It Is a Time To Weep, To Look Deep Into Our Souls, a Time for National Introspection
As the body count of the deceased is still rising and our wonderful lifesaving workers and volunteers tirelessly attempt to save the lives of the injured, I implore upon you and me, all of us, please don’t be angry at G-d! While I don’t pretend to have all the answers, the written and the oral Torah prescribes how we, the Jewish Nation, Am Yisrael, are mandated to live. There is a derech, a pathway. This way is meant for us to “Do and to listen”. To be a free Jew does not mean to do whatever one feels like doing. To be a free Jew means to be free of the chains that drag us to impurity, the chains of assimilation. The chains that make us no different than the Nations. It means to do the right thing without considering politics, to break our will, as we are a ‘stiff necked people’, in order to do his will.
Jewish history is rife with tragedy. Nationally we have been expelled from our land not once, but twice! We built and had 2 Holy Temples destroyed along with complete humiliation and desecration of G-d in Jerusalem, Holy Zion, and most humiliating on the Temple Mount (Har HaBayit). We were exiled for almost 2,000 years, living in fear of the next expulsion (I think the total is 56 times), or pogrom, or crusade. Then came the quirky looking brown haired Austrian born corporal, who captivated a modern, educated country, Germany, and convinced its citizens to participate nationally in the ‘Final Solution’. 6,000 million dead Jews later and so many asked and still ask, “Why?”
We can go back further and learn about the ‘Sinat Chinam’, baseless hatred between the Jews during the Temple eras, to try to understand why the Holy of Holies was allowed to be destroyed by the G-d of Israel who had revealed himself at Mount Sinai after freeing the enslaved Israelites from bondage in Egypt and brought through the desert to settle in Eretz Yisrael, the Promised Land. Were there righteous Jews during the Temple period? Certainly. Did many Jews sin regularly during this period? Absolutely!
When Jews began to go back to Eretz Yisrael to build the 2nd Temple, were there Jews in Babylon who scoffed at the idea and opted instead to ‘make Jerusalem here’? In ensuing generations, did not the comfortable Jews of Worms (Germany) not repeat the same words? It is well documented how the German Jews were more German than the Germans. The thousands of Jewish soldiers who perished for the ‘Fatherland’ in World War I is testament to absolute 100% loyalty to Germany
When we talk nostalgically about the great yeshivot of Poland until the Holocaust, do we remember the terrible hatred between so many yeshivot? How many rabbis of one community were put in cherem by another in Europe? How many poor Jews were treated as slave labor by wealthy Jews in Russia during the Czarist period? Do we forget the ‘chappers’, the goons of the wealthy Jews in Russia who kidnapped the children of the poorer families in order to meet the Czar’s army quotas from the Jewish community, as long as it wouldn’t be ‘their’ children? Do we remember, after Jews were emancipated in many parts of Europe, as the ghetto walls came tumbling down, assimilation skyrocketed?
How many scholarly, righteous leaders before Hitler’s rise to power refused to try and keep the mitzvah of Yishuv Ha’aretz (settling the land) and wouldn’t leave Europe? How many Jewish leaders in Europe in the 1920’s and early 30s refused to heed the voice of the great Zev Jabotinsky who begged his brothers and sisters to abandon Europe and come home to Eretz Yisrael, before the two-faced British closed the entrances to Palestine? Jabotinsky’s warnings and non-stop travel from town to town and village to village were met with criticism, sarcasm, horrible loshon hara, etc. He was called a fascist! He screamed at them, “A fire is burning under your feet!” Some listened and lived. Most stayed and burned.
After experiencing all the sorrow, with the self-sacrifice of the early pioneers and the fighters of the Irgun and the Lehi, only 3 short years after the end of the Holocaust, the new State of Israel was born. And the haters of Zion tried and tried again, to destroy the Jews of Zion. Each time, they lost. Except, the Jewish leaders didn’t learn how to behave like winners. Instead of thanking our Creator, first they thanked France and now they thank the United States. This is a lack of faith.
Then came the anti-assimilationist par excellence of our time, Rabbi Meir David Kahane, ztl. He signed off on his letters the way he lived and died, “B’Ahavat Yisrael”, with love of Israel. With love of G-d, the Land, and the People of Israel. Why do we condemn terrorists and waste money and time on useless trials when we allow them to work and mingle in our cities? Why do we sit and cry and do nothing about growing physical attacks against Jews by vicious Jew hating citizens of the State of Israel? Did we lose so many Jewish soldiers in battle to find a situation like Detroit or South Chicago in the heart of the Holy land? Rabbi Kahane warned us that if we didn’t remove the hostile enemy we would drown with him.
Friends, I am not G-d’s accountant. I do not know why G-d chooses to take back an individual’s soul before another one’s. However, an honest and simple Jew knows that historically, when we have behaved with proper unity (achdut for good), followed the laws set forth by our Creator, and used the measuring stick of “Is it good for the Jews?”, we have thrived as a Nation.
Today, as I write this article, I hear and see news from the sick and twisted Israeli media. I hear them blaming the religious for the tragedy in Meron. I hear religious Jews blaming the police. I read completely unsubstantiated claims by Jews all over Facebook. I was told to my face by a non- observant Jew this morning that next year there should be no police in Meron and the Haredim (Ultra-Orthodox) should all kill each other. On other days, I see children suffering in orphanages but are ignored by many religious charities because the children are not from ‘their’ communities. This list unfortunately, is varied and endless.
-We must demand an inquiry as to the reasons for what occurred last night and how to take preventive measures in the future.
-This must be an impartial inquiry with no media allowed until the conclusion of the inquiry’s report.
-The inquiry must be conducted in conjunction with respected security experts, rabbinic leaders, and health experts. The report must be completed expeditiously and all participants must sign the conclusions of the investigation.
In the end, we are our brother’s keeper. A death of a Jew, is a death of a family member. An attack on a Jew is an attack on us all.
Let us appreciate this great land that has been bestowed upon us. Let us love and care for one another and guard our tongues from speaking evil against each other.
Am Yisrael Chai. May there be no more sorrow and may we be redeemed speedily and merrily.
B’Ahavat Yisrael-With Love Of Israel,
Joel Yosef Busner (Yosef Ben Tzion)