The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Misplaced Sadness

Cookie marks Yom Ha'atzmaut by lamenting the chiloni (secular) nature of the country.

She concludes:

"When the land is barren of mitzvos, the language devoid of sanctity, the culture devoid of Torah, what's the point?

That Yom Ha'atzma'ut takes place in Sefirah, this annual time of mourning, is simply another indication of how deep the disrespect for Judaism runs in this land of Jews.

And that is why I'm sad today."

The Tzaddik, HaRav Haga'on Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal, HYD, writes in his monumental sefer, Eim Habanim S'meicha,

"[T]he simple Jew who builds the Land without any spiritual intent (kavanah), merely for his own benefit, accomplishes greater a rectification (tikkun) in the supernal worlds than the greatest tzaddik with his tearful and lamenting midnight prayers (tikkun Chatzos) recited for the sake of the Shechinah and the end of exile. The latter certainly accomplishes a great rectification, yet it cannot compare to the rectification caused by the simple Jew who physically rebuilds the Land, even if he has no godly intent."

He continues:

"[I]t is clear that the Omnipresent desires the work of today's builders and accepts their efforts before his glorious throne with love and abounding affection. This is true even if they act sinfully and even if they do not fulfill God's will when it comes to other mitzvot of the Toraj (God forbid)."

Rav Teichtal wrote that the Geulah (redemption) will only come through the redemption of Eretz Yisrael. He laments the fact that the tzaddikim of his generation misunderstood the biblical sources in their opposition to the settlement of the Land. He implores us, the frummer, to return to Eretz Yisrael to redeem the Land and bring about the Geulah. He asks us to respect those who redeem the land, as misguided and off the derech as they may be. They are part of the Divine plan.

(Rav Teichtal, a Muncatcher Chassid, wrote this sefer (without the benefit of inside sources and relying almost entirely on his amazing memory) while on the run from the Nazis, may their name be erased. He ultimately died al Kiddush Hashem at their hands.)

In the Chassideshe Seforim, we are told that we must work hard to avoid being overcome by aztvus, sadness.

Is the situation in Eretz Yisrael a mess. Sure. Are there huge problems in religious-secular relations? Sure. But sadness?

We should rejoice on Yom Ha'atzmaut that we have the opportunity to continue the process of redemption. That we have a haven for our people. That we have an opportunity to live in the Land, an opportunity that has been denied to so many generations of our ancestors.

Rather than becoming overcome with sadness, we should wake up and realize that we all belong in Eretz Yisrael and that if we go, as Rav Teichtal urges us, we will bring about the Geulah speedily in our times.


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