Skip to comments.Miracle of Miracles
Posted on 05/01/2003 6:15:52 PM PDT by Zionist Conspirator
The book of Samuel relates that when David saw the fear that had paralyzed the Bnei Yisrael because of Goliath, he approached King Saul and suggested that he be the one to go out and fight the giant. Saul rejected the proposal: "you are unable to go to battle with this Philistine for you are a lad, and he is a warrior since his youth". In replying, David spoke in length about how, as a shepherd, he personally smote a lion and bear that had attacked his flock, concluding: "and the uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he taunted the armies of the living G-d." Saul is immediately convinced. "Go, and may the Lord be with you."
The Gemora (Bava M'tzia 106) brings down this episode when discussing different types of miracles. One kind is where a goat catches an attacking bear between his horns, and brings him to the city. Then there is a miracle where "a mighty spirit comes upon the shepherd, inspiring him to fight" (the words of the Tosafot) and he overcomes the attacking beast.
And so we see something very interesting. A miracle is not necessarily an extraordinary, supernatural occurrence. The "m'sirut nefesh" (self-sacrifice) of the individual which often precedes the miracle is also considered a miracle. This is what Rav Zvi Yehuda Kook writes in the book "LiNetivot Yisrael" in connection to David's dialogue with Saul - that the mighty spirit which inspires man to overcome his adversary is in itself a heavenly miracle.
This approach sheds light on some of the miracles we celebrate to this day.
Chanukah: Our rabbi and teacher, Rabbi Meir Kahane, offered a novel answer to the famous question of why we celebrate eight days of Chanukah and not seven. He said that the miracle of Chanukah was not only that the Macabees defeated the Greeks, but in addition, there was another miracle - a miracle within a miracle. The very fact that Jews mustered the courage and faith to go out and fight in the first place, a few against the many, against impossible odds -- this is a miracle in itself!
The Exodus From Egypt: Why is the Shabbat before Pesach called the "Shabbat HaGadol"? The "Bet Yosef" explains: "Because of the great miracle that occurred". On the Shabbat before the Exodus of Egypt, each Jew took a lamb and tethered it to his bedpost, despite the fact that this infuriated the Egyptians, who saw this act as a sacrilege against their deity. The "Bet Yosef" continues: "The Egyptians asked: 'What are you doing?' They answered: 'We are taking it to slaughter for the Pesach sacrifice, as our God commanded us.' The Egyptians were enraged that their deity was being slaughtered, but they could not say a thing and for this miracle, we call it Shabbat HaGadol'"
And the question that begs asking is: Where exactly is the miracle in this story? Again, the answer is: the very fact that the Jews arose and dared to provoke their Egyptian masters is a miracle in its own right. This "mighty spirit that came upon them" was the kick-off to the miracle of the Exodus from Egypt. It was this m'sirut nefesh which deemed them worthy to leave Egypt, despite the fact that they were on a low spiritual level.
Nachshon and the splitting of the Red Sea: In similar fashion, we can understand the famous jump of Nachshon into the sea. Obviously, the splitting of the sea was a miracle. But there was a precondition to this miracle - a precondition which in itself is a miracle and that is the fact that Nachshon mustered the courage and faith to leap into the turbulent sea, so that it may split.
Now we can understand the miracle of the establishment of the State of Israel. Without a doubt, the victory of a few against the many in the wild frontier days of Israel was an awesome miracle. But here, as well, there was the miracle within the miracle. "A mighty spirit came upon them, inspiring them to fight" a war against all odds. Pioneer underground fighters fought and defeated the British Empire and the Arab gangs. Their very readiness to go out on such a suicidal crusade against all logic, constitutes a miracle in itself. This was the basis for the miraculous victories against our enemies.
And finally, the fateful decision to declare a state, despite the huge pressures from outside (principally the U.S.) and inside not to do so despite the fact that such a declaration would surely lead to an all out war of the Arab nations against us this was the miracle within the miracle.
The Final Stage
But the story is not over yet. The complete redemption has not yet arrived, and the mixed multitude ("erev rav") works overtime to distance us from it. We must muster up the courage and faith, and cloak ourselves with that same mighty spirit. The Biblical concept of Gog and Magog, the agglomeration of the nations, is headed our way, as the quartet force the road-map upon us. We must be up to the task to hold on tightly to the land and not to capitulate to their pressure, ready for a confrontation if need be. Indeed, the miracles of the final stages of the redemption will be greater than all those which preceded it. If we want to prevent the needless labor pains of the redemption, it is incumbent upon us to fulfill the precondition the miracle within the miracle to muster the courage and faith as our forefathers did, and to act within the given reality with a mighty spirit and m'sirut nefesh for Hashem and for Am Yisrael. By doing so, we will merit to see Gogs complete and humiliating fall upon the mountains of Israel.
News & Commentary
Dont Compare, Dont Look for Sympathy
During the U.S. war efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq, members of the civilian population were often killed by American bombs and bullets. This caused many Jews to think that perhaps now, America (and the international press) would better empathize with Israels war on terror, in which innocents are also often killed accidently.
Obviously, there is a double standard here, but the problem is more than that. The U.S. doesnt compare her wars with those of Israel. America believes that it is fighting a just war, and is therefore willing to kill innocent civilians for what it feels is a just cause. On the other hand, they dont view Israel as being right in its war against the Palestinians. They believe that these Palestinians have a right to a homeland, and that Israel is wrong by not relinquishing territory. And so, while they may object to the means (terror) of the Palestinians, they dont object to their goal. And that is the major difference.
And What About Those Innocent Civilians? During the American-Iraqi war, there was more emphasis on saving civilian lives and humanitarian aid than on the war itself so as not to alienate the masses in Iraq the "innocent civilians". The war was advertised as the U.S. seeking out those few rotten apples, while showing acts of kindness and humanity to the general population. A war was launched on Saddam - not on the nation of Iraq, we were repeatedly assured by U.S. spokesmen.
The hope was that the masses would welcome their American liberators. But no luck. It took no longer than several days for Shiite clerics throughout Iraq to hold major protests against the infidel American invaders. Every major opposition faction in Iraq is boycotting the American interim government. The Americans are seen as a greater enemy than Saddam.
All this is crucial in understanding the Arab population in Israel. While the Israeli leaders and media try to make Arafat out to be the bad guy who exploits the Palestinan peoples, the fact is the very opposite. Arafat is actually just a reflection of what the average Arab feels. To the Palestinians in Israel, he is nothing more than a babbling old fool who is more than expendable. Ditto concerning Abu Mazen.
America and Israel must understand that Arab leaders like Saddam and Arafat are mirrors who reflect the barbarity of the Arab masses. Such people never reciprocate acts of kindness to kind liberators. They interpret kindness as weakness and pounce upon the weak. This is the rule of the Arab jungle.
True Independence - Isolation
While we celebrate Independence Day, we must understand that we are far from being independent. Our dependence upon Washington is addictive, like a junkie in need of a fix. Though we have the potential for independence (just a decision away), we refuse to be so. And all this stems from our lack of faith in the Almighty.
Independence is essentially the willingness to stand alone. It is the Torah concept of being a nation that dwells alone, not reckoned among the nations, and this can only come if our faith in God is authentic and not lip service. As long as there is no real faith, there is no real independence.
Basic Concepts for Independence Day
What about Hallel on Independence Day? Every Jewish camp has its own approach, making Independence Day a day of mass confusion for an objective person who seeks truth. And it is no coincidence that this particular day is so controversial. Any subject touching upon nationalist issues is bound to cause great confusion for a people who were in exile 2,000 years, and lost its natural and nationalist instincts.
On one hand, there are those who justify and sanctify any and every abomination of the state, since its existence is the actualization of the 2,000 year old dream. On the other hand, there are those who diminish and even blaspheme the Kiddush Hashem of 5,000,000 Jews in the Land of Israel with huge potential, because, after all, we are in the galut... Our teachers Rav Meir Kahane and Rav Binyamin neither sanctified the evil and the Hellenism of the Israeli state, nor did they diminish the Kiddush Hashem of the restoration of Jewish sovereignty. The following are some basic concepts they taught us:
Geula vs. Galut
When the People of Israel are living in the Land of Israel, have attained sovereignty over that Land, have achieved awesome military victories, have witnessed the miraculous fructifying of the land this cannot be a situation of "galut" (exile). "Galut" is when a nation is uprooted from its land. Today, with all the problems (and we are the last ones to ignore them!), the process is the very opposite! The Jewish People have returned to their land! The exile is rapidly being liquidated. In the very near future, the majority of the Jewish People will be living in the Land of Israel. Can one so casually dismiss such a situation as "galut"?
On the other hand, calling the situation "galut" is not entirely without basis. The spiritual, moral, and national deterioration of the Jewish People today is, indeed, unprecedented in its severity. One can easily get the feeling that this redemption process that we are supposedly in the midst of somehow falls short of expectations.
And so, in order to clear things up a bit, we must understand that "geula" (redemption) is not merely a slogan. The "geula" is a very specific scenario which our sages describe. It comprises several components: the rebirth of the land, the liquidation of the exile, the return of Jews to the land, restoration of Jewish sovereignty over it, revenge against the enemies of Israel, the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple, the appearance of Mashiach Ben David. If we want to define the situation we are in today, we cannot do so based on our subjective perceptions. There are rules. There are specific components to "geula". Can anyone deny the reality? The land once again gives of its fruits! ("There is no clearer sign of the End of Days than that"! - Sanhedrin 98); Jews have returned from the four corners of the world (ingathering of the exiles); the exile is self-destructing (either by immigration to Israel or, G-d forbid, via physical liquidation or assimilation); large parts of the Land of Israel were conquered in wars ("war is also the beginning of the redemption!" Megillah 17) and are under Jewish sovereignty so much so that the hand of Israel is stronger today than at any time since the Golden Age of King Solomon. (The fact that we refuse to use our strength is another, albeit, major problem.)
For those who feel that this is not the type of ingathering of the exiles we dreamed of -- what, then, is the meaning of the term "ingathering of the exiles", if not a return of the Jews to the Land! (Or perhaps it refers only to an ingathering of the Jews of Boro Park?...) For those who feel this rebirth of the land somehow falls short of expectations, the fact is that for two thousand years, the land kept its promise: "and it will lie desolate for its enemies", despite the efforts of various nations to revive it. Only in this last era, when the Jews returned, did the land give off its fruit! And so, for those who say we are in "galut", what must to happen to make the process "kosher"? Must we all return to the exile and must the land turn barren once again so that we can get it right next time?
But the crucial question remains: How can it be that with all these miracles, the wicked continue to dominate? How is it possible that, parallel to the "geula" process, the Jewish nation is descending into depths of decadence such as it has never known? Is there not a contradiction here?
On the contrary! The sages discussed such a scenario many generations ago. Indeed, they told us that the "geula" which comes "be-ita" ("in its time"), which is precisely the process of Messianic birth-pangs we are living through today, will have the following characteristics: the whole government turns heretical, the evil government will rule. Furthermore, our sages tell us (Megilla 17) that one of the stages in the "geula" process is "judgment against the wicked!" And so in the "geula" of "be-ita", there will be wicked people in power. But then what? At a certain stage, they will be destroyed ("criminals and sinners alike will be broken, and those who have forsaken G-d will perish")! This stage, too, will come. When? Ah, that already depends on us.
If instead of "kvetching", G-d-fearing Jews would take hold of the reigns to advance the "geula" process, the arrival of Mashiach Ben David would accelerate. In closing: the complete redemption has not yet arrived, but parts of it are already with us. The real problem is not that we are in the "galut", but rather that we refuse to remove the "galut" from within us and that certainly depends on us.
I reject this analysis. I view Israel's war and ours the precise same way.
2) I am neither Jewish nor Israeli. I am an American Noachide (a non-Jew who accepts Orthodox Judaism as G-d's authentic revelation).
3) I posted the article primarily for its religious message. It isn't about democracy or the cold war or any secular concepts whatsoever. It is about the final redemption, the final Kingdom of G-d on earth, the end of history. Not even Fundamentalist Protestants (which is my background) consider the United States to have an important role in that scenario.
I am sorry if you have been offended. That was not my intention. But I am a Theocrat, not a secular conservative, and I post articles with a Theocratic Torah perspective.
What the author of the article is teaching is from the Bible and the Sages of Israel, not mere "politics." Before getting angry with him or with me please consider that these religious authorities lived before there was a United States . . . and that many people, myself included, consider their teaching on such matters to be authoritative.
I don't know what more I can say other than a "liberated Iraq," however good, is hardly a substitute for the Redemption, the resurrection of our beloved dead, and the Kingdom of G-d.
My point in posting to you was that I see no difference in the war America is fighting right now and the war Israel is fighting. The antagonists for both countries are basically the same.
Believe me, I understand where you are coming from and how you may have been offended. However, I posted the article primarily for its teaching on prophecy and the End of Days rather than anything it had to say about the war in Iraq (although I too am very cynical about the possibility of a "democratic" Iraq).
The author is a Torah Jews. I, who posted it, am a Noachide who accepts Judaism as the true Revelation (though recognizing that non-Jews are not required to convert to Judaism but rather observe the Seven Laws of the Sons of Noach). Thus the author's worldview, and my own, will differ from that of sincere chr*stians. According to Judaism, the Jewish people are fated by G-d to be all alone in the end with no one to turn to except G-d Himself. G-d will use America to bring this about just as He uses all other nations. The Jewish people cannot be allowed to depend on anyone or anything other than G-d. America thus will eventually turn on Israel if the Jewish people do not go ahead and obey G-d, depending on Him alone rather than on politics, alliances, etc.
I understand that sincere American chr*stians (which I used to be) want to believe that America was created by G-d to be His chr*stian counterpart to Israel and will stand by her to the end, but please keep in mind that the author (and myself) do not accept chr*stianity and cannot accept this view. Even if chr*istianity were true, America was not founded by good orthodox chr*stians but by enlightenment deists and rationalists anyway. Who can believe that Thomas Jefferson was a counterpart to Joshua or David?
I too take pride in the fact that America is Israel's only ally. However, that alliance is not based on submission to G-d to on such false and secular concepts as "democracy" and "shared interests" and "shared values." That is why our government still supports a "palestinian state" whatever it thinks of the current regime of Arafat. The United States of America is a secular country and cannot as at present constituted acknowledge the True G-d (thanks ironically in large part, as you well know, to liberal Jews!). In the end the only reason to support Israel is not for any secular reason but because Israel's G-d is G-d and should be obeyed by all His creatures. Because America is a secular nation (however religious the population) it cannot support Israel for the right reason, and unless its ideology changes radically it will eventually betray the Jews. Only the Jews turning to G-d alone now (after which America could proudly stand by her side as a G-dly nation) will prevent this.
I also posted the article because it assures the reader that however messed up things seem now (ie, a secular State of Israel based on Hellenistic western democratic concepts rather than on Torah), that nevertheless all things proceed according to plan, and even this situation fits G-d's revelations of the future perfectly. Also, I felt Rabbi Kahana''s (zt"l, Hy"d) teaching on the State and Yom Ha`Atzma'ut (Israel Independence Day) might be helpful to Jewish FReepers.
To the rest of you, I assure you that I am a simple redneck from the rural South and more Fundamentalist than ever. Please do not allow secular Jewish liberals to give you an allergy to genuine Theocratic Jewish critiques of America (and Israel). I assure you the Kahanists are true Biblical Jews and the exact opposites of Jewish liberals in every way.
Thank you for listening. G-d bless.