Friday, September 26, 2008


HaRav Yehuda Kreuser SHLIT"A, Rosh YeshivaPARSHAT NITZAVIM27 Elul 5768/26-27 September 2008
So many of us for so long have been sitting around waiting for that one sign to come and tell us that the time has arrived. So many of us for so long have been waiting, that we have long forgotten what we are waiting for. Is it for that comforting voice of the pilot telling us: Shalom and welcome to El Al flight 001 this is Captain Menachem Ben David and I'm taking you home. Are we waiting for the phone to ring its last ring and tell us: Hi, this is Shiloh Ben David, your travel agent. I've just booked you on Continental Flight 20. But whatever it is that we are waiting for, one thing is certain: We are doing just that - waiting and waiting and waiting. This though, is nothing new for the Jew.
In this week's parsha we are told: Then Hashem, your G-d will return your captivity and have mercy upon you, and He will gather you in from all the peoples to where Hashem, your G-d has scattered you. What exciting news, here the Torah is telling us that when the time comes for Redemption, Hashem Himself will come and gather His people homeward. Sounds great, but how is this to come about?
Rashi comments that so great is the day of the ingathering of the exiles, it will come about with much difficulty, as if He Himself (G-d) must actually hold each and every Jew with His hands to take him from his place in the exile in order to return him to his Land. But why should this be so? Surely, the Jew in exile - out of his Land - was waiting impatiently to return to his Land, and at the first opportunity, when the sign would come he would joyfully return. For what normal person would want to live outside of his own Land, what normal people would not want to be redeemed? But this is exactly what Rashi is teaching us, that when the day arrives, the Jew has to be literally pulled by his teeth to come home.
So we find with the exiles of Egypt, that when the call came in to leave, the great majority of the Jewish people in old Egypt wanted to stay. Many reason were given for not wanting to leave: Who is Moshe that he should be the one to take us out, he himself was raised in Pharaoh's palace, I'm waiting for the real savior to come. Things are good now in Egypt, I'm just waiting for the price of my home to go back up before baking matzot and heading out - and the list went on and on and on.
Things did not change much for the Jew in the time of the returnees from Babylon. The book of Ezra teaches us: Hashem aroused the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, and he issued a proclamation throughout his kingdom - and in writing as well, saying: Thus said Cyrus king of Persia, all the kingdoms of the earth has Hashem G-d of Heaven given me, and He has commanded me to build Him a Temple in Jerusalem. Whoever is among you of His entire people - may his G-d be with him - let him go up to Jerusalem. But if this sign was not enough for the people to flock home, for surely, many said to themselves: Who is Cyrus - a non Jew- that we should listen to him and head home? Hashem Himself told His prophet Isaiah that Cyrus is G-d's anointed one and called him His shepherd, someone "who fulfills all My desires" (Isaiah 44:28)
Still. . . this was not enough for those who wait, and they needed a clearer sign then the prophet himself So they continued to wait and wait and only some 20 percent of the Jewish people returned from the Babylonian exile. And the ones who waited -the Rabbis, the business owners, the high society people - what became of them? If they did not make their way up to the Land of Israel, then they all, after a few generations, assimilated and were lost to the Jewish people forever.
Will today's Redemption - the one we are in the midst of - be any different than the previous ones for the "waiters"? The Radak, just one of tens of rabbis who wrote in this light throughout the generations, writes: "Just as the redemption from Babylonia was done by the hands of Cyrus, also in the future the Redemption will come about through the nations of the world" (Psalms 146:3).
So the "waiters" continue to wait until that phone rings, understanding not that the call has already been placed and the boat has left shore. Let us not wait until the secure "walls" of this world tumble down, but let us listen to the call that had gone out some time ago and head on home now while time allows, for in the dead of night, when all is silent, one can indeed hear that the phone is ringing!
With love of Israel,Levi Chazen

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


written in 1980, published in 1981
Excerpts from chapter titled: “Separation –Only Separation"o
The Six-Day war of 1967 - what a divine, golden opportunity! What a disastrous failure to seize it!
They poured across the ancient lands - theirs. The children of Israel. The soldiers, children of a generation that went to the gas chambers, a thing the Gentile had come to equate with the Jews. Now they burst across the ground from which, just days earlier, the Arabs had boasted of the coming slaughter. The trap, the iron noose, which the Arabs had built around the Jewish state in May 1967 was shattered. “The trap is broken, and we have escaped!” (Psalms 123).
Across the land – theirs – they poured. Judea, and its hills! Bethlehem, where David was born and where for two millennia Rachel stood weeping for the sons and daughters who now returned. Hebron, where the fathers and mothers of the nation lived and are buried. Samaria, with Shechem and Bet El and Shilo and Jericho and Gigal and the ten tribes and Elijah and Hosea and – history. Gaza, where Samson smashed the Philistines….And now, the children had returned, incredibly, swiftly, mightily, to free the land from the trespassers, to redeem the stolen homeland.
What an opportunity! The Messiah knocked and history smiled and they touched fingers with their ancestors. Now, now was the opportunity to rid the land of those who a bare forty-eight hours earlier had danced in an orgy of Jew hatred, vowing to do unto Jewish men what they had done – partly – in the decades past and to inflict on Jewish women the horrors of which they were so capable. Now, now as the moment whose time had come. Now.
How the Arabs expected to be slaughtered! How they knew what they would have done if the roles were reversed! In Hebron white flags flew from every window as the inhabitants shook in terror, remembering 1929. The sixty-seven murdered Jews rested heavily on their heads as they waited for Jewish vengeance….
No, the Israeli soldiers did not slaughter them – and how they expected it! And how they would have fallen and kissed the soldiers’ boots had they been told: “You know what you deserve. You know what you did and what we should do to you. You know what you would have done in our place. But we are not you: we are Jews, and we give you a chance to live. You have forty-eight hours to take all that you can and cross the Jordan. Out! They would have kissed Jewish feet and fled.
Israel would have been free of them, and the ugly world that just days earlier had waited in expectation and anticipation of Jewish tragedy would have remained silent, so thunderstruck was it at the miracle of the Six-Day War! And Israel would have been free of the cancer, the terrible specter of 800,000 more Jew haters. And Jews could have settled the length and breath of the land, and we could have brought the redemption that much closer….
But no, the gentilized and the Hellenists – whose terror of man is an article of faith replacing awe and faith in G-d – fled from greatness. It was the same fear of the world reaction that saw orders given not to shell the Old City lest Christian and Muslim holy places be damaged. Jewish soldiers had to pick their way through the narrow streets and alleyways. Dozens were killed by sniper fire – all needlessly, all murdered by Arab bullets and Jewish timidity.
The Arabs were neither killed nor driven from Hebron. Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, one of the architects of the Jewish disaster, raced to the city to assure the Muslim Khadi (“priest”) that the cave of Machpela would remain in Muslim hands. The cave in which are buried Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah, and which had been barred for centuries to Jews, now would continue to be a Muslim site. Hebron would remain Arab, thanks to Dayan.
It was the policy of a man who opposed attacking the Golan Heights for fear that the Soviet allies of Syria would intervene. It was the fear of a man who not only refused to expel the Arabs, but forcibly returned those who had already fled! The Arab village of Kalkilya, which touches Kfar Saba, was for years one of the most vicious nests of terrorists. Regularly, the vipers would slither from Kalkilya to murder Jews. For years, Jews watched with gritted teeth and waited for the day…
In 1967 it came. The populace fled in panic. Thousands abandoned their village and swarmed eastward to the Jordan. Dayan ordered paratroopers to catch them and bring them back – lest the world think that Israel was preparing a new wave of refuges. Heaven forbid!o
The miracle came and was rejected. The gold was turned by reverse alchemy into dross. Rather then being free of 800,000 enemies, the Jews allowed them to remain – them and their endless number of children. They drain us of our money, kill our children, and steal our land. In 1967 Muadi Abu-Minsha feared a slaughter. In 1975 he said: “Israel has no choice….I think the whole world recognizes the justice of the Palestinians… Arafat’s plan is a good one and I think Israel should adopt it.”
History will never forgive Israel its failure of nerve and fear of world opinion. The nation as a whole is already paying the price.
The question is not how can we remove the Arabs, but rather how can we not? To do nothing is the simplest and most simplistic policy. It will certainly spare this government, and perhaps the next both the agony of having to take the bold and excruciating step and the price of not taking it. The deluge, the flood will not come tomorrow. But come it certainly will, and sooner than we think. This generation already feels the first searing heat that will become the terrible flood of fire. No, the question is: How can we possibly sit and not rid ourselves of the Arabs who seek to destroy us from within? What inexplicable loss of national preservation, will, and sanity makes the Jews of Israel hesitate to save themselves?

The Times of Israel

Yeshiva Director Assaulted

Rabbi Eliyahu Mali, 60, dean of the Shirat Moshe Hesder Yeshiva in Jaffa, and director of the yeshiva Moshe Shendowitz were violently assaul...