Friday, June 24, 2016

"...not to force us to repent, but to preserve our ability to do so."
"There is, however a clear and simple explanation for the restoration of 
Jewish sovereignty in Eretz Israel in our time. After 1,900 years of exile 
and 200 years of assimilation, after the inroads of Socialism and Communism 
and secularism[1] and Reform, The Jewish people was on the verge of losing 
its ability to do teshuvah. It was necessary to remove us from the countries 
which had bred these plagues and concentrate us in a country of our own, 
lest we completely lose our spiritual strength---not to force us to repent, 
but to preserve our ability to do so.

Just as we do not doubt that G-d performs miracles to prevent our physical 

extinction, for "netzach Yisrael" will not renege on His promise that Israel 
not disappear, so too we should not be surprised that He performs miracles 
to prevent our complete degeneration and thereby the loss of the strength to 
repent.There is powerful support for saying that G-d may initiate even a 
historic salvation as only a tactical move. We read in II Kings (14:23-27):

 In the fifteenth year of the king of Judah Amatzyahu b. Yoash, Yeravam b.
Yoash acceded to the throne in Shomron and ruled for forty-one years. He 
did evil in haShem's view, and did not deviate from [following] all the sins 
of Yeravam b. Nevat who corrupted Israel. He expanded Israel's borders from 
Levo Chamat until the Aravah Sea [the Dead Sea], in keeping with the word of 
haShem, G-d of Israel, which was spoken through His servant Yonah b. Amitai 
of Gat-Chefer. For haShem saw Israel's extremely bitter affliction and [saw] 
that no one was left to lead or be led and no one was helping Israel. HaShem 
had not decreed that Israel be obliterated, and He delivered them through 
Yeravam b. Yoash.

            We read with astonishment that Yeravam b. Yoash followed in the 
footsteps of his namesake who had set up golden calves and corrupted the ten 
tribes, yet he expanded the borders of the land of Israel and through him 
G-d delivered Israel."

Friday, April 01, 2016

Modern Faith in Sinai

"This nexus of faith and belief positions could quite easily serve as a bedrock for justifying the practice of treating the Pentateuch as Orthodox Judaism now treats it – as word-for-word the word of God, even if you have significant doubts that that attitude reflects the real historical genesis of the text.
This isn’t even a case of treating the text in a way that you know to be inaccurate. To have faith that a personal God foresaw that this religion would evolve from Sinai is to have faith that God gave it a stamp of approval. If that religion claims that God wrote a text word-for-word, then even if He didn’t, God’s giving that religion a stamp of approval is almost equivalent to His writing those words. It would be an act of appropriation of a text, and an act of appropriation can make a text your own, and give it new meaning."
Sam Lebens

I see this in Avot 'doing mitzvot' as well in the Divine Pedagogy, revelation of Himself; laws, practices, culture norms, beliefs, Doctrine were recast, given new meaning, etc - and in time the identity of Israel as well in accomodating Gerim and not just "sojourners in your midst", the ger toshav and beyond that in the fullness of Salvation History.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, ZTZL

"A couple of years after we moved to Yerushalyim, I was once walking with my family in the Beit Yisrael neighborhood, where R. Isser Zalman Meltzer used to live. For the most part, it consists of narrow alleys. We came to a corner, and found a merchant stuck there with his car. The question came up as to how to help him; it was a clear case of perika u-te’ina (helping one load or unload his burden). There were some youngsters there from the neighborhood, who judging by their looks were probably ten or eleven years old. They saw that this merchant was not wearing a kippa. So they began a whole pilpul, based on the gemara in Pesachim (113b), about whether they should help him or not. They said, ‘If he walks about bareheaded, presumably he doesn’t separate terumot u-ma’asrot, so he is suspect of eating and selling untithed produce…..’” I wrote R. Soloveitchik a letter at that time, and told him of the incident. I ended with the comment, ‘Children of the age from our camp would not have known the gemara, but they would have helped him.’ My feeling then was: Why, Ribbon shel Olam, must this be our choice? Can’t we find children who would have helped him and still know the gemara? Do we have to choose? I hope not; I believe not. If forced to choose, however, I would have no doubts where my loyalties lie: I prefer that they know less gemara but help him." (From the book Ohr Panecha)

Friday, August 23, 2013

[Headpost; always first]

My Lord God
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think
that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.

And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.

And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road

though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always
I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me
to face my perils alone.
Thomas Merton, "Thoughts in Solitude"

And that about covers it. I do know it's one prayer that I can say with all my heart, my soul and my mind. [Originally posted Erev Rosh Hashanah 5771]

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Friday, November 09, 2012

Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More (HQ Video)

Friday, August 24, 2012

WOW! Been forever since I did a post. I'm in another place. more to say later.

<< List
Jewish Bloggers
Join >>