emunah, tefillah, a little mussar, and a shmeck of geula

Monday, November 24, 2014

Who is a Jew?

For reasons that are obvious and some that are less so, writing something coherent in relation to the Arabs’ latest manifestation of brotherly love, as expressed in Har Nof last week, was very difficult.  Even the title didn’t come easy because it wasn't clear as to where to place the emphasis.

Some of the other candidates were:  So What Now?, Take On What, Exactly?, The Cousins, In An Instant, It Was Us This Time, In Search of Achdus, and The Satan Comes To Har Nof.

Those lives that were snuffed out in an instant were lives of greatness that took a lifetime to build.  So for anyone looking to take on a little something, zecher l’Churban, keep in mind that many of us have been taking on a little something extra over the course off the last few years and it hasn’t gotten us all that far.

So why not take on a big something instead?

If these four kedoshim are important enough to be taken from us for the sins of the generation then they are important enough to be emulated.  Take on the truth of total transformation by replicating such a life.

It will take the rest of your life, but it can be jump started just as instantaneously as they were removed from this world.  Some aspects of this avodah will go slower than others and some won’t go at all.

And what of it?  We’re not talking results here.   It’s all about defining a goal, locking in on it, and making up one’s mind to move in that direction for the rest of one’s life.

Nice vort, but how many of us are even capable of contemplating such a radical shift, let alone bringing it to fruition?

For those who are not holding by turning themselves inside out, a 180 attitudinal shift would still be a very big move.  And it’s doable.

It’s been the fashion for some time now to view Klal Yisroel as if it were some kind of a big tent multi-factional entity with the focus on the parts as opposed to the whole.  The question of who is a Jew? used to be a halachic one.  Now it’s political.

Hashem is speaking to us through our blood thirsty cousins that we are one people.  The Arabs make no distinctions between Zionists, non-Zionists, Chabad, Satmar, Mizrachi, leftist or any other of the camps, sects, or sectors by which Jews define themselves these days.

They have Bilam’s eye and all they see is a single entity that dwells alone and they want to destroy it.  If in the Arab conception of things we have to die as members of Klal Yisroel, then our response should be to live as members of Klal Yisroel with the emphasis on the Klal.

So with that said, how did you feel when you heard the news of the Har Nof massacre?   Were you sick about it?  Were you in a state of despair?  Were you able to function?  These are all normal reactions to a tragedy of this magnitude, and that’s exactly how you should have felt about the massacre at Merkaz Ha Rav in 2008. 
And if you didn’t, then there is something wrong with your perception of Klal Yisroel.

And if the Merkaz HaRav people aren’t broken today like they were six years ago, then they need to go back and re-read Rav Kook z"l.  This time with their eyes open.

The bottom line here is this:

As long as we continue to look askance as to the place of another Jew or group of Jews within Klal Yisroel, then it will be left up to the Arabs to decide who is a Jew.  

And if the Arabs can understand the oneness of Klal Yisroel well enough not to make distinctions between Jews, then why do we?