April 14, 2011

With G-d's help, next year most of the Nation of Israel will be in the Land of Israel - before next Pesach.

Shalom to everyone. On the Seder night, the Hagaddah begins with the negative and ends with praise. In this short message, we will do the same.
This past week, we once again had a painful reminder of the fact that the State of Israel cannot exist for a long time when it is disconnected from its Jewish foundations. The last round of fighting against the Hamas in Gaza ended with the score of 2:0 - in favor of the Hamas. On one hand, every bus within five kilometers of the Gaza Strip has now become an easy and accessible potential target, while on the other hand, Israel will not dare to carry out targeted assassinations or the abduction of senior Hamas terrorists when those measures mean that all the residents of Ashkelon and Be'er Sheva must stay in bomb shelters.

The military solution is essentially non-existent because the only way to triumph is to capture the Gaza Strip and to establish real Israeli sovereignty over the region. But he who is disconnected form his Jewish foundations cannot see this solution as an option. He is incapable of accepting the fact that Gaza is simply the Land of Israel and that our roots in the city and surrounding area are no less deep than our roots in Tel Aviv. From the mighty Samson through Rabbi Yisrael Najarah and until the 1930's when the Jewish community in Gaza was destroyed, there had always been a Jewish community there.

Are you familiar with the Shabbat songs Yoducha Ra'ayonai or Kah Ribon olam v'olmaya? You've heard them. The next time you hear those songs, remember that they were written in Gaza and that their composers are buried in the Jewish cemetery there.

He who sees only the here and now, he who is disconnected from our past and our destiny in this Land - also has no present. He finds himself running to bomb shelters or to sophisticated protective systems.

It is not only Gaza that we cannot capture without our Jewish foundations - we cannot even justify our presence in Haifa and Be'er Sheva without them. Just one generation after the Holocaust, Europe is no longer inclined to apologize. Our security-based claims sound to them - and in no small measure, justifiably so - like the tears of the Robbed Cossack. When is the last time that you heard an official Israeli representative simply say, "This is our Land"? If we also admit that we occupied a land that is not ours, how can we complain that our children are in danger?

The negation of Israel's legitimate right to exist is spreading like wildfire in the West, IDF officers and Israeli politicians are afraid to leave the country to which they themselves do not understand their connection.

O.K., we also have to leave some time for the positive.

The good news is that despite the confusion, the Nation of Israel is upward bound. As individuals we may be confused, but as a nation we are displaying unbelievable vitality. The birthrate among Jews in Israel is the highest in the Western world - even without the religious factored in. All the Western nations are shrinking and by us, construction of new apartments does not meet growing demand. Israel today is one of the most modern and developed states in the world. We export more to the US than we import - and that is even though we buy more from America than Brazil or India, with its population of a billion. The Western economies are collapsing - while the Israeli shekel is the most stable in the world. Our foreign debt is small and unemployment in Israel is relatively minimal. True, the lack of a balanced Jewish culture of modest spending and loving kindness is currently preventing the wealth from filtering down to all layers of the population, but as we connect to our culture, that will also work out. We're talking about the positive now, remember?

With G-d's help, next year most of the Nation of Israel will be in the Land of Israel - before next Pesach. This demographic status has not occurred since the era of the First Temple!

So what is happening here? On the one hand the physical aspect of our nation is flourishing, while on the other hand we are experiencing spiritual weakness that threatens our continued existence. How can we change this situation? How can we progress? How can we take advantage of our national sovereignty and the great abundance that our Father in heaven is showering upon us and not lose them, G-d forbid?

The answer is leadership. To emerge from our state of mental subservience to genuine national liberty, we need Jewish leadership that will know how to stabilize our national structure on the foundations of our Jewish heritage.

How will we do it? How will we deal with the Arabs? How will we explain it to the Jews? How will we stand up to American pressure? We have answers to all those questions and more.

You can start by reading our articles, arranged on the Jewish Leadership website by categories . Check out Tomorrow Magazine for more details on various issues. And most important of all, get our ideas out through your own blogs and social media outlets.

We are entering Pesach 5771 with great hope. With G-d's help, we will greet Jonathan Pollard, Gilad Shalit and all our other captives this year. All the wounded and sick will completely recover and all of our dreams will be realized in the very best way.

Reality is nudging our nation into a new consciousness - Jewish consciousness. We are building an alternative and with G-d's help, we will soon lead our nation and complete the journey that our ancestors began in Egypt 3,013 years ago - on the Temple Mount.

I wish you a happy and kosher Festival of Freedom.

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