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It's Time to Plant Again
By Simcha Meir Ben Shimshon
When Rosh Hashanah arrived, it also brought to an end the Shemitta, or Sabbatical, year in the Land of Israel. As a result, farmers can once again plant and work their parcels of land. During these ten days of repentance from Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur, we thought about what we needed to do and what we hoped for during the upcoming year. We prayed to G-d as hard as we could in order to be inscribed in the Book of Life for a good year for us and our loved ones.
But we must not pray only for ourselves. We must pray for our nation – the Jewish People. In Israel, the Jewish People is suffering from a lack of real leadership. As a matter of fact, Israel has suffered for decades from this lack of leadership – leadership which would actually stand up for the best interests of the Jewish People, and for G-d.
For 60 years we have witnessed one outrage after another: Ben-Gurion and Rabin murdered fellow Jews on the Altalena and declared it “holy”. Ben-Gurion actually stole babies from observant Yemenite Jews and gave them to ultra-secular Ashkenazi families. We then saw B-G use all the levers of power to strip the Jewish identities from hundreds of thousands of Sephardic Jews within one generation after their arrival in Israel – from Jews who had clung to their precious Judaism during nearly 2,000 years of exile.
We saw Eshkol and Dayan turn their backs on our holiest site – the Temple Mount – by taking the Israeli flag down only two hours after the Mount was captured in 1967, and we saw Golda refuse to save the soldiers on the Egyptian border in 1973. We saw Begin create from thin air the “palestinians” and give away the Sinai for nothing. We saw Shamir grant legitimacy to the “peace process” by going to Madrid. We’ve seen death dressed up as peace by Rabin and Peres, and we’ve seen Netanyahu renege on his promise to end the madness.
Barak took us out of Lebanon with our tails between our legs and offered the Jew-murderer Arafat our heart – Jerusalem – and our throat. Sharon created his legacy by evicting Jews from their homes in Gaza, destroying 25 Jewish towns and over 100 synagogues and yeshivas. And we’ve thankfully seen Olmert fail at his attempt to destroy Israel; but he did manage to have hundreds of Jews beat up and to send three Knesset Members to the hospital, all the while dodging close to ten criminal investigations.
All these disgraceful acts were done solely to consolidate power and to rid us of our holiest sites because if they stayed with us, then Jews in Israel might even get attached to their Land, and to their Creator. "This will not do", these so-called "leaders" say!
Now that the Shemitta is over, we all need to grow authentic Jewish leadership in Israel. No matter where you live – whether in Israel or in the Diaspora – this is the priority. We need Jews from all over the world to get involved. We all know about Israel’s myriad problems; the only way to solve them is to replace the current leadership with leadership that cleaves to its heritage and to its G-d. In order to fulfill the obligation to “perfect the world in the Kingdom of the Almighty”, we need to bring about real Jewish leadership.
To those Jews in the Exile, isn’t it obvious that events are spinning way out of control? The incredible, "Great Depression-like", worldwide financial meltdown accompanied by the concomitant calls to blame the "Jewish bankers" – and we know where that road goes; the Islamization of Europe and, to a lesser degree, the USA; and the taking away (on a quicker and quicker basis) of our rights and liberties here in America...if you open your eyes you’ll see that these events are pulling us back to our true homeland, the Land of Israel. As Ze’ev Jabotinsky said, “Liquidate the Diaspora or the Diaspora will liquidate you.”
And in Israel the never-ending defeatism and belittling of and minimization of G-d have taken their toll. Most Israelis can’t even recite our most hallowed prayer – “the Shema” – even though it is only six words long! Polls show that the majority of Jews in Israel don’t think that their country – our country – will exist in 20 years. (In what other place in the world would such a poll even be taken?)
The Jewish People in Israel were stripped of their heritage, remade into the “New Jews” by Ben-Gurion. Like flowers with their roots cut off, they have thus far continued to survive, their appearance remaining beautiful to the world. However, in the long term, cutting roots inevitably leads to wilting away and death. The Jewish People must be replanted in her holy soil of the Land of Israel in order to reconnect to itself, to its inheritance and to to G-d. Only by connecting to her roots can Am Yisrael survive and thrive. This is a New Year's goal that we should all hope and work for!
from the November 2008 Edition of the Jewish Magazine
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