Shabbat Parashat Acharei Mot| 5765
From the works of Hagaon Harav Shaul Yisraeli zt”l - The Proper Reaction to Israeli Independence - Part I - From Zeh Hayom Asa Hashem, pp. 8-9
“Reishit tz’michat geulatenu- thebeginning of the blossoming of our redemption.” This is the phrase coined by the rabbis and wise men of Yerushalayim, headed by Harav Tzvi Pesach Frank z.t.l. to describe our historical period. This was done in a proclamation they publicized on 15 Shevat 5709 (Jan. ’49), within the first year of the establishment of the State. During those great days, the whole community was under the influence of the revelation of a Divine act of good will, expressed by the broad spectrum of the community by that phrase. Even those of our fellow believers in Hashem who, for many years, stood by their opposition to the Zionist Movement with “proofs” that the liberation of our people would not come in such a manner (as if they can dictate to the Holy One Blessed Be He the way He will bring close the geula) recognized the significance of the great period our nation merited to be in.
In those days, everyone saw the period against the backdrop of that which preceded it, the terrible holocaust that befell the House of Israel, which cut off the lives of 6 million of our brethren in strange, yet calculated deaths. Smoking embers remained where once had stood communities with long, rich legacies. Refugees lacking the barest necessities wandered without a place to rest their tired feet, while the British Mandate securely locked the gates to the Land of their Forefathers. And then suddenly a rescue raft was discovered in the form of an independent state, which, despite being born in the midst of fire and blood, arose and announced before the whole world, “the Nation of Israel is alive and will live forever.” The coasts of the Land would remain wide open for all who belong to the Nation of Israel, and it would serve as a haven for an oppressed nation. At that time the national flag waved proudly over the whole House of Israel, and the Torah community upon all of its shades did not find it necessary to voice their reservations.
It is true that since those days, many things have happened that have caused great disappointment for the community of those who keep Torah and mitzvot. Certainly this is not what we expected. We did not think that the judicial system would arise as a continuation of that of the British Mandate. In our naiveté, we thought that the Jewish legal system, which is strongly established upon the Torah’s pillars of morality and logic, expounded upon over centuries by brilliant men, would be the lone basis for the State’s judiciary. We did not imagine that that which is known as the “general” school system would educate Israel’s children without knowledge of the Torah of Israel. The Book of Books, which is the source for the whole world’s culture, sits in a lonely corner, with school children knowing just individual sections, taught to them as some type of fairy tale. We did not think that Shabbat would be chased away from our streets or that civil marriages would be considered as a replacement for marriage k’dat Moshe v’Yisrael. It did not occur to us that there would be among us murderers, rapists, and drug addicts.
We could go on, but that’s not the point. All of the above woes were not decreed from Heaven. Chazal have taught us, “All is in the Hands of Heaven except for fear of Hashem.” All of us, individually and collectively, have the ability to make a difference. Those who are loyal to Hashem but sit concealed in their homes in the Diaspora, which they are dedicated to glorify, closing their ears to the calls of the Land of their Forefathers, have the obligation to come and help rectify the problems.
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