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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Little Red Hen, The Coming of the Moshiach (Messiah) and Redemption

The Little Red Hen is a classic children's story about a little red hen, who
  • found some seeds of wheat on the ground
  • planted the seeds
  • harvested the wheat
  • took the wheat to the mill to be ground into flour
  • carried the heavy sack of flour back to the farm
  • baked bread from the flour
At every stage, step of the way, she asked the other barnyard animals to help, and each time they refused.  So when the bread was ready to eat and they wanted to join her, she refused to give them any bread. 

Please hold that thought while reading the rest of this post.

The first Jew was our forefather Abraham.  G-d gave him very clear instructions as to what being a Jew requires:
Bereishit Genesis Chapter 12
א וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל-אַבְרָם, לֶךְ-לְךָ מֵאַרְצְךָ וּמִמּוֹלַדְתְּךָ וּמִבֵּית אָבִיךָ, אֶל-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר אַרְאֶךָּ. 1 Now the LORD said unto Abram: 'Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will show thee.
ב וְאֶעֶשְׂךָ, לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל, וַאֲבָרֶכְךָ, וַאֲגַדְּלָה שְׁמֶךָ; וֶהְיֵה, בְּרָכָה. 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing.
ג וַאֲבָרְכָה, מְבָרְכֶיךָ, וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ, אָאֹר; וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ, כֹּל מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה. 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.'
Those are G-d's instructions for all Jews, wherever we are.

On Shavuot we read Megillat Ruth. When Ruth pledges herself to Naomi she makes points very similar to G-d's instructions to Abram (Abraham.)
Chapter 1
טז וַתֹּאמֶר רוּת אַל-תִּפְגְּעִי-בִי, לְעָזְבֵךְ לָשׁוּב מֵאַחֲרָיִךְ: כִּי אֶל-אֲשֶׁר תֵּלְכִי אֵלֵךְ, וּבַאֲשֶׁר תָּלִינִי אָלִין--עַמֵּךְ עַמִּי, וֵאלֹהַיִךְ אֱלֹהָי. 16 And Ruth said: 'Entreat me not to leave thee, and to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God;
יז בַּאֲשֶׁר תָּמוּתִי אָמוּת, וְשָׁם אֶקָּבֵר; כֹּה יַעֲשֶׂה יְהוָה לִי, וְכֹה יוֹסִיף--כִּי הַמָּוֶת, יַפְרִיד בֵּינִי וּבֵינֵךְ. 17 where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried; the LORD do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me.'
For a convert to Judaism it's required to accept these principles.

G-d prepared the world and the Land for us in the beginning... in Bereishit, Genesis, and the final creation was Shabbat, (chapter division is Christian, not Jewish,)  Chapter 2:
א וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ, וְכָל-צְבָאָם. 1 And the heaven and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
ב וַיְכַל אֱלֹהִים בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי, מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה; וַיִּשְׁבֹּת בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי, מִכָּל-מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה. 2 And on the seventh day God finished His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made.
ג וַיְבָרֶךְ אֱלֹהִים אֶת-יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי, וַיְקַדֵּשׁ אֹתוֹ: כִּי בוֹ שָׁבַת מִכָּל-מְלַאכְתּוֹ, אֲשֶׁר-בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים לַעֲשׂוֹת. {פ} 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it; because that in it He rested from all His work which God in creating had made. {P}
Chazal, our sages, say that Shabbat is a taste of Redemption, the time of the Moshiach.

In none of these scenarios, lists of instructions, pledge etc is there an option to wait on the sidelines and have others do the work. 

To all those Jews who say that life in the HolyLand is too tough, corrupt, evil, not technologically advanced or affluent enough for their taste, life-style, holiness etc., you have nothing in the Torah or the Tanach, Bible to defend your position.

Judaism is a "hands-on," participatory religion.  We each pray directly to G-d.  We each must do what G-d commands.  Those of us here in Eretz Yisrael aren't your servants to develop the Land, improve the religious situation, clean up the government corruption and make it perfect for you, for your particular standards.

Like the barnyard animals who had expected the Little Red Hen to invite them to eat the bread she had worked so hard for, you may find yourselves out in the cold and hungry at the true Seudat Moshiach, Celebration Feast when the Messiah takes over.

The Shavuot holiday celebrates the fact that G-d gave us the Torah, which is the blueprint for living as Jews and our acceptance, Na'aseh v'nishma, we will do and we will listen.  Yes, we pledged all those millennum ago to obey the Laws, sight unseen, like the Lech Lecha order by G-d to Abraham to go "to the Land I will show you."

Don't watch Jewish History on the internet, even in a front-row seat.  Be a player and join us; contribute by participating.  I have no doubt that you'll find your place here in the HolyLand.  There are many options.

18 comments:

in the vanguard said...

Batya - you say,
"I have no doubt that you'll find your place here in the HolyLand. There are many options."

Pretty easy for you to say. Go tell it to the thousands ruthlessly uprooted from their homes after 3 generations if the Gaza Strip, and abandoned thereafter with broken promises by a government that prefers dealing kindly with its enemies, rather than giving rights and merits to Israel's finest and bravest.

I hear your pain in being unable to fend against this giant, perverted menace of a government, and perhaps if I were younger and single I'd join your "team", but for now the fight against this menace is indeed daunting. It has as its allies the various media, the army heads, the courts, the police, the inner city leftists, the public school system, and even religious elements that have been taken by bribes!

I feel the pain too - just because what is at stake is our Holy Land, yours and mine!

But I still maintain as I posted earlier at:

http://hezbos.blogspot.com/2011/06/red-hen-thinkers.html

Batya said...

van, actually, you proved me correct in your words: "if I were younger and single I'd join..."
Never count on the future. The door won't open as easily. As hard as it may be today, tomorrow may well be impossible, or at least seem that way. May G-d give you strength to take the plunge and be on the welcoming committee for the Moshiach.

in the vanguard said...

"The door won't open as easily." Is this prophetic?

Batya said...

Pragmatic. You said it yourself.

in the vanguard said...

The Red Hen is bitter because her friends did not share her efforts in bringing the bread to production. Her revenge is to withhold the bread from them.

You, similarly, feel Jews in the diaspora have an obligation to be in Israel, to make therein their presence, to fight the miserable fight you and your fellow citizens must make, against a government and leftist oriented citizens who would rather betray your righteous cause.

Like I said in my post, there are many good reasons to stay, that have nothing to do with one of convenience.

Most of us know you and your sort will, in the end, win. You and your sort are the soul of the Holy Land. We all love you for the struggle you must make, for the despair that you fight against. We do our own part on this side of the globe.

I know that in the end, when the ingathering of Jews will happen, you will not - like the Red Hen - hold it against us for fighting your fight from our various localities outside Israel.

Batya said...

"...you and your sort..."
negative sound

Our gates here are open. Be player, not a spectator from afar.

in the vanguard said...

Batya - I usually give you more credit than that. You and your sort means, "you brave settlers and those who stand at the frontiers and guard them by your very existence at these strategic and holy plaes in our Holy Land." Don't go paranoid on me!

Batya said...

yes, you didn't mean it as negative, but the phrase usually is.

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
van, the number of expellees from Gush Katif who left Israel is extremely low. I'm trying to think of any cases that I know of, and I can't think of one, although I have heard reports of a few. I'm from K'far Darom and I have friends in Nitzan and other communities. The number now living in YoSh is much higher. Virtually all of the expellees from the northern Shomron are either still in the Shomron or in the Har Hevron area.
Please don't be like the Jews in Europe who thought they had longer to wait.

in the vanguard said...

Hadassah, I don't understand why I'm being misunderstood here with whatever I say.

Gush Katif expellees may well have remained in Israel. I never suggested otherwise. But they have been uprooted from their homes, of 3 generations some, by their government that earlier had encouraged them to move there; Abandoned thereafter by the government with only broken promises to help the expellees out. The rest of Israel seems almost apathetic to this pathetic situation - if only measured by the non-resistance seen today for suggestions of a new "evacuation". It's horrible for Gush Katif expellees until today. Who cares or even intimated that some left the country. My point was that there is so much injustice being done to the citizenry.

And that Israel today is severe, extreme Galut quicksand - because the rulership has hoodwinked the voters who want the country to move right, and as I said before, it has as its allies the various media, the army heads, the courts, the police, the inner city leftists, the public school system, and even from religious elements that vote for them after taking home their bribes!

Let's not call black - pink. We can be happy because we know that Geulah is around the corner and that Jewish people are mostly wonderful, but don't make it sound like Israel today, collectively, is experiencing Geulah, or anything close to it.

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
van, you stated, "Pretty easy for you to say. Go tell it to..." in response to Batya stating, "...There are many options." What did you mean by that? You seemed to be stating that it was difficult to find options of places to live in Israel, especially for the "thousands ruthlessly uprooted". Well, those thousands HAVE found places to live in Israel. Some are in housing far from ideal, but instead of looking for ways to leave Israel, the expellees are looking for ways to live better IN Israel. That was my point. So many people have used the expulsion as an excuse for not coming to live in Israel. "I'm not going to live in a country that expels Jews," is not an uncommon statement. But isn't that statement absurd being as the expellees themselves have no desire to leave Israel?
I think that my point isn't getting across clearly. Could someone help me clarify my thoughts?

Dave said...

Actually, as Baba Sali and others have predicted Moshiach has already arrived this year. Each person needs to recognize Moshiach for himself. This may not be that easy, since he will appear as an ordinary man, still incognito, until most people acknowledge him. The way to recognize him is thru his words or the message that he brings - the message of peace, brotherhood and justice. See http://www.moshiachishere.org/

Batya said...

Hadassa, I think that van doesn't realize that you're talking first person and he's far removed.

Dave, for sure and He keeps hiding after being rejected.

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
Batya, van claims that he's being misunderstood. Does it seem that way to you? I think that he does realize that I'm speaking in the first person - I hope everyone realizes that I'm not speaking just for myself, or making a point just about the expellees - but doesn't understand the point that I'm trying to make.
We are obligated to live in Israel even if the Land is filled with idol worshipers, even if most of the inhabitants aren't Jewish, even if a non-Jewish government is ruling and even if an evil Jewish government is ruling. Many people find keeping Shabbat "daunting" and prefer not to try. Let's not pick and choose our mitzvot.
Shabbat shalom!

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
van, I read your blog post, which I should have before I replied.
1) Please give a source for the Mashiah DEFINITELY having to arrive before all Jews to return to Israel.
2) Yes. The Jews were spread out to the four corners of the world, as a curse. For a long time it was very difficult to return to Israel. Now that it is not so difficult, anyone who does not have a valid reason for living outside of the Land of Israel is rejecting the Torah.
3) How many Jews teach non-Jews the 7 Noachide commandmants?
4) Many of those rabbis perished along with almost their entire communities because they refused to leave Europe. As Moriah commented on your blog, Rabbi Teictal's book Eim Habanim Semeichah, written in 1943, is an excellent book to read on the subject. Just think of how many religious Jew would be living in Israel today if the communities of Europe had come to Israel. The "First Aliya" was NOT secular! The secular left does not like to admit that the most recent return of Jews to Israel was started by the hassidim!
5) The issue of what the Chief Rabbis of Israel say and do not say when they are outside of Israel is a very complicated issue. I do not want to avoid the issue. G-d willing I will answer in a separate longer post.
6) Many Chabadniks living outside of Israel do not do outreach work. How do you explain their living outside of Israel? How many "examples" can genuinely justify living outside of Israel? The number of groups of religious families going to "mixed cities" in Israel is ample proof that examples of Torah observant Jews are very much needed in Israel too.
7) http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/81801 Please note the detailed sources for the mitzva of living in Israel at all times. You may disagree with some of these sources, but claiming that anyone "made up" the mitzva of "lech lecha" (Genesis 12:1) is ridiculous.
Shabbat shalom!

Batya said...

Hadassa, we agree. I just can't imagine the halachic and philosphic acrobatics one must do to justify living out of the Land G-d sent us to.

in the vanguard said...

Hi friends,

Hadassa - source of the halacha is:
Mishne Torah - Shoftim - Perek 11, Halacha 1.
Everything in Rambam is exact, including the order of this he mentions, so please take note.

As for Rabbi Teichtel's book, his grandson had been a havrusa of mine in my community; most of his grandson's family are spread across USA, Europe and South America as emissaries of the Rebbe, bringing Jews closer to the warm fold of Torah and mitzvot, doing reach-out to so many THAT WOULD OTHERWISE BE LOST to the Jewish people.

Reform or secular Judaism has no long-term connection to Judaism. After 3 generations they're practically gone. Read here to see what I mean:

http://hezbos.blogspot.com/2010/11/extinction-of-reform-judaism.html

It says in the gemora that G-d did Jews a FAVOR by dispersing them. A commenter says we were punished by dispersion. Maybe so, but it still ended up as a FAVOR to the Jewish people, just like the punishment meted out when the Bet Hamikdash was destroyed was directed at the stones or wal of the building rather than exterminating, G-d forbid, the people that angered Him.

Look here - You may well want to believe we must all be in Eretz Yisrael NOW. My point is that that is NOT halacha as of now, akthough you're trying your best to shape it up as one.

If that were so, Rambam would not have stated the HALACHA that Moshiach will be the final in-gatherer of worldwide Jewry. Don't try to outdo the Rambam (and other gedolei hador) by making up your own halachot.

This has nothing to do with my desire to live in my land, Eretz Yisrael. I do - very much. But I bide my time until the right moment. If it were HALACHA to do so, it would put a new face on the issue, but it's not halacha!

Now, can we put this issue aside yet?

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
In order of van's response:
I can't find Sefer Softim organized in perakim so I can't find Perek 11. I would like to because I would like to find the commentary that I have read that states that the Mashiah will gather in every Jew who waited for the Mashiah instead of already fulfilling the the mitzva of coming to live in Israel, which he or she should have already done. That apparently isn't a universally accepted psak, but it does exist so don't accuse us of making anything up.
Maybe I wasn't specific enough about emissaries. Emissaries have an important role to fulfill outside of Israel, and their living in the Diaspora is justified. I have heard about a disturbing number of emissaries (personal accounts, not second-hand) who not only do not encourage aliya but discourage it. To conclude, how many Jews in the Diaspora are emissaries? How many of them give the various opinions on aliya?
Concerning the curse/favor/punishment of the dispersion. Yes. It was all. And we have since merited the end of the punishment. The signs are apparent. The non-Jews broke their side of the oaths and thus freed us from ours. We're not "coming as a wall" and the nations of the world did agree to our return.