Saturday, May 12, 2018

A Yom Yerushalayim Thought

I don't define myself as "Dati-Leumi" of "Religious Zionist" or anything like that. I don't even like to define myself because human beings are far too complex to fit into any neat definitions. If I HAD to define myself it would be "wise, rich and handsome". I wish:-). 

I believe in G-d, the Torah and the Jewish people with everything that entails. Part of this exciting package is Eretz Yisrael. Eretz Yisrael is an integral and central part of the Torah and being Jewish. E.Y. is a thread that goes throughout the entire written and oral Torahs and is the focus of our three times daily tefillos and our bentching after meals. To talk about Torah without E.Y. is to talk about Torah without Shabbos or kashrus. Actually, E.Y. is discussed much more than Shabbos or kashrus. There is not enough ink in my pen to even begin to talk about how important E.Y. is. That is why I don't write with a pen but with a computer. E.Y. is the focus of our daily dreams for the utopian messianic period. E.Y. is one of those rare mitzvos that we die for if necessary [there is a mitzvah to wage war when necessary and that entails a mortal risk]. E.Y. is where it is at. Whether you live here or not - the dream of every Jew must be to come here eventually [not that it is but that is another story...]. But I still don't buy the whole "Dati-Leumi" thing precisely because E.Y. fits into the general framework of being a Jew and no dash is needed after the "Dati" [a previous and faaaaar greater Reb Elchonon already made this point close to a hundred years ago]. I also don't believe that the government and army are inherently holy [as many do]. Why don't I believe that? Because I have no reason to. מהיכי תיתי?? If someone can prove it to me - I am on board! I am glad we have a government and army but I don't ascribe to them kedusha. When a soldier gets up early to daven or learns mishnayos or daf yomi when he has a break - THAT is holy. When a soldier knows that he is defending the Jewish people and the Holy Land and has kavana to fulfill those big mitzvos - THAT is holy. But not everything that goes on in Tzahal and certainly in the Knesset is holy.   

That being said: Let us say that your parents sent you to a coed day school but then you became really frum and later grew up and sent your children to more traditional all boys or all girls schools. Does that mean that you don't appreciate your parents? OF COURSE NOT!! You are SOOOO thankful that they gave you a Jewish education and any education. Was it perfect? No!! Is anything perfect? No!

That is one example of countless I could give. The Jewish people captured Yerushalayim on this day 51 years ago. THANK YOU HASHEM!!! Are things perfect? OF COURSE NOT!!! Should we still be SOOOO incredibly grateful and happy? OF COURSE we should. We can live in Yerushalayim [and many other places] and daven at the kotel. WOWWWW!!!! If you have children are they perfect? NOOO!! Do you thank Hashem for them every day? I sure hope so! EVERYTHING in life is a mixture of good and evil. Soldiers were killed in the six day war. That is not a happy event. But Hashem has His reasons and we are supposed to thank Him even for the "bad" stuff. CERTAINLY, a kal va-chomer, that we should thank Him for the good. And there is soooooo much good.

This is not only a philosophical question. It is also a psychological one. Are we going to focus on what is right or what is wrong? Are we going to celebrate all of the blessings in our lives or complain about what we lack.

Of course we must daven for a perfected world and do everything we can to change all that is wrong. But as a general rule it seems clear that being thankful and appreciative for all of Hashem's blessings [and all of the sacrifice of the human beings who were Hashem's agents] is the healthiest and morally most recommended way of living!

זה היום עשה ה' נגילה ונשמחה בך!!!!