game. We all have our own reasons for our second life. But even knowing this, the question remains… “why did we make a Jewish community in SL?” , “Why did we build shul’s, yeshivos, etc.” And WHY do we celebrate our (Jewish) holidays both in RL (which is logical) and at sl… It’s ‘just’ an digital world, a Matrix.

Ever since the churban we – the Jewsh people – had a desire to cling on to our tradition. During the siege of Yerushalayim, Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai knew that the city would fall. So he asked Vespasian for Yavneh. There the foundation was laid, for the survival of the Jewish people in dispersed communities without a central Temple. Their proclamations included the replacement of sacrifices by charity, repentance, and the fixation of initially set prayers (the Amidah, Shemah and Aleinu). In addition they began the establishment of an educational system for children and the fixing of the Biblical cannon. All of this was because of their (the rabbi’s) love for the tradition.

Later in the history we see that everywhere we came, we build yeshivos, shul’s, mikve’s, we ate only kosher and kept the Torah.

So… what was this, that made us keep the Torah. Even when we went astray, we came back to Yiddishkeit. Like this pope in the middle ages who found out that he was Jewish and finally returned to the religion of his forefathers. Or this anti-semitic Russian-orthodox archbishop, who was in reality a Jew who was abducted by the soldiers, and in the end gave his life to save the Jewish community.

This, my friends… is the Jewish soul. In the Tanya the Jewish soul is described as “An actual part of the supernal G-d.”

To understand this, picture a thick black cloth held over a lit flashlight. Now, prick a hole in it with a sharp-tipped object–and a pinpoint of light shines through. The light is G-d, the cloth is the body, and that little pinpoint of light – the “portion of G-d”- is the soul. This means that the Jewish soul is a spark of G-dliness within every individual. It is the person’s responsibility to allow that spark to express itself through one’s thoughts, speech, and action, which are collectively known as the garments of the soul. Since the soul is a spark of G-dliness, it is considered to be infinite in its own right. The soul represents the individual’s eternal and unbreakable connection with the Almighty.

So… even though many of us are not observant yet, they still have the neshomme. And that spark of G-dliness is shining through their not yet observant life.

This is what made us build frum communities all around the world, this is what made the ‘secular’ Zionists fight for a Jewish state. And this is exactly the reason why we’ve build shul’s, mikvaot, a kotel, etc. in second life.

May we merit to see the rebuilding of the Beis Hamikdash (in RL and SL) soon, speedily and in our days…

B’ahavas Yisroel,