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José Manuel dos Santos,
May 6, 2014 2:04 AM
Don’t be afraid to talk about God, Torah and the Land of Israel.
KUDOS! You are Lori, completely alive! Children of the Promise must never be afraid to talk about the Truth, Hallelujah!
May 5, 2014 5:09 PM
Bravo! to Mom in Jerusalem. I couldn't have put it better myself. The Rabbi was certainly referring to the Zohar.
May 5, 2014 4:55 PM
I will never forget leaving Israel for 2 years to work in education and outreach in Toronto 21 years ago and being told by a Rebbetzin there:"Never speak about Israel or say that you are going to move back there- you will turn people off and distance them from you". Thank God I did not listen. Now an entire neighborhood in Ramat Beit Shemesh is full of families from that area of Toronto where we taught people about Torah, God and yes, the Land of Israel.
May 5, 2014 4:08 PM
Reaching people where they are
It's unfortunate that Israel has become such a political hot potato for Jews today (it wasn't so 30 years ago.) HOWEVER, if this Rabbi is trying to reach unaffiliated Jews, he probably believes he needs to start where they are. So many Jews today have so little understanding or knowledge of traditional Judaism. This is tragic. Nonetheless, most outreach organizations start with G-d and Torah because they want to awaken the Jewish neshama. If people are immediately "turned off" -- whether over the perceived "second class" status of women in Orthodoxy, over perceived injustice toward Palestinians, or anything else, they will be less likely to turn back to Judaism. I am happy to talk about all three of these topics, but I am not in any way a spokesperson for the community.
Mom in Jerusalem,
May 4, 2014 8:14 AM
The Rabbi was referring to something else.
The Rabbi was referring to the Zohar "Kudsha Brich Hu, Oraisa veYisrael chad hu - G-d, the Torah and Yisrael are one." The Yisrael referred to here is definitely the Nation of Israel not the Land of Israel which is not part of that one essence. It is certainly very important. I left behind family and friends to live in the spiritual nerve center of the world, the land that G-d determined as the ideal setting for keeping the Torah (in fact, the ONLY place where certain commandments can be kept), but it is not a central requirement to being a Jew. The Torah was given in the wilderness, not in the Land of Israel, because our Judaism is dependent on one thing, and one thing only - the Torah. Placing the Land of Israel on par with the Torah and the Nation of Israel as equally central is a mistake. Loving the Land of Israel and even living there is not identical to supporting political Zionism. One cannot totally discount the Satmar or Brisker viewpoint as illegitimate, even though it's not yours or mine. The shechina, G-d's Divine Presence, is still in exile and so are we, wherever we live. If a Rabbi doesn't want to go into that, he doesn't have to.
May 7, 2014 11:37 AM
I discount the Satmars and Briskers
G*d's presence is in exile? I'm sorry but who are you to determine this? Who is anyone to determine this? Last I checked the Romans exiled us-not Hashem-and the very people that are against us now are the same people that imposed exile upon us by making themselves G*d and saying that we should not fight to follow G*ds commandment to occupy the land. We are commanded to occupy the land. There is no other valid position.
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