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THE RGBBINICAL COUNCIL OF AMERICA


RABBI JOSEPH I. SINGER, Editor
VOLUME THIRTY-ONE
RABBINICAL COUNCIL PRESS
New York
1973 - 7"5wn
Copyright 1973
RABBINICAL COUNCIL PRESS
NEW YORK
. .
, . ...
48 WEST urd STREET, N.Y.C., 11
TABLE OF CONTENTS
.......................... Foreword-Rabbi h i e Bemsteirs 13
Prmideut. RabbiniwZ Council of A&
.......................... Preface-Rabbi Joseph I . ginger 15
Editor
S E L I K H O T
........................
Awakening-Rabbi Mi l t on H . P o h
17
........................
Off Courae-Rabbi Joseph I . Binger
22
R O S H H A S H A N A H
............... The Imposeible Dream-Rabbi Marc D . Angel 25
................. Religious Activists-Rabbi Louis EngeZberg 28
The Believer and the Athebt-Rabbi Amokl ScWnberg ...... 34
..................
A Triple Bl dg- Rabbi JmapA I . ginger
4 l
Worthy Reminder-Rabbi Ckrrrles Tannenhurrr ................
46
........... The Check-Out-Point-Rubbi Pcruid H . W&&g 50
Mndnees In Our Worid-Rabbi Abrofcsftc I . Zigelmas ........ 53
S H A B B A T S H U V A
. r . . . .
. Inrnunity ~ o t ~m$ed&&bi %*+ .A &pko .......... 57
.? .... .. b . . . a...
- I .
TABLE OF CONTENTS
(Continued )
Y O M K I P P U R
Only Six Months To Live-Rabbi Abraham R . Besdin ........ 62
Isaac-The Unforgettable-Rabbi Bernard GreenjkZd .......... 66
Knocking On G-d's Door-Rabbi Rafael G . Grossman ......... 69
In Search of Ideal Personality-Rabbi Abraham Lemolrt ...... 72
Listening To The News-Rabbi Moses Mescheloff ............. 77
The Power of Teshuva-Rabbi H . Norman Strickman ......... 79
S U K K O T
The Message of the Lulav-Rabbi Alfred Cohen .............. 82
The Problem of the Stork-Rabbi Leo Jung ................. 84
Why Rejoice?-Rabbi Moses Me8chelof .................... 90
The Silence That Speaks-Rabbi Solomon Roodman .......... 92
C H A N U K A H
On Its Own Soil-Rabbi Leon D . Stitakin .................. 95
P U R I M
Interpreting Purim-Rabbi Joseph I . Singer ................. 97
S P E C I A L S H A B B A T I M
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Are You Concerned?-Rabbi Isaac Gottlieb 100
. Magic Syndrome-Rabbi 0 Asher Reichel .................. 102
A New Year t o You-Rabbi llleyer Kramer ................. 104
. The Last Sermon-Rabbi Isaac C Auigdor .................. 107
TABLE OF CONTENTS
( Continued )
P E S A C H
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Upon The Threshold-Rabbi Milton Kanter
111
. . . . . . .
How Are Your Distances?-Rabbi Joaeph P . Radimky
113
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The Seder Plate-Rabbi Leon D . Stitakin
115
. . . . . . . . . . . .
Why Be Different?-Rabbi Victor Solomon
.. . . . 118
S H A V U O T
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Real Thing-Rabbi Jerome H . Blasa 120
By Deeds and Not By Words-Rabbi Bernard A . Poupko . . . . . 124
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Torah Time-Rabbi Victor Solomon 130
O C C A S I O N A L S
Mother's Day-Rabbi Philip Kaplan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133
. . . . . . . .
25th Anniversary Addrees-Rabbi Bernard Greenfield
135
"To Bring" (Yom Hashoa Vehageburah)-
Rabbi Joseph I . Singer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
138
The House and the Gate-Rabbi Joseph I . Singer ........... 142
TABLE OF CONTENTS
( Continued )
I S R A E L ' S 2 5 T H A N N I V E R S A R Y
Introduction-Rabbi Moshe Webs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145
Be Counted-Rabbi Herbert Bomzer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146
Israel As An Emotion-Rabbi Reuven P. BuUca . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148
In Honor of Ierael'8 25th Anniversary-
Rabbi Abrahum Kelman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151
Yerushalaim-Rabbi Leo Landman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153
In Retrospect-Rabbi Zevulun Lieberman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157
25th Annivereary of Israel-Rabbi Bernurd A. Poupka . . . . . . . 160
Hope For the Hopelea-Rabbi Emanuel D. Rothenberg.. . . . . . 167
brae1 at 26-Rabbi Max Schrder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170
The Great Change-Rab& Philip Harris Singer.. . . . . . . . . . . . . 173
A Triple MessureRabbi Joseph I. Singer . . . , . . . . . . . . . . . . , . 175
Yom Ha'atemaut-Rabbi Btanley Wagner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180
Religion and the State-Rabbi Mwhe W&s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184
Can These Bonea Live?-Rabbi Moahe Weiss.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187
Israel : Fultillment, Promise and Dream-
Rabbi Walter S. Wnrzburger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189
S E F E R B E R E S H I T
Editor: Rabbi David Stavsky
Contributors :
Rabbi Reuven P. Bulka.
Rabbi Earl J. Fishhaut
Rabbi HOWW~ a ma h
Rabbi 1 1 1 d C&I Katz
Rabbi H. David Rutaran
Rabbi Joseph I. Skgm
Rabbi Vlotw Boknsron
Rabbi David 8. WaisGnbarg
TABLE OF CONTENTS
(Continued)
S E F E R S H E M O T
Editor : Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg
: Contributors:
Rabbi Aaron Borow
Rabbi Arthur L. Fine
Rabbi Rafael G. Grossman
Rabbi Jules Lipschutz
Rabbi Joseph R. Radimky
Rabbi Joseph Singer
Rabbi Nathan Weiss
S E F E R V A Y I K R A
Editor: Rabbi Mwhe w&8
ConMhtoru :
RabM Abraham R. Besdin
Rabbi C b r b 8. Chavel
Rabbi Meyer Xarlin
Rabbi L. Zvi Magence
Rabbi Myron E. Rakoloitz
Rabbi Solomon J. Skarfman
Rabbi Joseph I. Singer
Rabbi Victor Solomon
Rabbi Norman Strimoer
S E F E R B A M I D B A R 263
Editor: Rabbi Solomon B. 8hapiro
Contributor :
Rabbi J-h I. Biwger
S E F E R D E V A R I M
Editor: Rabbi Henry Hoachander
Contributors :
Rabbi &,mbeZ aororaitz
Rarbbi JtMeph I. Singer
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS
EDITOR
Rabbi Joseph I. Singer
Manhuttan Beach Jewbh Center, Brooklyn, N. Y.
SECTION EDITORS
Rabbi Henry Hoschander
Congregation Shaarey Shomrryim, Toronto, Ontario
Rabbi S o h o n B. Shupiro
Cong. B'nai Abraham of East Fl at hh, Brooklyn, N. Y.
Rabbi David Stavsky
Congregation Beth Jacob, Columbw, Ohio
Rabbi Moshe W&s
Brooklyn, New York
Rabbi Mitchell 8. WohZberg
Beth S h o h Congregation, Washington, D. C.
CONTRIBUTORS
Rabbi Marc D. Angel
Congregation Shearith Israel, New York, N. Y.
Rabbi Isauc C. Avigdor
United S~( nagogw of Great Hartford, West Hartford, Conn.
Rabbi Louis Bsmetein
Young Israel of Windsor Park, Bayeide, N. Y.
Rabbi Abraham R. Beadin
Congregation Pri Eitz Chaim, Brooklyn, N. Y.
Rabbi Jerome H. Blass
Bergen@Ed-Dumont Jesoiah Community Center,
BergenFkZ, N. J.
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS
(Continued)
Rabbi Herbert Bonzzer
Young Israel of Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn, N. Y.
Rabbi Aaron Borow
Nusach H'Ari-Bnai Zion, University City, Mo.
Rabbi Reuven P. Bulka
Congregation Machzikei Hadas, Ottawa, Ontario
Rabbi Charles B. Chavel
Congregation Shaare Zedek, Edgemere, N. Y.
Rabbi Alfred Cohen
Young Israel of Canarsie, Brooklyn, N. Y .
j Rabbi Loub Engelberg
Taylor R& Synagogue, Cleveland, Ohio
Rabbi Arthur L. Fine
Denver, Colorado
"abbi Earl J. Fishhaut
%
Congregation Adath Jeshumn, Newport News, Va.
i Rabbi Howard Gershon
Congregation Agudas Achim, Kingston, N. Y.
Rabbi Isaac Gottlieb
Ohel Torah Synagogue, Riverdale, N. Y.
Rabbi Bernard Greenfield
Congregation Ohav Shalom, Cincinnati, Ohio
Rabbi Rafael G. Grossman
Congregation Brothers of Israel, Long Branch, N. J.
Rabbi Samuel Hororoitz
Temple Zion, Long Beach, N. Y.
Rabbi Leo Jung
The Jaaish Center Congregation, New York, N. Y.
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS
Rabbi Milton Kanter
Skokie Valley Traditional Synagogue, Skokie, Ill.
Rabbi Philip Kaplan
Congregation Agudath Achirn, Attleboro, Mass.
Rabbi Meyer Karlin
Congregation Ahuucrth Achim, Brooklyn, N. Y.
Rabbi Morri a Casriel Katz
BJnai Sholom Congregation, Richmond, Va.
Rabbi Abraham XeZmian
Prospect Park Jstoiah Center, Brooklyn, N. Y.
Rabbi M%yw Kramw
Beth T e e t h Israel Cong., Phikrdslph&, Penna.
Rabbi Leo Landman
Congregation Talmud Torah of Flatbush, Brooklyn, N. I.
Rabbi Abraham Lemont
Congregation Mispallelim, Chester, Penna.
Rabbi ZevuZun Lieberman
Congregation Meah Shearim, Brooklyn, N. Y.
Rabbi Jules Lipchutz
Marmarosher Jewish Center, Beachwood, Okw
Rabbi L. Zui Magewe
Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol Congregation, University City, Mo.
Rabbi Moses Mesohelo ff
Cong. KIN8 of West Rogers Park, Chicago, Ill.
Rabbi Bernard A. Poupko
Shcuare Torah Congregation, Pittshrgh, Pennu.
Rabbi Joseph R. Radinsky
Congregation 8 m of Abrshm, Lafayctte, Indiana
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS
(Continued)
: Rabbi Myron E. Rakoroitz
SephardiG Jewish Center of Canar&e, Brooklyn, N. Y.
; Rabbi 0. As r n Reichel
West Side Znst i t ut hZ Synagogue, New York, N. Y.
Rabbi Solomon Roodmun
Congregation Anshei Sfard, LouiaoiUe, Ky.
2
Rabbi Emanwl D. Rothenberg
New York, New York
i Rabbi H. Davicl Rutman
'!
Congregation Beth Shalom, Milford, dlw.
5 RabM AmoMSc-g
Congregation Rodfei Si c oh, Sun Antonio, Texw
: RabM Max ichreier
Avenue N J h h Center, Brooklyn, N. Y.
4
Rabbi Solomon J. Slurrfmon
Young ZmeZ of Flatlnuh, BrookZyn, N. Y.
Rabbi Philip Harris Singer
Cong. B d I s w c of Mapleton Park, Brooklyn, N. Y.
Rabbi Victor golomon
Tt!U?WCk, Jm81Yy
Rabbi Leon D. Stidskin
Yeshiva Univereity, New York, N. Y.
Rabbi H. Norma1 Strickman
Mariae Park Jewish Center, BrookZyn, N. Y.
Rabbi Nomran Bt r hwe r
Beavitso Jewish Center, Brooklyn, N. Y.
Rabbi ChurZa Tannenimum
Bart& Hebrew Cent& of Pat erm, Pat erm, N. J.
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS
Rabbi Milton Kanter
Skokie Valley Traditional Synagogue, Skokie, 211.
Rabbi Philip Kaplun
Congregation Agudath Achim, Attleboro, Mass.
Rabbi Meyer Karlin
Congregation Ahavath Achim, Brooklyn, N. Y.
Rabbi Morris Caariel Katz
B'nai Sholom Congregation, Richmoled, Va.
RaMi Abraham Kelman
Prospect Park Jezoisk Center, Brooklyn, N. Y.
Rabbi Meyer Kramer
Beth Tefikrth Israel Cong., Philadelphia, Panna.
Rabbi Leo Lcrndman
Congregation Talmud Torah of Fl at bh, Brookiyn, N. Y.
Rabbi Abraham Lemont
Congregation Miq.mllelim, Chester, Penna.
Rabbi Zevulun Lieberman
Congregation Meah Shearim, Brooklyn, N. Y.
Rabbi Jules Upschutz
Marmarosher Jewish Center, Beachwood, Ohio
Rabbi L. Zvi Magence
Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol Congregation, University City, Mo.
Rabbi Moses Mescheloff
Cong. KINS of West Rogers Park, Chicago, Ill.
Rabbi Bernard A. Poupko
Shuare Torah Congregation, Pittsburgh, Penrwr.
Rabbi Joseph R. Radinsky
Congregation Sons of Abraham, Lcrfayette, I ~ d k n a
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS
(Continued)
Rabbi Myron E. Rakowitz
Sephardic Jewiah Center of Canarsie, Brooklyn, N. Y .
Rabbi 0. Asher Reichel
West Side Institutional Synagogue, New York, N. Y .
Rabbi Solomon Roodrmrn
Congregation Anahei Sfard, Louisville, Ky.
Rabbi Enurnuel D. Rothenberg
New York, New York
Rabbi H. David Ruttrran
Congregation Beth Sholom, Milford, 111488.
Rabbi Arnold Scheinbtwg
Congregation Rodfei Sholom, San Antonio, Texaa
Rabbi Max ~ c h r e i w
Avenue N Jezoish Center, Brooklyn, N. Y .
Rabbi Solotnon J. Shurfnurn
Young Israel of Flatbush, Brooklyn, N. Y .
Rabbi Philip Harris Singer
Cong. Bnai Isaac of Mapleton Park, Brooklyn, N. Y .
Rabbi Victor Solonrolr
Teaneck, New Jersey
Rabbi Leon D. Stitskin
Yeehi w University, New York, N. Y.
Rabbi H. Norman Strickman
Marine Park J d h Center, Brooklyn, N. Y .
Rabbi Norman Striaower
8eavisto Jeroiah Center, Brooklyn, N. Y .
Rabbi Charles Tannenbaum
Ewt si de Hebrew Cent& of Pateraon, Pateraon, N. J.
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS
(Continued)
Rabbi Stanley Wagner
Beth Hamidrosh Hagadol Cong., Denser, CoZo.
Rabbi David R. Weisenberg
Temple Beth Sholom, Hull, Mass.
Rabbi Nathan I . W&s
Iran Hebrew Congregation, Skokie, Ill.
Rabbi Walter S. Wurzhrger
Congregation Shaaray TejSZar, Far Rockaway, N. Y.
Rabbi Abraham I. Zigelman
f
Temple Beth Abraham, North Bergen, N. J.
F OREWORD
Ours is a privileged generation to have witnessed and parti-
cipated in the State of Israel's 25th anniversary. The great joy
of the occasion is not confined to Israel alone for its creation,
existence, and future are part and parcel of American Jewish
life. The Rabbinical Council of America more than any other
similar group of rabbis in America has committed itself to Is-
rael without reservation. In the distant outposts of Judaism on
the North American continent as well as in the dense Jewish
poulation of the great American cities, the Orthodox rabbi is
frequently Israel's unofficial ambassador and leading protag-
onist.
The sermon is the primary vehicle for the rabbi's communi-
cating his view to his immediate audience as well as beyond
the confines of his synagogue's walls. A study of previous ser-
mon manuals will readily indicate the deep commitment of the
Orthodox rabbi to Israel and his involvement with every aspect
of Israel's life. In such grave moments of national survival as
in the Sinai Campaign in 1956 and the Six Day War of 1967,
the sermons expressed the unqualified identification of the
Jewish people of America with the fate of the Jewish people
of Israel.
The organization is grateful to the editors and scores of col-
leagues who consistently present us with a sermon manual
which is anticipated annually by colleagues and spiritual lead-
ers of all persuasions. May they continue to inspire American
Jewry towards the speedy return of exiles and the complete
redemption.
Rabbi Louis Bernstein
President
Rabbinical Council of America
PREFACE
This year's sermon Manwl, our 31st volume, ia &ectionately
dedicated to the State of brael in observance of ita glorious 25th
anniversary. We salute the State and re-affirm our eternal covenant
with ita destiny, and with it^ people, builders and guardians.
The Gaon of Vilna in his Kol Eliyohu calls our attention to
a profound observation concerning the Sabbath. We read
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.
"Wherefore, the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to ob-
serve the Sabbath, throughout their generations, for a perpetual
covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel for-
ever" (Ex. 31:16-17). The Gaon asks why is the Grst okam written
with a vou while the aecond okam is spelled without the'letter vm?
He employs the mieeing voo in the world okam to explain a con-
troversy in the Talmud (Sabbath 69b).
Rabbi Huna says that if a person is wandering in a desert
or does not know when is the Sabbath, then he should count six
days and observe the seventh day as Sabbath. Chiya, the son of
Rab says that he should consecrate one day as the Sabbath and
then count six days. Rav Huna states that in this quandry we
shopld follow the pattern of creation consisting of six days of
work and the seventh as the Sabbath. While Chiya adhered to the
life of Adam where the next day after his formation was the Sab-
bath and then ensued six days of the week. The Halkahah is that
we count six days and then the Sabbath. It is therefore written
ohm without a vou to signify that when the Sabbath is hidden
that we follow the prewription of the Torah in
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'Yor six days, the Lord made the heaven and earth, and on the
seventh day he ceased to work and rested." First, the days of
creation and then the Sabbath.
Our covenant between Israel w a ~ always a clear and vivid b'rit
ohm, fortif&ed by our prayers and strengthened by deep committ-
menta. Our generation hae been through a vast midbar when we
did not know
nw;l 03' 'nn'x,
when will the Sabbath of bliss and serenity come. The establish-
ment and growth of Israel has strengthened our resolve t o make
this b'rit ohm a foundation stone of our present history. Israel
represents t o us both
0 5 1 ~ 5v in7i2
the creation of a new world, and
o1x fiv,
a new human being. We are clear as t o what the specifications
of that new world should be, but do encounter difficulties with the
refashioning of a new man, who is still under the aspect of ohm,
hidden. Even in the profane days of work we look for the radiant
light of the Sabbath and the pervasive charge of kedusoh.
For the first time in three decades of the Sermon Manual we
include in this issue a special section devoted t o Israel, presenting
the moods and thoughts of the American Orthodox Rabbinate to-
wards Israel. I am grateful t o the many contributor8 t o this vol-
ume. Space limitations did not permit me t o accept for publication
many more commendable sermons. I am thankful t o the RCA
officers and, especially Rabbi Israel Klavan, for their confidence
in me and their encouragement.
A yasher koach is extended t o the able section editors: Rabbi
David Stavsky, Mitchell Wohlberg, Moshe Weim, Solomon B. Sha-
piro, and Henry Hmhander. Rabbi Moshe Weies deserves our
thanks for proposing and collecting t he material on t he Israel
Section. As in the past, I relied upon Steven Prystowsky for the
technical aapecta involved in bringing out this volume.
JOSEPH I. SINGER
Editor, Sernum Manual
AWAKENING
By MILTON H. POLIN
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There was something significant about Selikhot as they were
recited in Europe in the wee hours of the morning that is lost in
reciting Selikhot as we do in the United States at midnight. On the
days when Selikhot were recited, in Central and Eastern Europe
the shammash would get up especially early, go from house to house
and rap on the shutters, and would say in Hebrew or Yiddish : "Wake
up! Wake up for the service of G-d, may His name be blessed!"
Those of us who know of this custom-whether we remember i t from
personal experience or only read or heard about it-would probably
consider i t a bit quaint today. I t certainly contrasts sharply with
the commercialization of the High Holidays in the United States,
especially the larger cities, where, for example, the newspaper ad-
vertisements and the synagogue billboards announce which "world-
famous" cantor will chant the services and how one can acquire
tickets. With Selikhot at midnight, i t is more likely that synagogue6
will be filled and that the few last-minute, undecided worshippem
will make up their minds about which cantor they want to hear on
Rash Ha.~hanah and Yom Kippur. But the European practice of
BeZikhot before dawn redl y came much closer to the purpose for
t hew prayers. It isn't enough simply to recite Selikhot; one must
aluo wake up for Selikhot!
M A N U A L
If there is any single word that captures the full meaning and
symbolism of these "days of mercy and forgiven-," i t is hi tormt,
awakening. You may recall the beautiful interpretation Maimonidea
gives for the sounding of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah: "Although
sounding the shofar on Rwh Hasfbcrnah ie scripturally required, i t
contains an allusion, namely, 'Wake up, you sleepers, from your
sleep, and you slumberere, arise from your slumber.' " This ia the
eeseon of awakening. If we want mercy and forgivenem from G-d,
then we must Brst awaken ourselves. Awakening-that's what 88-
likhot are all about.
In this connection I want to ahare with you a beautiful Yalkut
Shimoni on a verse in the Song of Songs: "I am asleep, but my
heart as awake." The verse almost appears to contradict itself, so
the Rabbis explain: "The Congregation of Israel saw to the Holy
One, blessed be He: '1 am asleepJ-to the mitzvot; 'liut my heart is
awake'-to perform them." Although I may be asleep to the mitzvot
and unobservant of the Torah way of life, neverthelam my heart ia
awake; within me there burns a desire, a spark that can be fanned
into a flame, to perform them, to live as a Jew ahould. I think this
Midrash, with perhaps only a slight redirection and commentary,
gives us an accurate picture of the condition of the American Jew,
with all his paradoxes and his potential, and what the High Holi-
days should mean to him.
"I am asleep to the mitzvot." Who are the Rabbia talking
about? Who is this Jew who says, "I am asleep to the mitzwt?"
The Jew who never learned about Judaiam and never experienced
the Torah way of life? I think not. I suggest that the Rabbis refer
here to a slunner mitevot, an observant Jew. Ani ymhsimzh mis
humitmot literally means I am asleep beoauae of the mitzvot. There
are so many observant Jews who, unfortunately, are bored by the
mifzuot-that is, they are put to sleep by their own uninspired,
routine performance of the mitzvot. When one is bored by m M ,
by the uniquely Jewish relationship between man and Gd, it ad-
veraely aflFecta hie performance of hie dutiea between man and man
ss well. When one is put to sleep by a routine and uninrpired per-
formance of mitzvot, then he is well on hie way to his spiritual
AWAKENING 19
demise. The Rabbis tell us that sleep is conaidered one-sixtieth part
of death; and Selikhot muirt awaken us before it ie too late.
"My heart ie awake to perform themv-the mitzvot. If we are
surprised to learn that there are obsemant Jews who spiritually
fall asleep, then we will be more surprised to learn that there are
some so-called nonsbeervant Jews who are awake. Thin ia the
paradox of America: There are Jews whom we conaidered libi-
Jews, J e w at heart only, who are auddenly waking up to Torah
and mitzvot. We have neglected them, almost written them off, and
here we find that they have a potential for commitment no lesa than
our own. They are anxious to live aa Jews. "Just teach me how,"
is what they are saying to us. Their hearte are awake to the im-
portance of mitzuot.
One of the girls in our Talmud Torah went to a religious camp
this past summer and wrote me thia letter: "Camp is really great.
I'm learning a lot of Hebrew here. When I get home, I'm going to
be a big 'nudge' (sic) to my parents because I want to keep hhet."
One of our young people went to Israel for a year to 8ee Israel and
"to find herself." She also found the Jewish way of life, and on her
visit home this past summer-she wants to eettle in Israel-she made
arrangements to spend Shubbat within walking distance of the
synagogue. She wanted to be in shwl, and she aleo wanted to have
her Skabbcrt! And now her sister is also going to Israel. A young
man from a eo-called non-observant family in our congregation
spent a year in an Ieraeli yeahivah. The year became two, and now
he ia talking about permanent diyah. Who would have ever im-
agined that American Jews from non-obeewant backgrounds would
one day be prepared for such commitments? Could we ever have
dreamed such dreams?
Regardlem of our spiritual condition all year-whether we are
falling d e e p to mitzvot or waking up to mitzvot-Selikhot and the
High Holidaye are a time of hitorerut, awakening.
Juet what does awakening mean? Awakening meana three
thin@. First, awakening ia highly personal. When the alarm clock
ring8 in the morning, you have to wake up by youreelf; nobody
can wake up for you. In fact, the very word hitorerut implies per-
20 M A N U A L
sonal action. If you are familiar with Hebrew grammar, you know
that hitorerut is a gerund in binyan hitpael, the reflexive construct.
It is something one does to himself.
Now there are many issuea which confront Jews today-Israel,
Soviet Jewry, even American Jewry-but these can all become "cop-
outs" for the one truly great problem we each have, namely, our-
selves. The High Holidays are personal holidays, devoted to per-
sonal soul-searching. If you want to do anything for other Jews,
whether near or far, then firat you must do something for yourself.
You muat wake up.
Second, awakening means becoming conscious. We must be-
come conscious of the Jewish quality and direction of our lives.
We must cease acting like Jewish robots and become Jewish men
and women who are sensitive to all the shades of meaning of every
mitzvah. Mitzvot are to be performed not only precisely, but also
consciously, with careful attention to their action-leseollil or ob-
ject-lessons. The Torah requires concentration and coneciousnem
because these lead to inspired performance.
Becoming conscious also means that we become aware of the
direction of our lives. Long ago the Rabbis obaerved that nobody
stands still. If one doesn't go forward, he goes backward. Jewish
life is dynamic. Unless one consciously progresses toward greater
Jewish commitments, then willy-nilly he fallrr back cha;s v e s hdm
toward lees of a commitment. Akaviah ben Mehalalel taught us that
a Jew must know from whence he came, whither he is g a g , and
before whom he must one day account for himaelf. Exactly what
we will one day have to do in our personal confrontation with our
Creator is what we are expected to do, albeit on a smaller scale,
in preparation for the High Holidays. And to give that account-
whether an annual account or the ultimate account-one muat know
from whence he came and whither he ie going.
Finally, awakening means to remain alert. To wake up and then
go right back to deep make8 no sense. If one wanb to sleep, then
he shouldn't interrupt it. But if one wanta to get up, then he can-
not go back to sleep. We mu& remain alert to the respondbilitier
AWAKENING 21
and rewards of the Torah life.
I well remember t he words of a teacher of mine in the Yeshivah
who used t o say: "I want t o know the Gemara so well t hat if I
should wake you a t 3:00 A.M. and ask you a question, you would
immediately be able t o give me an answer." Similarly, a Jew must
be so alert t o Torah t hat when he is awakened t o greater commit-
ments, he can immediately respond.
Thus we come t o the time of hitorerut, t o Selikhot and t he
High Holidays. There i s a beautiful story in the Talmud t hat chal-
lenges us a t our midnight Selikhot. A harp hung a t the head of
King David's bed. Each night a t midnight the north wind blew
and would ripple through the strings of the harp, and it would play
by itself. Immediately David arose and occupied himself with t he
study of Torah until daybreak.
The melodies of the Selakhot are like t he music a t midnight,
but are we like King David? Will we be lulled by the music into
a deeper sleep or will we be inspired t o hitorerut, t o an awakening
to Gd and t o Torah?
OFF COURSE
By JOSEPH I. SINGER
Just as a plane when off course requires navigation to correct
its direction, so is Selichot night the call to be "on the beam
again." During the year we have meandered wittingly into strange
areas and have wandered aimleegly into unwholesome territory so
that now we must chart our propet destination for the New Year.
To be on the wrong course in a year is a calamity. But to continue
to repeat the same mistakes the next year is to lose eternity.
Perhaps the nature of our un-inspiring life and the causes for
our a i ml e s s n ~ is epitomized in a wggative verse from Hoeea
1398 i t w ~ t ~ i ~ o*im 39 1~ mi 0 8 ~ ~ 3 npiBH *a*!
"And Ephraim ir become like a dlly dove, without understanding.
They call into Egypt, they go to Ansyrla" (Hosea 7:11).
Not only Ephraim of old but the Jew of today is like a silly
dove. We are ditafied to eat crumb thrown to us by others with-
out conaidering building and maintaining our own nest. The com-
pliment of a non-Jew about w is more appetizing to us than a
seven courae meal cooked by us. We are in poaeeaeion of a spiritual
heritage that has sustained generations, offering wisdom to the
philosopher, depth to the mystic, challenges to the Ben T m h and
practical living to the average Jew. Our glorious legacy is now re-
duced to tidbita of crumbs that we snatch a t rare intervals: a High
Holiday visit to a Synagogue, a token 8eder or a pep talk about
giving money.
In an age of system building and sophisticated philosophizing
we are Jewishly speaking ain laiv, without understanding. Even the
25 years of the glorious existence of the State of Israel could not
uproot the stupendous illiteracy that is still the hallmark of the
Jew. Even the increasing enrollment in the Yeshivot, our only hope
OFF COURSE
for the future, cannot stem the tide of ignorance gripping our
people. We have been enriched by a vast translation in the litera-
ture of our classics, but how many read them? The extraordinary
times call for the crystallization of a far sighted and comprehen-
sive modem exposition of Jewish living.
To compound our fault, we not only are directionless but often
1NlP D'lW3,
we proceed in the wrong direction. It is amazing how Egypt, the
historical enemy of the Jew, always exerted a profound fascination.
All the diatribes of the propheta did not deter the kings of Judah
from leaning to Egypt and to base their future upon an alliance
with thie mighty, conspiring, and hostile enemy.
We are annually #pending millions of dollam to fight anti-
Semithan and to protect our own interenta. The deterioration of the
big citiea~ fr but the erosion of our position. The new guidelines
in work opportunities and in the entire academic complex will ad-
versely nil'& the future and the careera of our young men and
women. We cling, however, to the alluremeah of those movements
and forcer that abwed our paasionate committments in the pet.
The Jewish fntcat in welcomed for his money but he is not listened
to. If he should occa~ionally rise and t i i di l y favor a Jew he is
called by hie comradm, a "racist." Again we have to rethink our
pdt i on in thie age when we are at the edge of an abyss. Where
do we go from here?
Nor should we duplicate the mistakes of the past
135n itwn
"They go to Awayria." Awayria ie but the ancient symbol of af-
fluence and of dissolving of spiritual values into the stream of ma-
. .
bnahmm It bespeaks of our orientation that ie prompted only by
grOLg ~ ~ W a c t i o ~ 'h HedonWc pleasures. Assyria is that amor-
P h m m ~ 1 e a a conglomerate of enjoying the day with no con-
cern for the tomorrow. When the pleaaure ie Big and gaiety
queen where can there be thought about tomorrow? Supertlciality
reign8 supreme and the needa of the day blot out any thought for
t~mofiow. In ~w, many ways in America, the Assyria of the Jew
today, L evident in hie directionlees existence, unexcuained life,
24 M A N U A L
purposeless faith of existence that masquerades aa authentic liv-
ing and 8 lack of committment.
If we have been during the year, a foolish dove flying aimless-
ly in all directions, 8eZichot is a call for taking stock and for spir-
itual a h a t i o n . We have flirted too long with modern Egypt. We
have turned too much to preaent day Aeeyria. Now we should look
up to G-d and become recreated personalities.
THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM
By MARC D. ANGEL
We all know the words to the theme song of The Man of La
Manchu: "To dream the impossible dream, to be better far than
you are." These words have a certain enchantment for us. When
we hear them we are moved, for all of us have, to one degree or
another, something of Don Quixote in us. We are all dreamers and
visionaries and idealieta.
The ability t o dream is perhaps the most powerful force within
man. We conetantly dream of transcending ouraelves, of doing
something great and glorious. When man has loat the poetry of
dreaming, he has ceaeed to exist as a man. He has become a vege-
table, a bearrt, a dead weight on earth. 'When Wordsworth felt hie
visionary powers dwindling, he wrote his famous immortality Ode
in which he lamented:
"Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
Where ia it now the glory and the dream?"
In today's Sidrah we read about one of the great dreamers of
all times: Abraham, our forefather. Abraham's vision not only
reached out vertically to a transcendent God, but reached out
horizontally to future ages. Abraham dreamed that a great nation
would grow from the mote he nurtured-a nation of monotheists,
a moral nation that would be a light to the world. His dream
found ita initial fulfillment in Isaac. Isaac, too, was a dreamer. He
shared his father'a ideal of fulfilling God's words and of establish-
ing a great nation dedicated to the Almighty.
The story of the Akedah is a tremendously puzzling and para-
doxical one, precisely because Abraham and Isaac were visionaries.
For Abraham'e dream that a great nation would descend from him
26 M A N U A L
faced its doom and Isaac's dream of serving God in this world
would not be fulfilled. And yet, in a very strange way, the sacri-
ficing of Isaac was a definite part of both men's dream, namely,
they would be fulfilling a command of God.
There ia a passage in this story which has always had a pow-
erful effect on me. It is the one which describes the Abraham and
Isaac walking alone to the place of sacrifice. Isaac asks his father
with utmost simplicity. "Father, I see the knife and wood for the
sscrifice, but where is the lamb?" At this point, according to the
Midrwh, Abraham informed Isaac that he would be the sacrifice.
One would expect the dor y to continue by telling us that Abraham
broke out in team, or that he screamed out to God that he would
take hie own life in lieu of that of his eon. Or we would expect
to read that Irraac ran away in fear, or that he fought with his
father, or that he tried to convince hira father that God could not
want euch a midilce. But the Torah continua with none of these
occurrences. Rether i t says, "Va yelechu sitcmdmn yaohdau," and
the two walked together in perfeict harmony.
But how could that be? How could there be harmony between
father and eon in euch a tense and a hr d situation? How could
a father feel comfortable with a eon whom he ia about to kill? How
could a son love a father who intends to sacrifice him? The answer
ia that they shared a common vision, a common dream. They were
80 paaaionately attached to their dream, that they were united even
during euch a terrible crisis as the Ak e M.
What do we dream about in modern times? Essentially, our
dreame are confined to three main areas. Nrat, we strive to conquer
the material world: wealth, honor. We dream of conquering nature,
of voyaging through unknown voids in space. Secondly, we dream
of understanding ourselves. This dream haa given birth t o pay-
chology and t o so much of the modern introspective literature.
Finally, we have religious visions, visions of tramcending the self
and climbing into God. It is this last dresm that was Abraham's
inheritance to the Jewish people. And thtdl is where our d n d u
ehould f o c u mn the gem-like tlame of faith, on the atriving of
Abraham.
THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM
In Fear and Trembling, Soren Kierkegaard recognized Abra-
ham's dream: "For he who strove with the world became great by
overcoming the world; and he who strove with himself became
greater by overcoming himself; but he who strove with God be-
came greater than any of these."
Ae a nation, we Jewa have a long hietory of visions and
dreams. But aometimes we have succumbed to dreams of Matter
and dreams of self and have not fulfilled the dream of the spirit-
the dream of Abraham. Let us consider, for example, some state-
ments by two very important writers of this century. Theodore
Dreiaer wrote that the Jewa are cram materialists, without a flicker
of idealism in them. They concentrate all their efP0rt.a on accumu-
lating wealth. He even suggested that all Jewa be confined to living
in one atate, Kmam, BO that their materialistic tendenciea would
not corrupt othem. D. H. Lawrence wrote that Jaws are too con-
cerned with themaelver, and lack the dream of religion and spirit.
He raid that the Jmhh people have now become empty, ''with pita
of amptinem in their eyer." Alaa, inrtead of an idealiatic g l m ,
Lawrence maw only emptineoa in our eya. 01 course, there state-
ments by unsympathetic observers are exaggerated. Yet, they may
contain aome truth.
What has happened to Abraham's vision of a great nation, a
light of righteouenese for the world? Whither has fled our visionary
gleam? Where is i t now our glory, our dream? What happened to
the common viaion that is our rightful inheritance?
There in no better time than Rosh Haahanoh to renew within
ouraelvea the noble and aacred dreams that have kept our people
flodahing for so many centuries. There ia no better time when
we rhould be able to look into each other'r eyes and see the ffre
of faith and iddiam, harmony and unity of purpose. Then we can
ail my Of each other, Vay~krchw sheneibsRz yacMuv, and they
walked together in genuine unity, inspired by a magnificent dream.
RELIGIOUS ACTIVISTS
By LOUIS ENGELBERG
We come to beseech the Almighty during the Ten Days of
Penitence to inscribe us
13'31D 13Vl '1DD3"
- in the Book of Good Life." The adjective "good" is one of those
ambiguous words that means different things to different people.
But I feel rather confident that when we ask for a good life, one
of the ingredients we include is happiness. And yet if goodness is
ambiguous, happinees is evasive, a will-of-the-wfep that manages
to remain beyond our grasp. HOW then d m one achieve happinem?
I believe that before a Jew can be happy, he ha8 to make peace
with his Jewiahness. I believe that before a Jew can be happy, he
haa to establish a positive rapport with his G-d. I believe that be-
fore a Jew can be happy, he muat determine his relationehip to
Torah and ita commandrnenb. And if today there are so many
unhappy Jews, it is because they have failed to face up to them
hues , or have not clamed their position in reference to them.
This dereliction has not only cmt ed unhappy Jewe. It has
given birth to many confused, disoriented Jewish children. Ae a
reault we are witnessing an odd and unugual phenomenon in Jewi%h
life. There are Jewiah youngsters and intellectuals joining the many
religious "freak" groupa that are springing up like muahroome,
and, as a result, some are even apostatizing from Judaism. This
apostasy results not so much from their enchantment with their
newly adopted religion as i t does from their disenchantment with
the way they have seen Judaism practised.
Though this development is unfortunate, it is not without its
consolation. The Biblical commentator, Sforno, in explaining the
ein of the generation that built the Tower of Babel, &ate8 that
RELIGIOUS ACTIVISTS 29
they all spoke the same language and believed in the m e false
god. If everyone believes in the same false god, there is no hope
of ever achieving a belief in the true god. When, however, people
believe in many different false gods, the clash in ideologies can
eventually lead them to the truth.
The religious confusion of our age, too, is the reault of a belief
in many false gods. It indicatea t hat our youngsters are a t least
groping for spiritual meaning in their lives. They can, must, and
eventually will find their way back to the Gd of Torah.
On the other hand, within the ranks of Torah Judaism we
notice a tendency to intensify religious observance. But here too
many are being attracted by the mysticism of Hasidism. What is
i t about Hasidism t hat gives it the tremendous appeal i t obviously
has in certain circlea? There are two reasons. One is t hat Hasidism
makes being a Torah Jew a profound, soul shaking spiritual ex-
perience. The other is t hat Hasidism ie willing to missionize, and
successfully, amongst Jews for Torah observance. To me this is
quite a revelation. It indicates t hat Jews can be convinced to ob-
serve mitzvot if three simple conditions are met: that the person
who makes the request is himself observant; t hat he impresses the
recipient with the fact t hat he will be the benefactor of his mitz-
vuh, and t hat he reflecta a sympathetic attitude.
While admittedly both the apostate and the Hasid are extrem-
ists, their reactions help us put the finger on our sore spot-our
deaperate. need for what I call "spiritual activists." A social ac-
tivist ie one who want6 to solve the problems of society without
delay. A spiritual activirrt is a person who wanta t o solve his own
problem. A social activist seeks to eliminate the evils t hat plague
our con@nporary society. A spiritual activist wanta t o elevate his
life through making his religious experiences more meaningful.
How then does one become a spiritual activist?
The Torah reading for the second day of Rosh Hashanah Pro-
vides a few significant guidelines. Today we read the story of the
Akedcrh, of how our Patriarch Abraham waa called upon by the
Almighty to offer his mn Isaac as a holocaust upon the altar of
30 MA N U A L
Mount Moriah. Abraham passea the teat of loyalty. The story of
the Akedah not only constitutes the Bible reading for the Second
Day of Rosh Hashunah, but it ie alao recited every morning in the
Shachrit service. The Biblical commentators raise the question
therefore a9 to what makes the story of the Akedab ao significant?
Maimonidea, the great medieval Jewish philosopher and Bib-
lical commentator, gives two reasone. The h t is that the story of
the Akeduh proves how certain the prophet (in this ca8e Abraham)
wae that indeed thia was Ed talking to him. The fact that Abra-
ham waa willing to sacrifice without proteat the very aon that wan
born to him in his old age as a result of the Divine Promise in-
dicates how sure he was that this was a Divine Revelation. Abra-
ham obeyed even though he would certainly have been justified in
pointing out that the Divine behest not only contradicted a Divine
Promise but even more-Divine Justice. Yet Abraham rises early
in the morning to fulfiil G-d's commandment. His faith is strong,
certain, unequivocal.
But Maimonidea says that the Ak& is of apecial aigniicance
and therefore read on Roeh Hashanah because it dramatizes the
intense love that a human being can feel towards hie creator.
Abraham out of love i s willing to offer his one, hh only, his moat
beloved child to fulfill the Divine behest. Man's potential for sac-
rifice is limitless. All that b required to act ual h that potential
is an adequate measure of love.
Maimonides hae given us not only the two reaaone why the
story of the Akedub is exceptional. He has upon analyefe a h given
us the two basic requirements for a spiritual activist. To become
a spiritual activist one must tirat of all be completely certain in his
faith. But, you my, there's the rub. How doea one become mi-
vinced of the truth of what he believes? The answer is through
actualizing one's potential for loving G-d through m i n g Hie
commandments. We are uncertain about our faith, and our children
are hopeIeaaly confuaed about their Judaism because we are making
a tragic mistake. We believe that in order to be an obaewsnt Jew
we muat flret be convinced of Ed' s eKieteooe, that the Torah ie a
Wvine Revelation, and that every mitzvah can be r a t i d l y jwhi-
RELIGIOUS ACTIVISTS 31
fied. Only after we are philosophically convinced are we willing to
c o w e r observing the mitzvot and to live Jewiehly. We fail to
realize, however, that conviction ie strengthened, and certainly
established only through religious obaervance.
It was William Jamea, the outatanding psychologist, who said
that we do not kiss eomeone because we love them, we love them
because we kies them. It waa not James's belief that the act of
kissing in itaelf creates love H'was his point that the act of lriseing
reinforces and strengthens that love. A mitzvah is an act of love
for the Divine. Itu obaervance not only reinforces our love; it gives
us an asar ace of the certainty of G-d's existence. For how can
one Iwe a god, how can one exprese such love, if that god does not
e*?
The Patriarch Abraham ia the prototype of the spiritual ac-
tivist. But what completely actualized hia tremendous spiritual
potential was the Akeduh. This is in fact what the Midrrsh Rabba
(65 :I) ia telling us.
The introductory verse of the Akedah states:
o m u nu ~ D J 0' . 35~~11"
- G-d tested Abraham." Yet obviously it is unnecessary for G-d
to test Abraham'm loyalty for He is omniscient. The author of the
Midrash, therefore, assumes that the word
nD2,
comes from the Hebrew word
D3,
meaning a banner. He indicaterr this assumption by quoting a verse
from the Psalma (60) :
i 15b b W l P q 3 t B Db 1 3 n i f ~ DJ f ' m ' 5 Jl nJ"
Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee that it may be
displayed becaaee of the truth. Selah." What sort of banner ia the
author of the Midtt18h referringto? Is the banner or ita bearer to
be elevated? How is the cause of truth thereby being served?
I interpret this Midrah to mean that Gd, in commanding
Abraham to tranelate his tremendous love for Him into this awe-
m e sacnIfidal act of offering his son Isaac, gave the patriarch
M A N U A L
a banner to stand under. If Abraham had any doubts about the
exhtence of thie E d whom he introduced to the world, those doubts
were crystallized by the experience of the Akedcrlr. A pereon who
atands under a banner identifies completely with the ideology that
the banner represents. Moreover as a result of thie complete identi-
fication, Abraham was himaelf exalted
( ~ ~ l t l l n ) ,
and was completely convinced of the truth of his belief
(DWI P 'JDD).
Religioue acts, deeds, activism convince one of the truth of hie
convictions !
Not everybody can be an Abraham, but we are not being called
to perform an Akeduh. The religious confueion of our age m l t s
largely becawe today Judaism is a topic for diecumion, not a way
to act. Imagine for example what would happen to the Taylor Road
Synagogue if every member family would properly and intelligently
observe one Shabbut! The problem of identity, of religious ''freak-
ism," intermarriage, and apostasy would largely disappear. Happi-
neee is a byproduct of convictions. It take6 religious activism to
etrengthen thoee conviction&
The story of the Ake&h actually begins with the worda:
i15K;I D'13fil 'ITIN 'il'l"
- and it was after these things." The Rabbi of the Aggaddah
(SanWri n 89b) ask : "After what things ?" Their reply is that thia
refers to a discussion Ishmael had with Isaac. Ishmael boa8ted that
he was more piow than Isaac. Ieaac wae circumcised when he was
eight daya old, a rather painlese operation, whereas he waa cir-
cumcised at the age of thirteen. Whereupon Isaac responded that
Iahmael was bowi ng merely about allowing himself to be circum-
c h i , that he would offer h b very life upon Ed's altar.
This Aggoddals is quite revealing. Only yesterday we read in
the Torah how Mother Sarah insisted that Iehmael be aent away
from the houslehold of Abraham because he might exert an evil
influence upon Isaac. Today we hear how Iahmael, accordfng to the
Rabbis, is bomting of hie religiosity. What brought about the
RELIGIOUS ACTIVISTS 33
change? The answer is t hat in a house where Abraham is the
father, even an Ishmael can become a Zaddik. In a house where
religious acts are performed, even the Ishmaels become convinced.
Aa we come, today, to beseech the Almighty to inscribe us in
the Book of Good Life, let us indeed pray for happiness. But let us
remember t hat happiness is not found, i t is created. It is created
through religious activism, living as a Jew. It is this activism t hat
gives us a sense of certainty in what we believe. It i s this activism
t hat generates an all-consuming love for everything Jewish. A Very
Happy New Year to all of us!
THE BELIEVER AND THE ATHEIST
By ARNOLD SCHEINBERG
In the Torah reading for this day, we find the quotation
0 1 m n ow P n l 3 H U13'1
. . , Dl' ? l DN? 1WN. ?Ul ' '3 Ul??
?Ul ' I? 1 3 3
"and Abraham called the name of the place Adom Yireh, as it is
said, 'to this day in the Mountain of the Lord it shall be seen*."
I t is indeed difficult to understand the meaning of this quota-
tion. The first question that arises is that throughout this chapter
of the Akedah the Torah refers to the location where the binding
of Isaac took place as Mokom whereas here we begin with the
word Mokoln and suddenly change to the word Har, mountain. A
second difficulty is the meaning of the word
Dl ' ?.
Rashi comments that it refers to future generations which is in
direct contradiction to the meaning of the word
Dl ' ?,
today. Thirdly, we wonder what is meant by
nu?' nu19
- "shall see and shall be seen."
My friends, I believe that the midrash will give us the real
explanation and significance of this piwage. The midrash tells
that when Abraham went to the Ak& he took dong both his
children, Isaac and Ishmael. On the way Abraham stopped and
asked, "Isaac, my eon, what do you see?" And Ieaac amwered,
"I see a beautiful'mountain and a cloud hovering over it." Then
Abraham turned to Ishmael and asked, ' What do you see, my
eon?" And he amwered, "I see nothing." Then Abraham said t o
Ishmael, "You aee nothing and your donkey sees nothing.
t t D n 3 nu ~ 3 9 t a w
THE BELIEVEX AND THE ATHEIST
35
"So stay here with the donkey." What is the real meaning of the
midrash. Why could not Iehmael see what Isaac was able to see?
My friends, the concept of
i n ,
mountain, always occupied a significant place in the spiritual de-
velopment of our people. The greatest hiatorical act, the receiving
of the Toruh, took place on a mountain. Moses' farewell to his
people took place from a mountain, Mt. Neb. Many of the heav-
enly revelations to the prophets took place on the top of a mounr
tain. And many of our victories in battle were recorded upon the
heighta of mountains as with Deborah and Barak on Mt. Tabor.
All our prophecia for the meaeianic redemption speak about
mountains.
a*5wtir n i wm n i x i n 59 159
"Go up upon a high mountain to announce the good tidings of
Jerusalem."
Not only was Ear a symbol of good tidings, but in days of
crisis, we turned to look up at the mountain as David said,
' i t 9 H71' f'#0 D'lilil 5H ' f ' Y HWH
"I l i t up my eyes unto the mountains."
We look up at the mountaim because it is symbolic of being
able to see better, to see more, to eee further and also, a symbol
of looking upward, aspiring to higher values.
There is also another reason. The mountain is a reflection of
the beauty of nature. All the famous artiets and painters were
inspired by and expressed their appreciation of nature by painting
and depicting high mountaina.
Just ae there are high mountaine in space, so are there high
mountains in time. Just as there are high places ao are there high
momenta. Just ae the human eye can nee better and clearer and
further from the top of a mountain, so can a human heart feel
and undemtand better and clearer and further the depths and the
beauty of our Torah and our religion.
There are certain high momenb in the l i e of a people and
36 M A N U A L
there are certain high moments in the life of an individual. We
all agree t hat the Six Day War was a great moment in the life
of our people which opened up the eyes of many spiritually blind,
who until then, could not feel the hand of God. Now they were
able to perceive the miracle of God and began to believe, just aa
our ancest a t the Red Sea opened up their eyes when they be-
held the gr t event of the moment and saw God, when they pro-
claimed,
2
lillJK1 7% ill
"This i s my God and I shall adore Him."
So did a great number of our young people who were atheists
all their life suddenly become inspired and sing out the song of
victory: "This i s my God."
And just as there are high moments t hat are converted into
mountains in the life of a people, so are there high moments in
the life of each individual Jew. I believe t hat every Jew will agree
t hat Yom Kippur is a day which is capable of uplifting every in-
dividual t o greater spiritual heights and stirrings of the soul.
An Orthodox Jew did not have t o wait for Y m Ki p p r t o
see the beauty of his religion. Each Sabbath was converted by him
into a mountain in time which was capable of lifting him up to
the highest degree when he threw off his weekday clothes and put
on his Sabbath clothes. He was traneformed into a king and the
mother into a queen, and the beautiful Sabbath table was trans-
formed into a school of discussion and communication between
parents and children. The
nivnt,
Sabbath hymns, took the place of the LSD and other pills and
the Sabbath wine and food took the place of the drugs. That is
how the relationship between husband and wife and between par-
ents and children became cemented into one common bond of unity
and understanding.
This sense of belonging was portrayed nostalgically in the film
"Fiddler on the Roof." Those who saw i t will remember the village
of Anatoepka in the last faint traces of sunset on Sabbath eve.
THE BELIEVER AND TICFE ATHEIST 37
3.
1
? There was the picture of Tevye, the father, bl wi ng h h family,
clone together around their wooden dining room table. They 8ang
what must have been ancient Hebrew hymns, trenmitted from
family to family through untold generatiom. The feeling of indi-
. ,
vidual serenity in the common bond of family life was complete.
"A:
a
- + $.I
~:4 .
Sadly, this is not the portrait of contemporary American life.
The refuge we once found in family and other community relation-
, . *
ships is a fading concept.
4
: %
Yes, "Fiddler on the Roof" evoked great interest and surprise
in the non-Jewish world and also by those Jews who have strayed
G
2 far away from Judaism. When they beheld for the firat time the
.e
6 European Jew in his unique coloring and garb and how a simple
* ,L
#
poor Jewish man was able, in hie most impoverished state, to feel
9
and hat e the meaning of life better than the greatest millionaire
$
of our day. Tevye did not need any outer attractions to enrich
f hia optimism and his joy. It all came from his sincere attachment
, to and belief in hie God, his people and his Torah. For the deep
thinking religious Jew nothing is too difficult. He believes sincerely
3
and he underatanda more deeply aa the great
lb<
3
,&
5 9 ) avvn van
wed to say. For him who believes there are no questions and for
5
the non-believer there are no anewers, and if the individual cannot
8 see the beauty of life and of our religion it is not the fault of our
religion, but of the individual. It is like the story of the lady who
f picked on her maid and told her everything waa dusty. The maid
retorted: "If you will be so good, my dear madam, and wipe your
i eye glaeees, you will see that everything is clean and free of dust."
B
: If we do not see the beauty of our religion it is because our eye
P glasaea are not clear.
r
a
This inability to recognize that which is evident reminds me
-
of the story of the King and the Farmer. A king who was a great
d
lover of art once proclaimed that he would give the highest prize
:
to the greatest artist who would paint the finest picture. Many
F
great artista participated and the winner waa one who painted a
:
scene in the field where the ripe corns stood swaying in the wind.
;
At the banquet where everyone gathered to celebrate the occasion,
M A N U A L
the king asked if there was anyone in the audience who wished
to express his opinion for or againat the great maeterpiece. Up
stood a simple fanner and mid, "Your great majesty, I have a
criticism. As a farmer I know that when corns are blown about
by the wind their head8 are bent, whereas here in the painting
they stand too much upright." "Right," said the King, "I yield to
the criticism of the experienced farmer." Whereupon he immediate-
ly proclaimed a new contest and another.malsterpiece was choeen.
Thia picture portrayed a well ocwater and a person drawing water
from the well. It was beautiful indeed andlagain a banquet was
arranged so that everyone could see the winning masterpiece. Once
again the same farmer arm and said, "My dear King, again I
see a flaw. A person drawing water from a well should be bending
down while the artist has him standing straight. This is not poa-
sible." The King agreed and again a new contest was proclaimed.
The third winner was a work of art portraying a drunkard in the
act of drinking. It was so natural that everyone agreed that it wan
the beet. Again the farmer aroae and his criticitam waa, "A drunk-
ard could never stand m upright and hold hia glaas so steadily
as the man in the portrait." The King agreed and once again the
contest was repeated. Thia time the winner had painted the Queen.
She looked so beautiful and so natural that everyone agreed that
it was tkie greatest masterpiece. But once again the simple farmer
arose and said that he found faults, there were too many wrinklw
in the forehead, the nose was too pointy, etc. Thereupon the King
became angry and said, "Until now I bowed to your great experi-
ence as a farmer and agreed to your criticism but now, how in
the world did you have the nerve to express your opinion about
beauty? Since when are you an expert on beauty ?"
My friends, there are two Werent approach- to religion.
There are certain people who recognize the beauty of religion and
the importance of the observance of the commandments of the
Bible. They agree that religion i s a beautiful way of life but not
for them, "Rsbbi, believe me, I would like to come to the Syna-
gogue on the Sabbath and enjoy your sermon. I a h remgmb
and like the cultural and social faundatima of the Synagogue. Tke
Kiddsak, the get together, the ceremonies, but what ccm I do? I
THE BELIEVER AND THE ATHEIST 39
have to make a living. I see the beautiful mountain, but there i s
a cloud hanging over it. I see the neceaeity of Jewiah education
and the beauty of the obs e mc e of our religion, the respect that
theae children have for their elders and teachers, for their parents.
It is a source of delight, but Rabbi, what can I do? I have to see
to it that they can grow up to a good position so that they can
provide me with security in my old age. Believe me, Rabbi, I would
like to come to membership meeting, to hear a little gossip, to
rub shoulders with my fellow Jews, but what can I do? I work
hard and when I come home, I have to take out my dog for a walk,
I have to take my wife to a restaurant or to a ahow. I have to play
cards with my friends at least once a week." Again he agrees that
the Synagogue is a beautiful thing, but there is
1 JY
a cloud in the way.
Now there is another approach. He does not see or recognize
the beauty of a Sabbath or a prayer. He doeg not see anything at
all. Like the firet Rueeian astronaut who declared, "I did not see
God up there." This negative approach, is like the story of the
Russian boy who was asked, "Do you believe in God?" and he
said, "No." "Who is your God?" "Stalin." "And what happens when
Stalin dies?" "Only God knows."
When someone is brought up in an environment of atheism
and skepticism he will never see the greatness of God even in the
moet inspiring moments. To some i t is a blank piece of paper and
accidental occurrences of nature.
Now we can understand the meaning of the quotation.
When Abraham experienced the great spiritual moment of sac-
rificing hia all to hie God and felt auddenly what great influence
religion and the conviction of the presence of God can have upon
the individual, when he experienced the thrill of understanding the
real meaning of sacrifice he called the BIokom har, mountain.
Every person hae the opportunity by meane of real life and
experience to convert the ordinary
'if -la
40 M A N U A L
into a mountain of God. Not a mountain in space, but a mountain
in time. Not only L
ilH1'
that God the individual but
?IN?',
that man can nee and feel the prenence of God. Today, after the
great and ennobling experience he felt that plain ordinary place
can be converted into the highest mountain of God.
Today my friends, opportunity knocks at our door, we can see
the height of our mountain and God is calling upon us.
Who ahall go up to the mountain of God and who shall remain
there? I am certain that your a m e r shall be
'33il
"Here I am, I'm ready."
A TRIPLE BLESSING
By JO8EPH I . 8INGBR
- *+
-. . *
Aa we crom today the imaginary line t hat leads into the New
j Y y , we are illled with anticipation of a year t hat we hope will
,..,
be meaningful and a source of blessing to us and to humanity.
,,-
6
-f
Let us put into permanent storage the frustrations and di sap
+ pointments, the shortcomings and the ordeals of the outgoing year.
$%
;S Inetead let us become flushed with glorious projections for the
'.,?
3
new. It is the perennial hope t hat beats within us t hat enables us
I%.
to overcome the difficulties all about us.
s"
Every new year ought to be a miniature re-creation of our
$ world-straightening i t out as much as possible, investing i t with
new significance and, perhaps, elevating the horizons.
It i s of interest to us in this moment of transition to give
thought aa to what is the &at religious act recorded in the Tmah
% from the dawn of creation. The knowledgeable among us will say
i!
that i t is the commandment to be fruitful and multiply. The Das
$ Zekkeynim (Genesis 21:22), however, aays t hat the Grst ritual
' %
L recorded i s the blessing of the shecheyonw with which we greet
1
f
every novel event in our life. This i s baaed on the text concerning
r
r
the creation of animals on the m h day
5
u~ ~ 9 ~ 9 3 n~ ~NSDI i n i )-ID -IDKS a*i l S~ an^ 7-1391
pi ~t 3 3-19 qrmi
"and God blessed them, saying 'be fruitful and multiply and fill
t
the waters and the seas and let the fowl multiply in the earth' "
! ( I W. ) .
What was the nature of the blessing accorded to animals? The
.
Das Zekkeynim says t hat i t was the bleseing for the Almighty
Himaelf to recite what has become the traditional slrecheyonou.
When we study carefully the text in Genesis, we note t hat
42 M A N U A L
blessings are mentioned three times in the chain of creation. The
first was mentioned on the fifth day, the second on the sixth day
when man was created. It reads:
nt al nu lu5bi 1211 i i b nil5 i bu9i nv5u nnu 7 i ~ i
nun 5v nvbi n nln 5321 n*own el i ~31 ncil n m m i nw23i
"and God blessed them; and God said unto them: 'be fruitful and
multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it and have dominion
over the fieh of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over
every living thing that creepeth upon the earth' " (Geneais 1:28).
The third time a blessing ia mentioned was during the invest-
ment of the Sabbath with holiness.
i n 3 u b 9 3 ~ n2v 12 93 i nu m ~ * i 9993vil 019 nu n-il5u 71291
n w ~ 5 a*ilZu ui 2 i wu
"and God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed i t ; because that
in it he rested from all his work which God in creating had made"
(Genesis 2:3).
Why was it necessary to have three blessings recited? Why
did God have to say three times shecheyonou?
In order to make a new year meaningful each one of us must
say a triple shecheyoffou. We should say i t not only with worda
but with action. As we eurvey the contemporary eeene, we ought
to recite a shecheyonou about nature. While time and the cycle of
years are contrived by man, yet Nature, too, partakes of move-
ment. Nature in the past has been subject to great exploitation.
Men mined the bowels of the earth for the profit of coal or dia-
monds. Entire foresta of trees were uprooted in the name of prog-
ress without new trees planted. And our waters were used aa sew-
ers for the refuse of the factoriea;.
Nowadays, if' society fs to be viable, we must view Nature
differently. We muat save Nature if we are to save ourselves.
Otherwise we are doomed.
A blessing of the Almighty ia only podbl e when the menag-
erie of Nature multiplies. In order to have a but i f ul aociety, in
order to be beautiful ounselves, we have to have a beautiful Na-
ture. It mwt be clothed in its grem and innocenoe and immunized
A TRIPLE BLESSING 43
as much aa m b l e from the degradation and poisons which are
the by-products of our civilition.
Let us repeat the firet ahecheymou of the Almighty for pur-
ity of air and cleanliness of the waters. Let no person say: "Why
should I recite the shecheyonou over ecology which ie not my per-
sonal involvement?" That isn't so, for when pollution of the air
and the waters spreads, we all become advereely affected by it.
It pollutes our lunge and pollutea our minds. Cleaneing cannot be
the act of an individual. A collective purification ie required. Hence,
the firat blessing of shecheyonou we ought to recite, as we greet
the new, ia that it should likewise be pure.
The second blessing for the new year is be fruitful and multi-
ply: replenish the earth and subdue it. Man must learn to conquer
himself and to be master of hie unruly passions and irrepreaaible
drives and impulses. It rneana very little to, conquer the world when
we cannot conquer ourselves.
The tragedy of the last century has been that while man has
become a world conqueror he haa become a victim of hie own un-
subdued bestial hates and aelllahneee. Msn hae not exercised self-
discipline in the "rat race," the life of success and of fame. In
spreading himeelf out in all directions, man has thinned out hie
inner esaence. He has become a mere celluloid figure without
depth and without inner eesence. The former generations, were
they alive today, instead of praieing 20th century man, would pity
him. He wsrr able to open the Pandora box of scienti5c inventions
but has himaelf ahrunlr to a spiritual pygmy. Sci ent i i have mis-
led ua. Our educators pandered polished ignorance for wisdom.
The diplomats, instead of global vision, have been guided by eordid,
eguthical intereata. Man, who cannot conquer himelf, ia now
te~Med. The &reeta of our cities are insecure. Mugging has be-
came a ritual to many. Destruction and viole-nce ia a comtant fear
to thase who bravely venture into the streets either in day or
night. Inekead of &king at life with a huge teleecope, let us, etape-
UY now in the new year, examine ourselves with a mi mo p e
to see our flaws multiplied, our ehortcomings enlarged, and our
44 MA N U A L
pettineas imposed vividly and clearly ao that at firat sight we can
see our rahortcominge.
Instead of mying shec?beyonw on the new garment8 we buy,
the new houaee we build, the new eras we s u p p d y usher in, let
us recite the second shechayonac over ournelvee. Let us become new
beings, diecarding the ignoble actions of yesterday and espousing
worthy thoughta and sublime valuea. Unless we firmly resolve to
mold ourselves we are lost in the limitless stretches of spiritual
aridity and ideological barrennees that stretches all about us. We
are doomed to be covered by the debrie of a civilization that cannot
5 d itaelf, and to be buried by the ruins of an age about whom it
can be said, "It could not master itaelf, how then could it be mas-
ter of ita own house?"
Not only must we recite the ahcheyonou over a clean Nature
and to repeat it over a cleansed human being, but there is a third
shecheyoaou to be recited over time that is to be invested with a
dimension of holiness. The third skecheyonou is when we bless the
seventh day.
Our life is eecularly oriented. Our entire civilization is pro-
nouncedly profane, and the domain of holiness is shrinking con-
stantly. In order to have a better world, and in order to mold a
better human being, we must have the dimension of holiness which
has euch a capacity of trsnaforming us from eheer existence into
creative living, from drab nature into radiant beauty, and from
seeming ciphers of humanity into integers of significance.
Let us not miss this great opportunity to making the new year
novel and meaningful. Let us not be like the lady who, upon enter-
ing a well-known department store, waa greeted with outbursts of
song, with a cheery welcome by the management and valuable
Mts. When she asked the meaning of this unusual reception, ahe
was told that she was the millionth customer to enter the depart-
ment store. At the end of the epeech of tribute the president
asked the lady, "By the way, what did you come into the store t o
buy?" She answered, "To be truthfui, I did not come to buy, I
came to see the complaint department."
A TRIPLE BLESSING
There are many of us who welcome the new year by heading
5
to the complaint department. The proper itinerary should be to
.! look at Nature, look at yourself, and resolve to sanctify time and
By CHARLES TANNENBAUH
On Rosh Hmh u ~ h , the great Day of Judgment, when our fate
for the New Year hangs in balance, we plead with the Master of
the Universe
n99n5 11i2t
"Remember us to life." Not satisfied with this fundamental prayer
we also request from G-d to grant us our daily needs. We say,
IDS 3nxi 1x1 nmt, nDnDi ni5wi 8213 nlrn T D D ~
"Remember to inscribe us in the Book of Life, peace and proper
sustenance." The term, "remember," seema to be the basic ex--
sion on Rosh Hashanah. Aa a matter of fact the name for thia
holiday as recorded in the Bible and stressed in our prayers is
1113Tn Dl1
"The Day of Remembrance."
From our prayers we get the impression that this is a one-
sided type "Day of Remembrance" in that only we, humnna, implore
the Almighty for our benat . However, from a passage in the
Talmud, Rosh Hwhunah, we may receive a diierent view.
5w i ~ i w 3 1105 iftvn nn3vn ~ D H 5 1 ~ Sw i ~ i w 3 p ~ ~ i n ~ D S i n ~ 131 ~ D N
nniDst 151~3 ~ 3 9 5 ~ 9% nSmi n i n ~ 13 Dnsl n~vft 035 iurw 112 FN
('K i i ~ ~ t% n i nn\ n m~ ) .n3Duu
"According to the great Sage and scholar, Rabbi Abuhu, the Lord
told us 'Blow before me with the ram's horn so that I may be re-
minded of Isaac's willingneee to offer himeelf before me and I will
consider it as if you too had offered yourselves'."
This statement, a ~ 1 i t is written in the .Talmud, appeare
strange. Why ehould the Lord consider the blowing of the gkofar,
which is a reminder of the Ak&, as if we had offered our live8
for G-d and Judaism ? Is
nmwn
A WORTHY REMINDER
- repentence to be Wen as a light and worthleas matter; that by
. merely blowing the ram's horn we rise without pain or &ort to
the sublime heights of our Patriarch Isaac? Let tie change the
form of one word of the passage and read
...
A P3C) V31NW
instead of
1335 ~ t a t ~ w
. - "I should remember for your sake, for your benefit." By blowing
the ram's horn, we Jews are reminded of the 8acritlce Ieasc was
.,
willing to make for G-d, of Isaac's martyrdom for G-d. Perhape
this will move us t o Teshuuah, to an earnest and sincere turn to
the exalted path of G-d.
The question that I would like to pose now is why should it be
necessary to remind us of Jewish martyrdom, of Jewish tragedy,
in order to call forth
nmwn VnnTn
- thoughts of penitence? The pages of our long history are filled
with Jewish martyrs in varioua lands, especially the story of the
h o l o c d by the N ~ B . In it necesmy to remind ua of the day
of horror, of recalling the darkest and moat terrifying perioda in
our history for that purpose? TesAwvuh ehould be inspired from a
pollltive wurce!
To explain this question, I am reminded of a story VL a multi-
millionaire who wi s a very clever man but had a strange habit.
Once a year he would gather hie entire family and c l w friends
to partake in a moat expeneive and lavhh dinner with the ftn&
enbr t hment . F e n all the relativea and gueste were present,
best and finest clothing, he would make the grand
entraPce e dread .in rags, with a "torbe," a pauper's bag,
hanging "*"g d hia hipa. After the millionaire would take hie place
at the heud ob hia; table, everyone slee would sit down to enjoy the
dinner, the dandng and the entertainment. One day an agociate
busi neman aukd him. s'Tell me," he said, "What is the secret
to yonr snccess? Other bbdnesa men go up and down the ladder
of rucem and you keep climbing higher and higher, but never
down!" The multi-od amiled and replied, "If you truly
48 M A N U A L
wish to comprehend the secret of my economic success, attend the
annual dinner I sponsor for my family and close friends."
The business man accepted the invitation graciously. When
he arrived at the dinner and beheld the millionaire dressed in rags,
like a beggar, while everyone else was dressed in his most expen-
sive clothing, he inquired aa to his meaning and purpc#re. The mil-
lionaire replied, "Herein lies the secret of my success. Once a year,
I gather my family and friends for a party and I dress in the eame
cloth- I wore many years ago, when I was a pauper. This serves
to remind me who I was and where I came from. It helps to keep
me in line, to walk with humility, speak humbly and treat everyone,
regardleas of class or station, with kindness and sympathy."
Similarly, by blowing the ram's horn, we recall the martyrdom
of Isaac, his spirit and courage. We remind ourselves of the days
when the Jews, regardless of position or knowledge, whether achol-
ar or ignoramus, pious or atheist, all were tortured and murdered
only because they were Jews. If we keep #is in mind, we will con-
.
sider the observance of Judaism and Jewish unity a must, a neces-
sity. We will then consider it an obligation to adhere to the tradi-
tional motto
8t5 8t DV31P 5 ~ 1 ~ ' 53
- every Jew must feel a kinahip and a responsibility for the phy-
sical and spiritual welfare of other Jews. We should stop quarelling
and bickering among parties and groups. The inflated "KultuFe
Kampf" in our Jewish camp must cease. Strife and discord are our
worse enemies. Only if we are united, will we survive all our foes,
regardlas of how strong or numerous. As the Prophet Zechsriah
proclaimed,
-,DH *nn3 PH ~3 n x ~ 5 t 5 ~ n 3 ~5
- "Not by might nor by power, but by my spirit saith the Lord
of H&." Our etrength lies not eo much in our military power
and certainly not in our larger numbere, but in our @it of unity
and M Jews who believe and obmrve the commmdmentr of one
G-d.
We cannot separate the love for the Jew from the adherence
to our Divine heritage. Love for the Jewish people, the Jewieh Land,
A WORTHY REMINDER 49
Israel, and for our tradition, are tied and bound together. If we
promote and foster love and concern for Jews wherever they may
be, G-d will help us that no other nation in the world will be able
to defeat ue.
THE CHECK-OUT-POINT
By DAVID H. WEISENBERC
The American supermarket makes it poeaible for a pereon to
spend almoet an entire day shopping while unobserved and unin-
terfered with by the management. One can take from the ehelvee
what merchandise and goods one desires, but sooner or later, the
time arrives when one must pause at the check out point and give
a strict account of everything which waa taken.
The doors of the old year are being closed and we are being
called upon to render an accounting for everything we took from
. life. There is a record of our performance and our deeda. "Thou
unfoldeat the records and the deeds therein inscribed tell their own
story for lo, the seal of every man's hand is aet thereto."
Today we must answer not only for ourselves as human beige
and children of Ed, but also as members of an eternal people. Upon
P
us has been thrust additional obligations and responsibilities. We
are the guardians of Gd's Torah entrusted into our care. We are.
His memengem to the rest of mankind who were also created in
His image. Thus, the question that we ask now is, "Are we fulftlling
this special miasion of the Jew to represent Him among His chil-
dren?"
It is interesting to note that the word Rogk HwhatuarlC d a s not
appear in ecripture. Instead we find in Leviticus 23 that ' The Lord
apoke to Moses uaying: Speak unto the children of Ia9el, uaying:
In the seventh month, an the h t day of the month, rhall ye hsve
a rest, a memorial of sounding of the (fornet, a holy convoc~tion."
We are called upon to remember certain events In our history by
the sound of the shofar. This Holy Day ia primarily a "Day of
Remembrance." When Ed firat conrmissioned Morrca to liberate the
children of h e 1 from Egypt He said: "I will take you to me for
THE CHECK-OUT-POINT 51
a people and I will be to you for a G-d" [Exodus 6:7]. Again at
Mt. Sinai, where the shofar was sounded for the first time, G-d
reiterated His intent when He said, "Ye shall be unto me a special
treasure above all nations; for all the earth is Mine. And ye shall
be unto Me a Kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are
the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel"
[Exodus 19 : 56] .
Israel's unique destiny, separateness and individuality is an
integral part of the cosmic plan for mankind. Many of the young
people af today are on a collision course with G-d for two reasons.
F'imt, their advocacy of the new-morality. Secondly, their readiness
to asairnilate through inter-marriage. Jewish youth cannot walk
away from 4000 years of Jewish history with impunity! We have
been placed into a law-abiding universe which makes it poasible
for mankind to live in this world with a sense of security and
confideace in the knowledge that one can depend upon the operation
of the Universe and the never failing regularity of its laws. Every
day the ocean rushes to the shore to overwhelm it, and is halted
-
by G-d's law, which sets its boundaries and prescribes its limits
*
beyond which it cannot go in the world. If the mighty ocean must
obey G-d's will and command, how much more 80 frail and mortal
Y man.
'f
Similarly, our appeal to E d for His mercy is based on the very
important fact that our Father Abraham did His will punctually
and enthusiastically. "Even as Abraham our Father held back His
cornpatmion from his only son and desired to slay him in order t o
do Thy will, 80 may Thy mercy hold back Thy anger from us."
History ahows that whoever challenged G-d's will met with disaster.
To flee from Ed's preaence and will is indeed futile, as illustrated
by the fate that befell Jonah. A long time ago, the Prophet Samuel
mid the Lord will not forsake His people by virtue of His great
name, "For the Lord has determined to make you into a people
of His o m " [I Samuel 12:22]. G-d continues to create the condi-
tione and the c i r c u h c e a which rompell the Jew to return to
Him. How elee can we explain the new Jewish revival taking place
behind the Iron Curtain? When Communism was first introduced
52 M A N U A L
into Russia, our Jewish intellectuals wholeheartedly embraced it as
a solution to the Jewish problem. They thought that becauae Com-
munism believes in a Godless and claasleee society, it would re-
move the religious stigma from the Jew. They were soon disillu-
sioped. During the 30's and later in 1952 their ranks were purged
by the tyrant Stalin. On Aug. 12, 1952 Peretz MarkW along with
443 leading Jewish creative artists, writers and poets perished. TO-
day their children are standing up to the Russian government a d
proudly demanding exit vieas to Israel. Thus, once again revealing
G-d's special providence directkg the destiny of the Jewish people.
The following letter is further evidence that the Jew cannot cir-
cumvent Ed's plan for h h .
"I am a Jew. I want to live in a Jewish state. This is my right,
just as it is the right of a Ukrainian to live in the Ukraine, the
right o f a Russian to live in Russia, I want to live in Israel.
"This is my dream, this is the purpoae not only of my life, but
also of the lives of hundreds of generations which preceded me, of
my ancestors expelled from their land. I want my children to study
in a school in the Hebrew language. I want to read Jewish papere,
I want to go to a Jewish theater. What is bad in this? What is my
crime? Most of my relatives were shot by the f aaci d. My father
was killed and his parents were killed. Were they alive now, they
would stand by my side. Let me go!
"As long as I am alive, aa long aa I am capable of feeling, I
shall devote all of my strength to obtain an exit permit for h e l .
And even if you should find it possible to sentence me for this, I
shall, if I live until my release, be prepared to make my way to
the homeland of my anceatom even if it means going afoot."
The author of this letter is a Russian-Jew, Borie L. Kochubiev-
sky, married to a non-Jew. For moat of hi^ life he wae devoid of
any Jewish aftiliation. He grew up without any Jewish education
or cultural background. Now he is seeking to rejoin his people,The
paradox is that children whose fathers rejected C-d and the Toiah
are the very on& who are battling t o regain their JewM identity
and atatus.
When Ed said at Mt. Sinai early in our career, "I will be your
Ed and you will be My people," He meant it.
MADNESS IN OUR WORLD
By ABRAHAM I. ZZGELYAN
Exactly two years ago, when three airplanes were hijacked by
Arabs with our own beloved congregant, Sarah Malka, aboard, the
Black September Guerilla Group was formed.
Although Tuesday is the day when in Jewish life we say: Yom
ahenichfal bo ki tov (The day when G-d said twice, "It i s good"),
yet last Tuesday was a grim, tragic, and dark day in the entire
world. What suspense! What drama! What a catastrophe! At 7
o'clock in the evening we were all so happy by the news, "All hos-
tages are safe." At 9:30 when I heard the tragic news that all nine
members of the Israeli Olympic Team were killed, my heart sank-
as I am sure yours did too. Once again, like Munich in 1936, that
fatal knock on the door in the middle of the night.
In face of this horrible tragedy we feel like crying out to the
world: "Voa vile1 mi fun unze?" I never felt the thickness of a
clolid of darkness hovering over all Jews as I did the last few
days. What a harrowing experience. What a horrible manner in
which t o uaher in a New Year! Rabbis who had their sermons and
themes prepared for this Roah Horshanah suddenly found any other
theme or subject meaningless.
Upon searching for a thought in our Torah concerning this
tragic world event, it occurred to me that we recently read in the
Torah the chapter dealing with Ben Smayr Umore (the rebellious
and delinquent son). This chapter is so timely. The Rabbis won-
dered what the sin of the rebellious and delinquent son could have
been. Rashi asks: "What does the Torah means by a aorayr
umore?" He -em: "Omayd al perashaa derochim umeWtim es
hb+iyoa," he stands on crossroads and threatens travelers with
gune.
54 M A N U A L
My friends, if we ever wanted to see the T m h come to life in
our day and age, we saw it laat Tuesday at Olympic Village in
Munich when the Black September guerillas murdered our Israeli
athletes.
What is the solution? Friends, the solution is also found in
the Torah: "Aynenu alumucyah bekolaynar, v e y W 080," and they
reprimanded him! When will the world realize who is at fault?
When will the world realize that the blame liea squarely on the
shoulders of the nations who give shelter to Arab terrorist6 and
even honor them with military parades. Severe international sanc-
tions must be implemented against those nations housing guerilla
groups. A way must be found to effectively deal with bloodshed,
hi jackinga, and maniacs.
Laxity and indifference must be done away with.
The Olympic Village in Munich, constructed by the Weat Ger-
man hoste of the Games, represents a challenge of historic propor-
tions. They had hoped to erase forever the world-wide impreaeion
left by the last Olympic Games held in Germany-Hitler's propa-
ganda circus of 1936 in Berlin. Instead of erasing the impression,
Munich has become a symbol of callousness that is utterly repug-
nant to the Olympic ideal. For millions of people, the indecent haete
on the part of the International Olympic Committee to go back to
fun and games cannot be reconciled and waa unacceptable. The
bodiee of the eleven Israeli athletm and their coaches killed by
Arab terrorists were still unburied when the games resumed.
Ironi dl y enough, in last Sunday's New York Timea my atten-
tion was drawn to an article entitled: "In Germany - The End of
himilation!' The writer conrridering himaelf an assimilated Jew,
had no qual m in accepting a bueinem assignment t o West Ger-
many .What a poignant message unfolds for all of us this Rosh
Ha j i r c r d . fn describing hie experience and feeling8 while in West
Germany, he says:
"When I arrived, a Wa t German corporate executive who
would serve ae my driver and guide for the next 10 days waa wait-
ing. He was tall and erect, an im-g figure about 60. Subtract
MADNESS IN OUR WORLD
32, I suddenly thought, and that would make him about 28 at the
start of World War 11. I found myself wondering what military unit
he had been part of, and my attitude became hostile. It wae an auto-
matic and unreasoning response. I perceived my guide t o be my
enemy, and my reaction t o him surprised me. After all, I am a
totally assimilated Jew. My guide, Hans, learned t hat my family
came from Germany: 'It must have been difficult for them during
the War,' said Hans in a crisp tone. Suddenly, my grandparents,
my aunts and their husbands and all their children were real t o me.
I had been about 6 years old when my parents learned of their
deaths. It evoked this reaction within me suddenly. 'But it is all
over, now,' said Hans. 'It is all in the past. Let us concentrate on
enjoying the beauty of today's Germany.'
"After a few days travel I found myself in a small village where
I was invited for my first meal in a German home. After the meal,
it wae a tour of the house, and looking through the family albums.
I was speechless. I saw an artistic portrait of the father wearing
a black military cap and the shining silver SS initials on the col-
lar. 'What am I doing here,' I thought. What am I doing calmly
breaking bread with the son of a Gestapo officer and then taking
a tour of the home and examining the family album?' I found it
impossible t o remain in the house a moment longer. Once out of
the house, I hook my head with anger. It was uncontrollable. Five
days in Germany had uncovered an identity I had labored a life-
time t o minimize. I wae a Jew. There wae no getting away from
it. And I felt a Jew's anger . . . a Jew's frustration. Assimilated
or not I was in a rage.
" 'Tomorrow we'll be in Regensburg,' I said, 'And it is Yorn
Kipput-.'
" 'There is a Temple in Regensburg, do you wish t o go?' {Hans
asked.]
'Y-,' I said, 'Please arrange it.'
''I hadn't been in a synagogue for more than 18 years. And on
Y m K i m , morning services were scheduled for 9:30 A.M. and
I arrived at 9:25. It was a small, Orthodox synagogue with a me-
56 M A N U A L
chitzah. A few men entered and as they p d me by, each one
pushed up hie left sleeve. There, on his forearm, was a concentra-
tion camp tattoo. A mark of horrors seen and survived. When they
were sure I had reen, they let their sleeves fall back into place.
'Finally, a minyan-the tenth man entered. The old man'r mn
and I were the only persons in the temple under the age of 60. I
learned that hardly any Jews were left in Regensburg besides these
few old men. Once 10,000 Jews lived here, and now they can hardly
make a minyan on Yom Kippur.
"I closed my prayer book, sat back and cried.
"Germany is not the place for an assimilated Jew to visit if
he expects to stay assimilated."
My friends, Jews can no longer afford not to be involved! For
it does not matter where we are-be it in the Sports Arena, in the
United States, in Russia, in Poland, Germany, or Israel-we are
involved-because we are Jews!
Le's face it-whether we want to be assimilated or not or
whether we want to be involved or not, we are, simply beca,use
we are Jews!
IMMUNITY NOT GRANTED
By BERNARD A. POUPKO
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(1lSu n\ - vn)
When approached by his friend regarding the challenge of the
Te8AuvaA and the serious consequences of sin, this well known
Chaesidic sage replied: "Frankly speaking, I am not so much con-
cerned with or worried about my aveirot as I am concerned about
the mitavd which I have performed . . ." This profound Chamidic
ineight regarding one of the major hazards of the human condition
ia indicative of the irrefutable truth that man is frequently misled
and tempted to perform immoral and wicked acts under the as-
aumption that they are a mitzvah.
Stuart Alaop, commenting on the tragic Watergate case, said:
"The Watergate scandal, it is clear by now, is different-truly dif-
ferent, different in kind - from all the scandals that have pre-
ceded it in American hi&ory. It is this difference that makes
Watergate so frightening. All those other scandals - Credit Mo-
bilier, the Whiskey Ring, Tea Pot Dome, Sherman Adama and his
Vicuna coat, Bobby Baker, and hie wheeling and dealing - were
58 M A N U A L
motivated by greed, an emotion understood by almost all of us.
But, although the Nixon campaign was awash with $100-biile,
none of the Watergate men seems to have stufEed large quantities
into his pockets. They seem to have been motivated by more com-
plex emotions - by a certain self-righteousness, by fear, by a
special kind of political - ideological hatred."
Clearly, as A b p points out, the incredible number of ofIicials
in high places of trust knowingly and deliberately violated the law
because they believed that their Crusade, however criminal, to save
the country from their political adversaries justified all of these
actions.
The Watergate case, though costly and disastrous, points a
stem finger at all of us and warns us that using well intentioned
acts may be disastrous when we indulge in treapa8aea in order to
achieve a mitzvah.
As we view our contemporary Jewish scene in the U.S. and in
Israel we cannot help but be saddened and appalled by the pathetic
distrurrt, strife and hostility that is fragmentizing the so called
Torah-minded community. Certainly all of us who are committed
to the Halakhah aa the central force and guide in all of our efforts
and activities will agree that present legislation regarding the
agonizing h u e of "who is a Jew" is totally inadequate. All of US
feel that unless Israeli legislation will accurately and clearly de-
fine as to who is a Jew we may be faced with a disastrous chasm
within the Israeli community and with a gradual deterioration in
the Diaspora of authentic Jewish credenttels. Thus, our N.R.P.
ministers and parliamentarians have been waging a t enadoh e g -
gle in order to rectify this legidative inadequacy. Yet, others with-
in the observant community, in h 1 and in the U-&A. have em-
barked on a crusade to malign Mimichi-Hap1 Ha--hi for
alleged indifference and complacency to this sennitive problem. Just
imagine, at the very moment when the Rligiuua Zianiet leadenr in
Iarael need all the strength and all the support both in Israel and
in the U.S.A. to strengthen mliglous life in the disdirta, juet at the
very moment when N.R.P. are Btnrggfing to expand
Torah education, Shabbot a . ~ g g a h d observance in Ierael, they
are being substantially weakened and, most seriously undermined
by thoee leadem and groups who refuse t o be influenced by the
realities which confront us.
Another caee in point is the attack on the institution d the
Chief Rabbinate in Israel as a result of the complex Langer ckrse.
Is there anyone who can possibly deny the colossal achievements
of the Chief Rabbinate in the areas of marriage, divorce and Ha-
lakhah standarde in the Israeli army and government institutions?
Do we have anything comparable in the Diaspora t o the Chief
Rabbinate of Israel which has invested the Torah community with
such dignity, prestige and discipline in matters of religious observ-
ance? Yet, certain elements, although proficient in their knowledge
of Halakhah, find it difficult t o lend their support t o this fruiful
and creative institution. Another case in point is the enormous
problem of the plight of Soviet Jewry. Those of us who have agon-
ized with this problem since the early '50's know quite well that
the only language which the Kremlin understands and recognizes
is the language of courage, firmness and ateadfastness. There is a
popular aphorism in the Russian language - G'rom ne durisch
mwzikh ne nepek restitsia - "Without thunder and lightning the
muszikh will not crosa his heart nor pray t o G-d."
By this time it has been conclusively established without any
aoubte whatsoever t hat the crack in the Kremlin wall, which per-
mitted t he emigration of some 52,000 Soviet Jews t o Israel, was
achieved only through the numerous and meaningful public pro-
testa and dernonstrationa The various statements by Brezhnev and
other Soviet oificials recently made t o American officials indicate
to what extent t he Krwnlin ie sensitive t o public opinion in the
Weat and how anxious they are about their image in the Fret!
World. The overwhelming majority of Soviet Jews who have left
the or who sre still fighting in Soviet Russia for their right
to em@'&, m y that their only hope are the public demonstrations
and p r o m in the U.S.A. and other countries of the Free World
Yet, much to our coneternation the very same voices which died
for quiet diplomacy and timid requeata have not abandoned their
emneous and sterile policy.
60 M A N U A L
Can any one of us deny the gradual defection of frightening
numbers among the masses of our people both from Jewiah living
and from Halakhic standards? Quite true, the Observant commun-
ity in the U.S.A. and the United Kingdom has achieved legitimacy
and acceptance as a result of its imprewive achievements in educa-
tion and in attracting ever-growing numbem of our youth. How-
ever, the stark realities of life and accurate statistics and studies
indicate that we are confronted with a trend away from the syna-
gogue, from Shabbot and from Kashrut within the general Jewish
community.
In the midst of a severe spiritual recession with quite omin-
ous danger signals, we, t he guardians of authentic Judaism must
take t o heart the plea of the Prophet Isaiah - dirshu ASHEM
bJhimotzoJ Krouhu bJheyoto Karov - which in paraphrased form
implies that genuine and earnest Teshuvah i s the task also of those
of our brethren amongst whom G-d is quite evident - evident in
home life, love of Torah and in the tenacious devotion t o the
mitzvah.
Even those who quite justifiably feel t hat they are very near
t o Him, they too, must reassess their aims, methods and achieve-
ments because G-d and hietory will reckon with a Tzadick kJchut
hcasaaro. He, the Torah-minded, he the Torah authority and he
the leader and spokesman of the fully committed cannot ignore
or remain indifferent to the stern command of t he Torah: "When
a ruler sinneth, and doeth through error any one of all the things
which the Lord is G-d hath commanded not t o be done, and ie
guilty." Likewise, especially the spokesman of the Torah commun-
ity cannot be complacent t o the KohenJ8 obligation on Yom Ki p
pur: "and he ahall make atonement for himself, and for his house-
hold, and for all the assembly of Israel" - only then is he quali-
fied t o gain atonement for the entire household of Israel. We dare
not and cannot blame the campus, the general Jewish community
or the non-observant Rabbis unless we firat set our own h o w in
order. Rabbi Jochanan ben Zakkai was acutely aware of this ir-
refutable truth when he exclaimed, "Bleesed i s the generation
whose leader, Nasi admits his failures and brings an atonement
sacrifice."
IMMUNITY NOT GRANTED 61
Conversely speaking, overconfidence and inflated self-assurance
cause disaster both to the leader and to those whom he leads.
Was there anyone in this world whose credentials came near
to those of Moses the teacher, the prophet, the emancipator and
the leader - and of course, also the incomparable and loving plead-
er on behalf of his flock? Yet, even he, when he became overcon-
fident of receiving G-d's pardon, found the doors t o the Promised
Land hermetically sealed for him. Just consider, Moses did recog-
nize his faults and failures, he certainly knew t hat he erred, yet
because he was so certain of himself t hat G-d would listen to him
and forgive him, his plea to enter Eretz Israel8 was irrevocably
rejected.
Can any one of us possibly calculate or foresee the salutory
effect of one single public admimion of error in judgment by any
of our respected leaders upon the mentality of the average layman
and his attitude towards the reevaluation.of his own habits in the
performance of his duties as a Jew. Here would be a precise oppor-
tunity to impress upon the masses the notion t hat even the great-
est amongst us are not immune to errors, how much less the aver-
age Jew! It is quite possible t hat our recognized leaders, by pub-
licly admitting their own shortcomings and miscalculations would
impress our generation with the timeless truth of Rabbi Isaiah
Salanter'a amertion t hat quite often, even the finest amongst us,
may be ao over ent hud about the righteousness of their cause
t hat on the way to perform their mitzvah they virtually destroy
many worlds.
This, of course, is applicable both t o the "rightits" as well as
to the "not ao rightists" amongst us.
Thus, on this Skabbat Teahuvah let all of us, the great and the
humble, the influential and those who are willing to be led - let
all of ua together join hands in our common quest to reconstruct
our repaired relationship with one another and with our Heavenly
Father ao that future generations will say: ''Theirs was a great
and a courageous Jewish era for even the great amongst them
recognhd their faults, publicly admitted their failures and rever-
ently pleaded with G d for atonement."
ONLY SIX MONTHS TO LIVE
By ABRAHAM R. BESDIN
If an authoritative heavenly voice were to proclaim to us that
we have ony six months more to live, how would we react? Those
who are emotionally vulnerable would, perhapa, lose their com-
posure and retreat into melancholy deprmion. Others of a more
extroverted nature would, perhaps, opt for an extended lost-week-
end of indulgence and intoxication. But our concern at this time
is not with such extreme reactions. We are here concerned wi th
average people like ourselves who are well-balanced and whose ap-
preciation of life's values is more highly developed. We, who value
decency and nobility, we who insist that life must justify itaelf in
terms of some purpose-after the initial shock-what would we do
in these last six months?
Simply dated, our answer would probably be that we would
wish to achieve in this remaining period precisely that which we
had always valued but had somehow neglected. We would suddenly
see clearly between the important and the trivial, the real and the
apparent, the true and the false, the aham and show from the
genuine, the popular succem image from the real success idea. We
would henceforth discriminate carefully, choose selectively and seek
not to waste our precious time and energies on the trite and un-
worthy. Everything we had ever valued we would eeek to pack into
these few remaining months.
This suden tramformation, I believe, would take place in three
distinct areas: in our relationship to othere; in our relationship
to ourselves; and in our relationship to G-d. Ae regarde others, we
would suddenly become aaharned of the pettinejss which frequently
Muencea us-the slights, gripea, hurts at weddinge, Bar Mitzvahs,
in the community, the table we were given at the cclmmunity func-
tion, and the many occasions when we reacted, "They can't do this
ONLY SIX MONTHS TO LIVE 63
to me. I'll remember it as long as I live." How trite and foolish
all this will aeem in those last six months. Instead, forgiveness will
set in as we realize that we are living on borrowed time.
The soldier had returned from overseas only t o find that his
mother had died while he was away. Rummaging through her be-
longings he found her daily diary in which was recorded her heart-
breaking disappointments because her son had neglected to write.
The son cried softly as he read of her daily anguish. "Oh mother,"
he said softly, "will you ever forgive me?" Oh-how we all need
forgiveness and how readily we would grant it in those last six
months of life.
Our second area of self-correction and reorientation will take
place in our relationship t o ourselves. Our sages tell us, "Man
stamps many coins with one seal; they are all alike. But the King
of Ki ng has stamped every ma2 with the seal of the first man;
yet not one is like his fellow." Every person is an original, unique.
"Bishvilie Ni vr a H a - o b " - the created world awaits my contri-
bution, to add something which is distinctively me. I t needn't be a
spectacular contribution-this depends on our etstion and influence
in life-but i t is a necessary ingredient in the symphony of life.
A symphony needs a theme or a motif, a harmonizing structure;
otherwise it is a conglomeration of noise. So, too, we would ask
ourselvee, in these last six months, what has been the theme, the
unique contribution of my life. Somehow, we want to feel that we
have played our role, that we have filled some niche, that we added
of our uniqueneea. Otherwise, how can we lift our face8 to Ga and
tell Him t hat we did what we could do.
This need for self-debition-to give our lives a clear direction-
t o unify the l o w threads into a clear act of love or philanthropy,
to make a discernible harmony out of the jumble of our lives-this
we will aeek t o achieve in our last six months.
The classic story of Zuesia is perfectly illustrative of this hu-
man aspiration. His only fear when he faced the anguish of his
mortality waa, "What if I'm asked, Z d a , why weren't you like
Zwi a ? Why didn't you bring to bear your distinctive uniqueness,
the damp of your unique mu12
64 M A N U A L
Our third area of concern deals with our relations with G-d.
Suddenly, what we regarded as so remote and irrelevant, would
become so immediate and paramount. We had, during our previoua
years, shut Him out, announced His demise, declared our skepti-
cism and atheism about anything unproved by science. Now, our
souls would open up to Him, our imaginary doubts would dissipate,
our clever smartness and cynicism would evaporate, for the 9raonzent
of truth hcrd arrived. Before we could never pray; suddenly, the
words form easily and soulfully. We always scoffed about the after-
life; now we sense the unremoteness of our deceased fathers and
mothers.
Do you wonder whether you would come to Synagogue services
in these last 25 Sabbaths? I think we would! Perhaps, even be more
careful about our Kbshmt, more generous in our charity, more apt
to look into a Jewish book, to don a talit, to put on tefillin. We
would look into the Jewiehness of our children, where ordinarily
we were so unconcerned. "Who," we wonder, "will be around to
guide them." The frienda with whom they associate will suddenly
be of vital interest.
The Kelmer Magid's story of the neglected TaZisel is moat apt.
The Rabbi visited his congregant but was told that the master of
the house had packed his things and had gone on vacation. About
to leave, the Rabbi ldleard weeping emanating from the TaZit bag
on the dresser. "Wby do you weep," the Rabbi mked, "only a
human knows real asguish! !" "My mmter took all his sporta equi p
ment, his beautiful clUthes, etc. with him but left me behind."
"Don't weep, taliseZ;" the Rabbi said, "there will come a day, when
your mslater will undertake the longest and most important jour-
ney of his life. And, then he will only take you and none of the
other thinga."
In these six months, it is clear that we would seek to make
amen& In each of the above areas. .If this be the case, if we know
p-ly what we would do if we had only dx months, why not
do it nozo - eepecially aince we have the maamable eqmcbtion
that G d will give us many, many more years of Me to live. Pre-
cisely, baause He is giving us the blessing of abnded life, we
ONLY SIX MONTHS TO LIVE
65
should feel moved to institute these corrections now, to deal more
kindly with our fellowman, to realize our full potential for good-
ness and to attune ourselves to G-d. Why wait for wisdom and
discernment to come upon us crushingly?
We write lavishly upon the postcard of life, filling it with trivia.
Suddenly, we remember, ("Ikar Shochachti,") "I have omitted the
main message." And we seek to crowd i t into the cramped spaces
below and along the sides, writing illegibly. May we never have
occasion t o say about ourselves "Ikar Sho-chachti," when our time
is fleeting and our energies waning.
ISAAC - THE UNFORGETTABLE
By BERNARD GREENFIELD
Yom K i w r tells us to pause in tribute to the pafst. Our con-
tinuous petition for the life that lies ahead is now intempted for
Yizkm. We turn back the clock, allowing ourselves time to walk
with memories of yesterday.
Our Yizkor list is too long. And the longer we live, the longer
our list grows! We mournfully bear this burden, individually and
collectively as Jews. Since the Munich maasacre of September Sth,
11 more Jewish martyrs have been added to our endless roster. As
we recite Yizkor, to recall the names of our departed, the Almighty
in Heaven also recites Yizkor. He begins Hie list with the names of
the three Patriarchs: Abraham, haac and Jacob.
It's an eerie feeling to read that line in the Torah,
127 ~ 3 7 3 ~ 9 n 9 ~ nu 7 1 3 ~ ~ 1
- Gd is reciting Y i z k ! I, the Eternal, vow to remember! I ahall
remind myself of those three Patriarchs and their exemplary lives.
Fimt is Abraham, portrayed in the Torah srr the pereoniflcation
of hospitality. Abraham's home, we were taught, had a door built
on each of the four siders of the house m he could welcome the
homeless from every direction.
I pledge, says G-d, Abraham will be remembered.
The second Patriarch, Isaac, was the tragic example of human
sacrifice. His soul cried out in anguish,
'333.
His name, too, must never be forgotten, the Almighty vows.
And finally, there is Jacob, the third Patriarch.
23yr 573 5t3a
- his voice of study pierced the quiet of the night. He was the
scholar, seeking answers to every problem. Jacob is his name. I
ISAAC - THE UNFORGETTABLE 67
muat be sure to remember him, too - says G-d.
These are their names and these are the memories they invoke
as we hear G-d saying: "I ahall remember Abraham, and Isaac, and
I shall remember Jacob.
But isn't this strange! There are three names, but the promise
-I shall remember-appears before the names of Abraham and
Jacob, not Isaac. What about Isaac? Why i s the pledge, I shall re-
member, omitted for him? There must be a reason!
My friends, there is a reason-and i t pains me to discuss it.
Because the reason is so tragic. And the tragedy is compounded
because the commentary is currently too accurate.
The Almighty is saying t hat the world does not want me to
remember Abraham and his great benevolence to mankind. They
may want me t o forget Jacob and his unparallelled contribution to
knowledge. Therefore, I, the Eternal G-d, must remind myself lest
they be forgotten. But Isaac - the sacrifice on the Altar - his
name and his tragedy - I will never forget. The world will remind
me time and time again. They won't give me time to forget; they
will renew Isaac's story all too often!
What a tragic commentary on the history of civilization! The
world never lets us forget Jewish martyrdom. They remind us too
often. They reminded us t hat Isssc waa our Father in the summer
of 1970 when three jumbo jets were blown up in Jordan and every
Jewish paeaenger during those agonizing days was in constant peril
for his life. And then in May of 1972, Isaac was again re-enacted
when 216 innocent souls were massacred in the Lod airport by three
Japanese gunmen. And now in Munich, 11 more young people mar-
tyred - their blood shed upon the same altar of Isaac's sacrifice.
The Torah was tragically accurate - the world has not let us
forget t he life of Isaac. Jacob's name the world wants us t o forget!
They don't want to remember t hat t he disciples of Jacob have car-
ried the wisdom of Israel t o the far corners of the world, sharing
technology with under-developed countries and bringing the healing
arts of medicine t o the backward people in primitive societies.
68 M A N U A L
And Abraham too the world doea not want to remember and
because the world will not remember him i t becomes our sacred
charge, as Jews, to remember Abraham and give tribute to his ex-
ample of hospitality.
Is there another country in all the world, including our own,
that has had an open door policy equal to Israel? You know the
answer. Only the Jew remembers Abraham! And we thank E d for
that. We clamor with righteous indignation for the liberation of
Russian Jewry. But the obvious fact remains t hat without a place
to come they would be doomed forever in Russia. And you know
there is only place t hat they can come, the only place they can call
home-the homeland of Abraham.
Israel nee& more than our admiration. They need our pledge
to remember. They want us to repeat the vows spoken by G-d,
l l J t H1,
I &all never forget. And those eleven Munich Martyrs need more
than our sympathy. Their young, unfinished lives cry out from the
grave, demanding from us the creation of a living monument.
Israel i s in constant peril, they are in imminent danger. Do you
hearken to their urgent plea? You meet this call with silence and
offer only your sympathy? This ia not the way! Arise, even as E d
commanded Moaes, arise, take your staff, lift up your hands with an
affirmative response t hat will safeguard Israel and provide i t s ur-
gent needs. Let our voice ring out to the people of Israel-we did not
forget. We cannot forget. Your fat e is our fate. Your survival means
our survival. Destiny has bound us together. We will strengthen our
ties with a bond, to help keep open those doors of Abraham's home-
land.
KNOCKING ON GOD'S DOOR
By RAFAEL G. GROSSMAN
She decided not to attend Rosh Ha%hunah and Yom Kipporr
services at the Synagogue this year. "I have been coming year
after year and my problem haven't changed or resolved. I have
wasted my money and time," were her excited and r e m o ~ u l
remarks. If I could only assure her that this year things would be
different and the grace of G d would shine upon her, perhaps then
she would attend. There are some who would like a "money-back
guarantee" printed on their High Holy Day ticketa. Perhaplr the
bulletin board announcing the services should state: "Satisfaction
guaranteed or money refunded with a smile after the holiday."
For the price of three appearances and the coat of a seat there
are those who would expect three hundred sixty-five successful,
healthy, and blessed days.
An immigrant, deplaned at Kennedy airport, inquired how he
could reach his uncle. He was told to take a dime into a phone
booth and dial the number. He returned angry, complaining that
the phone was not working. Someone offered to place the call for
him and succeeded. "Why did it work for someone else?," he asked.
"Why not for me?" To his amazement he discovered it was not
sufficient to bring the dime into the phone booth, but that he had
to firat insert it into the designated slot in order to communicate.
Too many of ua assume that coming to the synagogue is in itself
an end and all that one has to do is to remain an idle viewer rather
than an active participant.
The service ie not a performance nor the sanctuary of G d a
theater. In Judaism there can be no intermediary between G d and
msn. Each of us has direct communion and is held sufficiently
worthy to stand before our Maker. I do not question the motives
of ,Jews who attend the synagogue during these Holy Days alone.
70 M A N U A L
I am convinced that, more than anything else, it ia that inexting-
uishable and immutable spark of Jewiehneae, rather than conformity
or nostelgia that compels the erstwhile, estranged Jew to remem-
ber on these dap. What a fool is he who atrrnds within the p a p
of greatneaa and claapa hie hands, deafens hia earn and mutm hL
mouth. Who could deep while standing at the foothills of incred-
ible mount ah surrounded by the white foam of waving blue
water^ of the nee. During the Days of Awe, every Jewish emotion
can ascend to the peak of G-d's mountain and exuberantly float
upon a supreme cloud.
Two thourand years of religious expreeeion and collective
genius are the sources of the Mmhzor liturgy. Only the deaf and
blind can leave the synagogue as they have entered, without feeling
the impact of the experience. Only thorre who come with coldna#,
indiirerence and apathy can engage in meaningleu c o n v ~ t i o n
and idly gase, obliviolu, to the book in their hands. Only the dim-
engaged d l ntudy the clock rather than the pcmorame oi their
heritage, a heritage that unfolda before them in each drematic
moment of a warvice which inspired a people to walk through the
hells of eternel pereecution with joyful hearb. Only a brute would
seek to reduce a work of immortal maetere to hie limited level of
comprehension, who would substitute rawli ling for the atrokea of
a Rembrandt, or a commercial jingle for the &ring6 of a Beethoven.
"Return 0 brael to the L'rd thy Gd, for thou hast fallen by
thine iniquity. Take with you worda and turn to the L'rd." My
heart weepa for those who ta$e nothing from the nynagogue arr the
shofar is sounded on Rosli HcrskoaaJl and whoee hearts do not
quake on Yom K i p r . The sanctuary is not a atore nor G-d a mer-
chant. We amnot buy the fulfillment of our prayers without deed
and performance. Ours L a troubled world as we appranch the New
Year. It ia not only the warn and oanftict~~ of n a t i o ~ and id-,
but the struggle from within which has become equally intense.
Perplexity of the mind and confnlion of the heart in a time of
unprecedented dwmce are destroying the very joy of life that
should be o w . When love has failed and eon hae turned a@&
father, aa fidelity becoma an unknown value, we need to riae by
returning to la6tfng velum.
KNOCKING ON G-D'S DOOR 71
Our Torah is the antidote to the ailing heart. The service is
but a vehicle traveling to ultimate goals whose destiny is the con-
tented man dwelling in the serene shadow of the Almighty. The
vehicle muat stop along the way to acquire its fuel, which for the
Jew are the manifold mitzvot guiding his total behavior and sup-
porting hia mortal legs in the ascent to the heights of his dreams.
"0 let our prayer ascend and may our cry come in to Thee . . .
0 let our joy come forth for ua from dawn
And may our quest appear ti1 eventime . . .
Thus at Thy door we knock."
And knock we muet eo that our call be heard.
IN SEARCH OF THE IDEAL PERSONALITY
By ABRAHAM LEMONT
On this, the holiest, most awe inspiring day of the year, let us
forget politics, inflation, and ponder the nature of man.
?l ~"i l ?ID 1JN ;ID,
What are we? What is our life? Or more specifically, what in the
true, the consumate, the ideal personality?
Philosophers and thinkers in every age have exhausted them-
eelvea in an effort to aolve this problem. Ia the ideal man, the man
of intellect?
"The intellect is a treacherous thing," wrote Rueeeau. The
man of intellect may delude and misguide himself no leas than
others. He may carry an encyclopedia in his head and a block of
granite in hi8 heart. Turn the pages of history. Concomitant d t h
the "reign of reason," came the "reign of terror" which turned the
pages of history crimson. In the 20th century Nazi engineers and
scientists had coldly and methodically built gas chambers equipped
with cyclone gaa, while others injected instant deadly chemical8
into the veins of countless innocent people.
Clearly, the intellect is, indeed a treacherous thing. Reaaon
cannot be relied on as a sure steady compaee to guide man on the
story sea of life.
Ie the ideal man the ethical man, the man with a good charac-
ter. bfan is not merely a seeker of thinge, but also of valuer. Hh
aim ia to develop character. Character lies in the heart. "Popular
:
opinion ia correct when it prefem the man with a good heart t o
the man with a good head," writea Will Durant, "because the for-
mer ia more reliable than the latter." Hillel eummed it up in him
pithy statement: "If I am not for myself who will be for me, if I
am only for myself alone, what am I?" (Pi rkd h).
IN SEARCH OF THE IDEAL PERSONALITY
This sounds very good, yet we have not come to the end of our
quest. How many men actually achieve the proper balance between
self and fellowmen? A few indeed, I dare say. Secondly, can we
truly say that the ethical person is the most reliable of men? How
many people perished in concentration camps and crematorium in
the hands of the brutal Nads while the ethical man in the demo-
cratic count ri a of the world watched in stunned silence without
lifting a finger to r wu e the countless innocent victims? Evidently
there ie something missing which makes the picture incomplete.
Clearly there must be a better guide than the heart and even a
higher ideal than the moral personality.
Ie the object of our search, the religious man? Of course, re-
ligion holds the key to human ealvation and happiness. Religion
standa on a higher pedestal be c a m i t regards neither good will or
superior intelligence as the supreme good. Religion a h s not man
or the fruits of man's labor but G-d as the meaeure of all value.. .
"Can there be no goodnew without G-d? Do we not know many
people who live virtuous, moral lives without formal religion?" A
secular, ethical conscience cannot be relied on as a guide to deter-
mine what i s good or evil because such a conscience is as diverting
as i t is diverse. "Judaism insiets that absolute standards of ethics
cannot exist without Gd. There must be a higher authority than
man's fickle, secular conecience to define what is right or wrong,
that the absolute standards of right and good can be determined
only in relation t o the revealed word of G-d," writes Rabbi Emanuel
Jakobovits.
Yet, the pious man often, by virtue of the dogmatic character
of religion, becomes awfully eccentric, unspeakably intolerant and
terribly fanatic. How many crimes have been perpetrated in the
name of religion? How many innocent people accused of heresy by
the Inquisitors, were burned a t the stake ae an act of faith (Auto
de Fe) ? Indeed, the darkest pagea in history were written when-
ever some fanatical eccl es i dc authority rared ita ugly head.
Therefore, neither secular ethica or unethical sanctimony pro-
vide the answer to: "What b the ideal personality? What i s the
solution to our problem?"
74 MA N U A L
The answer is most likely to be found in a synthesis of two
super vlaues, the union or marriage of ethics with religion, good-
nees with G-d coalescing in the man of superior conscience.
Some of the simplest men in every walk of life as well as some
of the greateat, Aaron, Moses, Hillel, Akiba, the Chafetz Chaim,
etc., along with some of the C W e y Oomohs Hcrohlum, "the right-
eous men of all nations," had one thing in common. They were all
human beingil of superior conscience. They were guided by the
np1 nom SI P
the still, small voice of conecience, the voice of G-d within them.
They brought down a patch of blue from heaven and covered the
earth with it.
What ia conecience? And how doea one acquire a superlative
conscience? A teree ob8ervation ir in order. Conecience ia the censor
and critic in the total pemmality. Regret, pangs of conscience, re-
pentance would be inconceivable if our personality would conriat
only of instinct and intellect. Following an immoral deed, the sinner
can console himseli if he think8 he can get away with it. However,
for the conscience there is no unpunished crime. Conscience ia the
internal judge from whom there ia no escape. The consequences
of sin are peychic illneas or death.
The aame question arises with references to the concept of
Teshuvalr. How does the process of Teahuvah take place? How does
one achieve a purer conscience? According to Maionides there are
three stages in the process of repentance. Tersely stated: recogni-
tion, regret, and resolution (to d n no more).
"How do we know that one's sin has been forgiven?" asked a
Haeeridic rabbi. He anawered "When he no longer d t s a &I."
That ie why the rabbis warned against the reprehemible atrate-
gy whereby one coneciouely d t s an evil deed, does penance and I
then revert8 to wickedness.
!
,t'n'li%3pS #in3 n3 wn nwtp nttc nu
(7n 7 - 3 ' ~ ) mt wn n ~ t c
"If a man repents of his m&deed8 then merta to wrongdoing, it
is no penitence."
I !
IN SEARCH OF THE IDEAL PERSONALITY 75
In the 5al analysis it ia a steadfast courae of action, man's
firm adherence to an ethico-religious code, to the Divine Imperative
which makes atonement for man.
In the furnace of man's struggle between his baser and higher
aelf, c h d is forged and a purer, loftier conscience emerges.
The c l dc a l example of the conscience-stricken sinner is King
David. After David had ordered Uriah to be put in the front ranks
of the battle so that upon hie death he would be free to wed the
beautiful Bathaheba. When Nathan confronted David, he related
the parable of the rich man (David) who snatched from the poor
man (Uriah) his only ewe lamb (Bathaheba). With righteous in-
dignation David aeserted: "The man that has done this deserves
to die." Thereupon, Nathan said to David, "You are the man!"
Stabbed by guilt feelings David cried out remorsefully,
(\*I* 3 ?u\nu) 'ilS lnntln
"I have lrinned agahd the Lord." In that moment of truth, he waa
reborn. In that moment of mblimation David acquired a higher
ethico-religious cooacience. It is noteworthy. The Midrash Tehillim
declares that so many opportunities to sin would not have been
provided him had it not been ordained that he should serve as an
example of a sincere "Baal Tesh%vah," aa an example to all that
regardleaa how low one &inks morally, he can return to G-d, the
quality of his life can be changed and his Pealma forever be a source
of inapiration to all men.
Today the individual stands before G-d searching his soul,
baring h b conscience. Preeeing questions cry out for answers. How
have you spent the hours? What use have you made of your pow-
ers? How m n g is your loyalty to the traditions of your fathem?
What Hnd of intensive Jew* education have you provided for
your children ? What kind of example have you set as parent? Ia
your home Jewiahly warm, epiritually inspiring? How c m m e d
are you about your fellow Jews in brael or Rurreia and the plight
of your o p p d fellowmen in other lands? Probe your conscience!
Them arre asme of the questions &ling every individual Jew
with a ~nei f f ve soul and these questions demand mlutions. Shall
76 M A N U A L
we again evade our reaponsibilities, or meet the challenge head on?
As a free moral agent, each of us, like David, can have his
moment of truth. He can cry out humbly, remorsefully,
'nZ ?nuon
"I have sinned againat the Lord." He can, by activating his will,
turn guilt coneciousnees into mitzvah. consciousness and emerge
from the crucible of the inner struggle, with the help of Gd, a
superior human being with a h e r , purer, superior conscience.
PYnHDR ?>D P3nH lilt25 PY?P 1DY iltil D1'3 '3"
('I-1x1 NTV-I) " n n ~ n 'n YJDS
"For on this day shall atonement be made for you, to cleanre you
from all your sins. Before the Lord you shall be cleaneed."
LISTENING TO THE NEWS
By MOSES MESCHELOFF
The memorial services is preceded by a long list of prayers
to "Our Father, our King." Among them is the one: "Our Father,
our King, have mercy upon ua and our children and infants." What
special danger lurka over our children that they are to be singled
out for special mercy ?
Today's Torah reading begins with the death of two children-
the eons of the High Priest Aaron. There have been many explana-
tione of that tragedy. The Talmud (Eiruuin 63a) declares that the
children of Aaron died because they expounded the law before
Mo w . . . They said, "Even thou the flame descend (upon the
Temple altar) from above, it ia a duty to bring secular fire to it
aa well."
The philosophy of this younger generation was that in order
for religion to be meaningul it must be adumbrated with the
secularism. Religious experiences must be blended with the earthy
practices obeerved by the people. Perhaps when the Torah says
that, Aaron, after the tragic death of his sons, " V a y h Aharm/
Aaron was ailent, it was becaw he felt guilty. He had been sa
occupied with hie own grave reeponsibilitiea of high priestly ofice
that he had not taught hie children the pristine significance, value
and philoeophy of the religion he was serving.
Were we to try to capture a picture of today's soeiety, it could
be done by painting two panels separated by an impenetrable wall.
The one panel would show an excited youth watching a fleet of
extra-terresbhl aattelitee descending. The other would show a
father comfortably emmnced before a televieion set in an easy
chair. The youth calls out, "Come, dad, look." The father, without
trying to eee through the dividing wall, retorts, "Not now. Daddy
78 MA N U A L
is listening to the Six O'clock News."
Our youth is in a uniquely new world, looking beyond the
borders of our own generation. We must help them cope with
problems which cannot be solved by yesterday's solutions or by
the heat of the fiames of the earth but rather than by the Divine
flame of Torah inspiration and direction. We pray, "Have mercy
upon our children." Ie this prayer of ours ae soul ahaking an it wan
to our forebears, or hae it been made secondary to other concerna
of o m ?
Kathryn Murray in Family Lcrugh Lines illustrate8 this change
of concern. She recalls that when the Linklettern had their firet
child and he had come up with a nonre bleed, the family became
hysterical. They put ice to his lip, applied wet comprewea, called
the doctor, the hospital, etc. When the same thing happened to
their Mth child, Art We t t e r looked up a# the blood gushed from
his child's nose and yelled, "Don't bleed in here."
What is more important to us, the eafeguarding of the @ritual
blood of our children or our wall to wall carpeting?
When we pray, "Our Father our King," are we more concerned
for our money or for our youth ?
THE POWER OF TESHUVAH
By H. NORMAN STRICKMAN
We have gathered here this night for one basic purpose: to
do Teshncuah, to repent and return to Gd. Aa the Torah tells us:
,oms in05 03'51 TES ntn DIYI '2
.'1 (IV NIP*\) limn 'n ' J D ~ nD9nnt3n 532
"For on this day atonement shall be made for you, from all your
sine before the L-rd shall you be cleansed."
Maimonides write8 in the Mishnah Torah :
,PIPD~ 'JCS 'IJW nt iVil VDN . . . ~J ' DWS o wn nn n2ipov n3iwn nSn3
,n11n nlun) mci 211~ ,iDnJi 31;ls sln nl'ni -- nxrini Pnl m YPIWD
.(*I n1'1n *ulxu 919 ,nlIun n13m
"Repentance brings close to G-d thoee who are far away. But
yesterday this pereon was odious before G-d, abhorred, estranged,
an abomination. Today he is beloved, desirable, near to G-d and a
friend of G-d."
Last year during the Ten Days of Penitence, I was involved
in a case of pastoral guidance which vividly illustrates the power
of Teshuvah. On the second day of Rosh Hashanah I was approach-
ed by a congregant who told me t hat a close relative, a young man
in his early twenties, was t o leave in three days for Canada to
enter a Christian Bible School.
I learned that for the past months the youth had been in the
company of Hebrew Chriatiana and that they had convinced him
of he truth of their belief. I told my informant that I would like
to meet this young man and speak with him.
A meeting in my home was arranged for the day after Rosh
Hwhanah, The young man appeared wearing a Jewish Star and
a Croaa. In speaking to him I observed t hat the young man had
a great *ritual feeling. I t pained me that he was going to find
M A N U A L
his religious fulfillment outaide of Judaiem. It hurt me that the
adoration and worship which a descendant of Abraham, Isaac and
Jacob, should direct towards G-d would be directed by this young
man t o a human being of flesh and blood who had died almost two
thousand years ago.
I spoke t o him and asked him why. Among other things (and
there were other reasons) he told me that he had learned that the
Hebrew Scriptures foretold the coming of Jesus. At this point 1
picked up a Bible and asked him t o show me where the Bible
foretold such things and he pointed t o a number of verses which
his Christian teachers had told him prophesied the coming of
Jesus. We then examined each of these verses in context. I ex-
plained t o him that these verses did not say what his teachere
claimed they said. I pointed out that, only by distorting their
meaning, pulling them out of context and mistranslating them
could these verses be given a Christological meaning. We spent
three -ions together on three consecutive days in stsldy. For-
tunately, I was able to convince the young man t o give Judaism
a chance. I told him of a school in Israel on Mt. Zion called the
Yeshiva for the Diaspora. He thought about i t and concurred. I
then telephone1 the dean of the Yeshiva for the Diaspora and he
informed me that he would send two students t o Lod Airport t o
wait for the young man. A day after he was t o leave for Canada
and S h d , t he young man left for Eretz Yiwael. It was the
sixth day of the Aseret Yemai Teshuvah. In Eretz Ybrael, on
Mount Zion, in the Yeshiva for the Diaspora the young man did
Teshuvah Gemurah.
Shortly thereafter, I received a letter from him in which
among other things he writes: "I was born Jewish and will be
Jewish all the days of my life . . . The Jewish religion i s really.
beautiful . . . In the Torah and Tslmud are the deepest ideaa of
l i e known t o mankind, they embodied all that there is, for they
are truly words from G-d. The spirituality in Jewishnees can reach
such high levels that it i s unimaginable t o our weak minds. It ia
true knowledge and I have an irnmenae hunger for it . . . Many
Jews don't realize how lucky they are t o have been born Jewish.
THE POWER OF TESHUVAH 81
They t ry to hide their Jewiehnesa under a guise of asairnilation.
If only they knew the wonderful life set for them and the rewards
they could one day receive."
The young man has recently joined a group of Yeshivah stu-
dents who have established a branch of the Yeahiva for the Dias-
pora in Pekein thereby renewing the Jewiah Yeshuv there. How
true are the words of Maimonides:
, Pl PDi l *JBZ *l JW i l l il'il W!3H . . . i l J * 3 ~ 5 P l Hi l JlH n>lP?3W i l >l Wn i l S113
. i * i +i >i v , i n n 3 1 >rnH H i n DI-T\I - n>yini P n i ~ n i ni wn
All of ua gathered here tonight are in need of Teshuuah.
Some of us are totally estranged from G-d and His Lam while
othera are partially so. Certainly, no one here is perfect. It ia to
ua that the word6 of Maimonidea are directed:
"Repentence bringa close to Ed those who are far away."
No one here tonight ia further from the G-d of Israel than
that young man of whom I spoke was laat year. Yet Teshuvah
brought him back to G-d and His people. Teshuwh can do the
aame for us. Let us turn to Ed with all our heart, let us resolve
to obey hia commandments ao that when the gatea of heaven close
thia Yom Kippsrr each one of ua will be able to truthfully aay, in
the words of Maimonidea, "Yesterday I was estranged from G-d,
today (after doing Teshuuah) I am beloved, deaimble, and near
to Him."
THE MESSAGE OF THE LULAV
By ALFRED COHEN
In the course of the year, we find a wide variety of mitzvot
which we are bidden to fulfill. In virtually every instance, once the
mitzvah is performed, we lay aside the the object with which we
performed the mitzvah, and i t is relegated to relative obscurity.
Yet the Gemara in Sukkah 41b, ssserts that "Such was the
custom of the people of Jerusalem on Sukkot: They would carry i t
(the lulav) aloft in their hands when they walked to the prayer
hall, and when they returned; they would carry i t when they went
to h i t the sick and when they went to viait the mourning . . ."
In other words, the lulcrv represented much more than a palm
frond upon which a special blessing was recited on the Festival.
It became an object to be treasured and displayed, to be carried
with oneself throughout the week of Bukkot.
A very simple question immediately arises: why was this cus-
tom followed only with respect to the lukrv? Why didn't we have
the custom of carrying around the shofar, or carrying the Yegil-
lah all Purim, or the nocrtzoh all Paeeover?
Perhaps we may find the reason in the distiiguiahing feature
of the lulav-all the other articles used in a mitzvah are small and
can be readily concealed. I may carry the shofar in my pocket, I
can hide the matzah. But when I carry the Zukrv, it is readily ap-
parent to everyone, for i t cannot be hidden. And that ia precisely
why the man of Jerusalem made it a point of pride to carry the
Zulav around with them at all times on Sulckot. They wished to
demonstrate that they were proud of their religion and would prac-
tice i t openly. ThM was one mitzvuh which unmistakably pro-
claimed their devotion to the commandments of the T d .
THE MESSAGE OF THE LULAV 83
We J e w ought to be proud to let the rest of the world know
about the beauty and lofty ideals of our faith. However, there is
all too much truth to the old story of the Gentile maid, who con-
fided her puzzlement about her Jewish employers to a friend. "I
just don't understand those Jewish holidays," she complained. "One
day a week, called shubbos when they eat in the dining room, but
smoke in the bathroom. Then they have a day when they smoke
in the dining room, but eat in the bathroom called Tisha BJav.
And there ie even one day that they call Yom Kippur when they
eat and mnoke in the bathroom !"
The time haa come when we should no longer feel the need to
errcuire or conceal our religious convictions. On the contrary, let
us with pride and joy exalt in the glorious heritage of our Torah,
which has been a light to the world throughout the generations.
THE PROBLEM OF THE STORK
By LEO JUNG
Sukkot is not a season of noisy festivity or thoughtless hilar-
ity, but one of joy, beautiful with reverence from a well of inner
felicity. Sukkot, "like the other haggim, is not just one more holy-
day with ita ritual, laws and customs. It is indeed a harvest, the
promise and challenge of the days of conscience (Roeh Haahanah)
and the Day of Re-at-onement (Yom Kippur). The genuine wor-
shipper, having been dynamically aware of his last year's moral
failures, having determined on a better life, endeavors to right
every wrong and then pleads for G-d's grace of kappcrrahl (the
wiping off of the stains on his personality from wrong), of good
deeds neglected and evil ones committed. Throughout he prays
"Ufrosa alenu sztkkat 8heEomekhu2 (Spread over us the Taber-
nacle of Thy peace)." The Shofar having aroused one's sense of
duty, the confessions (vidduyim) having both relieved his sense of
guilt and aroused his hope for Divine mercy, the Jew feel6 p r q
foundly cleansed, deeply humble and grateful for the L--d's mercy.
He regains at once serene self-acceptance and new energy for the
better program of conduct in the year to come.
But Sukkot, as it renews a deep faith in Ed's mercy, as it re-
calls His protection throughout Israel's history, sounds a h the
Divine commands: Through the symbolism of the four planta, held
together by the cord of piety, we are bidden to look upon communi-
cation, cooperation, and empathic social aid ae self-evident Jewish
duties."
THE PROBLEM OF THE STORK 85
The four plants are different in quality, in service as in roots;
in worship, are meant t o be used in one bond. It is easy t o be pa-
tient and pleasant with folk of the same group, speaking the same
language, or at least of similar background. What the L--d de-
mands of us is eager willigness t o appreciate t he human brother
beyond the varieties of milieu, language, and attitude. He waa
created as all of us are, in the image of Gd , by the One Creator
of the Cosmos, the Father of human history, Whose mercy and
justice extends t o every human being.
It is not mere benevolence, precious as i t is, that Sukkot de-
mands of us. It is rather an abiding sense of responsibility for our
neighbor. True, the family comes first, then the fellow Jew, the
fellow American; but no human may be excluded from our plan of
freedom and security, and compassion, and happinea~i.~
This is not merely timeless, ancient direction and challenge.
It has double significance in our own days, in our own country. The
destiny of the American people depends on the personality of the
average citizen, even as the fate of the Jewish people is darkened
or brightened by the character of the average Jew. What has hap-
pened in the city of New York, in mid-September, is of basic sig-
nificance. We are all deeply shocked by the senseless, mad killings
of Munich. We are all deeply disturbed by the atrocious murder of
Profeesor Wolfgang Friedmann, a world authority on Law, who
fled the Nazi hell for the safety of the United States! The Arab
murderera were, it is true, also the victims of vicious cunning poli-
ticians who stay smug and arrogantly in the palaces and councils
of the Mid-East. But, above and beyond all that, we must realize
that whilst for the safety and very life of innocent people swift
effective punishment of robbers, rapers, and other barbarians of
every age and land is e-ntial, more essential is a universal aware-
nem of the cauee of such atrocious acts. How is i t possible for a
young athlete t o plan the murder of a middle aged professor? What
causes white and dark youth t o plan without hesitation assaults,
mutilations, the very killing of persons who have never hurt them?
86 M A N U A L
How can we accept the dreadful fact that on more than one occa-
sion in the last few yeare American men and women stood by
calloudy, not feeling the urge to help the helpless, to call for aid,
of physician or police?
Are our schools, beyond teaching the three R's, committed to
include in their curriculum eome basic attitudes of courage, decency
and compassion? Whilat utterly unwilling to suggest. aoft weakneaa
in the face of horrible crimee, we muet stay dynamically aware of
how Appalachian dire poverty, Midmipian hopeleaemem, a general
credibility gap, the ruthless exploitation by billionaire businem,
the venality of politiciane, the corruption of police, and other men
of power affect the immature youth, promoting c y n i c h and
crime!
There are a hundred variations in human beings, but none are
hopelemfy depraved.= Our faith does not teach us hellf)re, nor a
set of dogma8 to bewilder or frighten ua Our Torah chose the
Jewish people not for military power, financial emminence or mental
supremacy, but to be G-d's am-or, to preach by example, to
persuade by nobility of d u c t . It has never been eaay to be a
Jew, not only by reaeon of Gentile hostility, but by the tmk of
being bidden to become and sCay "Mamlekliet kuJmamm. wgoy kod-
doah6 ( a Mngdonc of -8 am4 a holy people)", teaching all His
children His ways of justice and m y , ignoring both eupedcisl
dii3culties and cruel handicap.
Our disciples have been many nations, all types of humanity,
representing the symphony of goodness, truth, and beauty as they
are given a. ehanee for security, freedom, peace, and the mandate
to spread their b l m . Even aa we tie the four plants into one
unit, nhaking it in every direction, to proclaim that Ed i. every-
wheze, so mu& we in our personal, communal, national programme
render our faith in Gd concrete through j di m, fair play, and
Icindnm to all of Wis chifdren.
THE PROBLEM OF THE STORK 87
But what has all that to do with the topic of my sermon: "The
Problem of the Stork?" From ancient times that bird had a high
reputation. The Romans called it "Avis p W , (the pious bird). Its
Hebrew name, "Hassi&ah", meam "kindly, devoted." When the hu-
man mother tells her curlow little one that it waa the stork that
brought him or her to the parents, her ale may convey not only
the teaching of that ancient lore, but perchance a h the uncon-
ecioua urge to prove as devout a mother aa the famed bird. Many
artiste, poets and weavers of folk talea, have depicted the beauty
of the etork's nests, the precioua watchfulneee of the bird's parents
over their young ones. In Jewi%h literature, too, theae virtu- are
recognized.
What, then ie the problem of the stork? A mint of our faith
war, Prked: "Why, then, in the Torah, ie the atork an '(Of tamhnJ
(unclean bird)? Hir m e r Mere chance, for serious meditation:
"There L, indeed, me t hi ng h e about the stork'e tendmeaa to
hie own. What rendera it "unclean" is the fact that it limits its
devotion to its own nest, and ignores other birds and their needs."
Our joy, the Torah urges, through kind thought and deeds,
mud become a aource of eerenity to others. There are, in every
community aa in moat nations, a number of "respectable, law abid-
ing citisens" who display wholesome intereat in their own, even
aa the faat stork. But they are uninterested in the welfare of any
one outside their own home. They are too busy indulging in
thoughtlees, reeIdeee, cruel l uxur h, to consider abject poverty,
the dreadful suffering of the Ghettoes, the hovels, from Brooklyn
to Esst St. Louis, the rural horrors in the South and all the world's
starving men, women, and children. The worst one8 condemn any
one beyond their own group to theological damnation, treating them
with hatmi or supercilioue neglect. Others, buey with profeaeional
or commercial programmes, are happy only with their friends in
the excluuive dub or neighborhood, but stay totally cool to the
88 M A N U A L
dark fate of the undernourished, to his fiery resentment in his
desperate effort to overcome hunger, privation and his helplessness.
Such "law-abiding persons" encourage lawlessness from stealing to
robbing, to killing. They are co-responsible with purveyors of pois-
onous wares for the degeneration of the criminal youth and of the
lost middle age, in its atrocious way of life.
Our Torah haa taught UFJ "to love the stranger, for you were
strangers in the land of Egypt." Our Torah wants us to live clean,
kindly, gracious lives, to promote human happiness.7 Ours should
be righteous indignation with every oppression, but, above it,
brotherly promotion of every welfare programme. Indeed this has
been a Jewieh characteristic throughout our history. As liberals
of our times we have earned the illwill of ultra-conservatives and
blind egoists. As advocates of decent human relations, as pleaders
for the laborer's right to fair wages and proper working condi-
tions, we have aroused the hatred of German Junkera, Russian ty-
rants, as of some extremists in our own United States.
Such reactions must not deter us. Our deathless optimism, our
Messianic faith, has proved superior to all e n mi t ~ . ~ We have sur-
vived our enemies. No "final solution of the Jewish problem,"
plotted by the Hitlers and Himmlers of every century and country,
may faze us. For we believe in the L--d of mercy, in the brother-
hood of man, in the challenge to all of us to lend our mind, heart,
and hand for "the sun of righteotmtess with healing on his wings.'"'
Steadfast awareness of social responsibility and the passionate
interest in all His children may help to conquer despair and vio-
lence, poverty and resentment, in a happier, peaceful, warm, new
chapter of human history.
This is the ultimate message and mandate of Sukkot.
THE PROBLEM OF THE STORK
NOTES
1. See Geeeniue, Bibl. Dictionary S.V.
2. Siddur.
3. The three national aaaeta, Yeb. 79a.
4. "For His Mercies are over all His creations."
5. No "original sin" deprives the individual of his freedom of
will.
6. Shem. 9:6.
7. Vay. 9:34.
8. Cp. J. J .Weinberg, Liprakim sub "Ummah Aliza."
9. Malachi 3:20.
WHY REJOICE?
By MOSES MESCHELOFF
A cartoon which I saw recently in a magazine ahowe one of
the denizens of a blue night club asking hie neighbor who ia in
a paroxysm of laughter at eome vulgar joke, "Are you laughing
inside as well as outside?"
Why do we rejoice on Sukkot, the zeman aimchateinu? Ia it an
external happiness, the result of the beautiful fall weather, the
holiday foode, the ceesation from the summer's agricultural labore?
Or ia there an inner reaeon for rejoicing in thia holiday.
The Midrwh, commenting on the Biblical verse, "On the firet
day there shall be a holy convocation," explains, "Make it holy with
food and drink and with clean clothing." The food, the drink and
the clothing are all secondary. Primary in the observance of auk-
kot is the term, holy. The festival is to symbolize an inner happi-
ness of the spirit, a revelation of the holineee necessary for every
expreeeion of life.
Three time8 the a bl e associates happineee with the holy festiv-
al of Sukkot. Once it adds the word, "uch," lessening the sense of
happinees in relation to the holiday's observance. Why?
The Midrash clari5es this. I t aeka, "Why the use of the term
"aelc" in conjunction with Sumtmk? (Lev. 27) It reaponda, "You
may flnd that although a man can rejoice in t hb world, hi6 happi-
nests is not complete. How b thie? Having given birth t o children,
he is 3lled with worries concerning them. P e r u they will not
endme . . ."
The happiness 49 lSukkot must be based on the spiritual prin-
ciplea of the holy l a * It ia not to end with a bitter feeling d fu-
tility. No matter how &servant we may be, however, if we see our
WHY REJOICE ? 91
children forsake our faith and go off in different directions, our
sorrow and anguish is great. Xukkot is holy and happy when we
accept the responsibility for our children's future as well as our
own. We muet be able to direct our younger generation out of
what appears to be a dirat keva, the world of gross physical bland-
iehments, into a dirat arai of the Xukkah, the world of true spir-
itual reality, a world based on the ethics and morality of Torah
living.
The Xukkot festival alone can reveal to us a world of lasting
inner happiness and a guarantee of the viability of future Jewish
generations.
THE SILENCE THAT SPEAKS
By SOLOMON ROODMAN
On Simchat Torah, the second day of Shmini Azeret, we com-
plete and begin the public reading of the Five Boob of Moeea. For
Judaism is endless and its momentum embrace8 the life of the Jew
for all time.
Much has been related about the actual Torah script and the
trenchant lewons that it embodiee. Every single letter is sacred
and should one be miming or erased from a Torah scroll, the scroll
may not be used until the neceeeary correctione have been made.
This morning, aa we prepare to say Yizkor, let us direct our
attention to a singular regulation governing the Torah script which
can be said engenders a strident message appropoe of this eacred
encounter.
In the Talmud (Mmokhot 34a) we are told:
n n S r ~ ~ n9nrnti ~37un nS qoto 5913 I ~HW nt H $3"
- that each letter of the Torah must be written separately. &ere
must be unmarked parchment surrounding each letter on all four
sides. Should one letter be joined to the next, the Torah scroll is
considered unfit.
8
Aside from its halakhic or legal connotations, this directive
points out a four part plan t o assure the preservation of Torah
Judaism and our people's survival.
I t is to be noted that the clear parchments which surrounds
each letter of the Torah advises the Jew that silence is an integral
aspect of hia religious life style.
Ever since the Torah was first given to Moses on Sinai, i t has
been challenged. Its authenticity was questioned, it8 Mvinity pur-
loined and besmirched. Symptomatic of this nefariourr attitude ibl
THE SILENCE THAT SPEAKS 93
our own pragmatic age with its devotion t o reason. Silence is the
only answer t hat is appropriate in most instances. We Jews have
always welcomed positive criticism. It has been our practice t o en-
lighten those who seek a stronger atfiliation with our Torah. How-
ever, to t ry and justify ita Divine origin to the deviationist bent
on rationalizing his own waywardness, is foolhardy a t best. The
Almighty never appointed us as His defense attorneys.
However, in addition to quiescent indifference in the face of
scurrilous attack, the Talmudic regulation governing the script
of the Torah scroll implies three distinct approaches to the physical
survival of the Jew. Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Worki alluded t o
the three-fold plan for Jewish survival when he declared: "The
Jew weeps, but his voice is inaudible. The Jew dances, but he re-
mains inert. When forced to kneel, the Jew always keeps hie head
erect."
Fonder the significance of his strident obsenratione, and you
will perceive how totally descriptive they are of the Jew. "A Jew
weeps, but his voice is inaudible." As a people, we have never
sought our fellowman's sympathy. We are convinced t hat mankind
is wholly incapable of fathoming our discomfiture. If nothing else,
we have learned t hat we must fend for ourselves. We weep silently.
Even in our hour of sad remorse, we retain our poise. We have
never iolicited charity; all we ask is for an equal chance.
"When the Jew dances, he remains inert." Supeficial elation
runs counter to the Jew's nature. Modern dance with all ita senau-
o w overtones is inimical to our conception of rejoicing. When
happy, the Jew converts hie inner being into a ballroom. He dances
on the inside. It is his heart and not hie extremities which respond.
He i s unimpressed with the clamorow outbursts which accompany
contemporary merrymaking and festivity. He suspects t hat the
current tendency to indulge the blare and glare of clamorous re-
tort are a t best a ruse and a facade. Noise is distracting; i t impels
the liaQbner to momentarily forget his discomfiture. It represents
the deceptive values of 29th century man who readily exchanges
truth for trite and strategy for status.
MA N U A L 94
While dancing on the inside, the Jew remains inert. His sense
of glee is nurtured by rich memories which only he can recall. His
is the sirncha she1 mitzvah - the joy that one derives from per-
forming a noble deed. He derives pleasure from witnessing the
less fortunate succeed, the hapless becoming hopeful and the de-
prived regaining their self-respect.
Like the silent mirror which reflects the glorious sun, the Jew
retains his outward calm while reflecting the glorious values that
make for genuine happiness.
Indigenous to the Jew's nature is hia stubborn refusal to cower
in the face of overwhelming insolence. When forced to kneel, he
manages to keep hi head erect. His is a sense of pride that flowa
\
from the watershed of ~elf-respect. He feels certain that he will
6nally persevere in the face 06 obdurate challenge. His oppressors
may lacerate his flesh, beat him into a state of unconaeiousnese,
relegate him to the limbo of subhuman exietence, yet in the end
he will prevail over those who transgreased all laws of human de-
cency. It ie indeed sad to note that this eense of Jewish pride is
being repudiated by the emerging generation of Jews. All too many
blatantly disavow their heritage and scorn their birthright. What
ie more disconcerting is their parent's tacit approval of their back-
sliding on the pretense of not wanting t o lose their children. A
parent who countenances his child's flaunting of hie heritage is
I
truly an accessory before the fact. He has not only lost hie child,
he has also besmirched the memory of those who died so that he
might live.
Death creates a silent void between those who have suirered
its fatal sting and thoae who are I& to mourn. We can best bridge
this awesome gap by rededicating ourselves to those singular ideals
which the written format of the Torah script engenders. mowing
when not to answer the infidel, maintaining one's dignity both in
I
debifitsting sorrow and in mom& of mirth and IhaUy, by retain-
ing a mmtaining self-confidence in the face of diabolic& attack
not only solidify our spiritual and nntiunal wellbeing, but they
serve as the bridge which unites ua with our dearly departed.
ON ITS OWN SOIL
A Chataukah Message
By LEON D. STZTSKZN
The question is often raised with regard to the Werence of
reaction-by the Jewish people to a similar critical threat of im-
minent extinction commemorated by Chanukah and Purim.
Why is i t that the C M a h epiaode portraya our people re-
sisting the enemy militarily, waging war for their independence
while on Purim they relied solely on a Mvine miracle.
The answer ia usually given that built into the scheme of Jew-
ish survival there was an unwritten covenant between the Jewish
people and The Almighty to the &at that each party will inter-
vene at whatever means at his disposal when the other member
of the covenant ia threatened with destruction. Inasmuch ae on
C&unuW God% Torah wae in danger, the Jews took up anms in
defenee of the Almighty's heritage while on Purim the J mb h
people were thmatened with extinction, i t waa God's turn to inter-
vene on behalf '$ Hie people.
The more aqthentic explanation, however, is that the Werence
between the cri t i w periods as reflcted by the two festivals, ia that
while the ~uri rn' e~i eode took place in the Gahtt, the Ckandah
ehr y occurred in' the Holy Land. On its own mi1 the J e w have
the courage and k l u t i o n to fight back. In the Wu t the Jews
are helplem depenqing upon the good grace8 of ita neighbore for
survival. As ~ e h u * ha-Levi points out in the Kuzori that only in
the Holy Land is the Jew able to develop k, perfection the Divine
spiritual kernel .in him. In the Diaspora the Divine spark does not
operate. In our day we have witnessed the reestablishment of the
State of Israel after ern thousand yeara of homeleaaner~s and hu-
miliation as the butt for every and vicious attack. During
ite Wef egiirtence, Isr'ael baa had to take up arms three timea
96 MA N U A L
against a vicious enemy bent on its annihilation. Israel has tri-
umphed and will continue to be victorious in the recognition that
it has the right to keep what i t has built with its own hands and
sweat. On ita own soil, Israel again hse the fortitude and strength
to resist aggression.
In our time, when the bulk of the Jewish population still re-
sides outaide of Israel, it devolves upon ua to keep Israel militarily,
economically and politically strong. Specifically on the political
front we must use every resource at our command to dispel the
myth of a Palestinian entity that has rights in Israel. Such a no-
tion ie based on an abysmal ignorance of history. The fact i s that
as of 1900 most of Palestine was virtually deserted. The overwhelm-
ing majority of both Arab and Jews arrived in Palestine after the
turn of the century. By 1948 there were already 700,000 long term
Jewish residents who had d r a i i malarial swamps like Hulah,
cultivated for the firat time in history parts of the Galilee, built
al l of Tel Aviv on a location of sand dunes and constructed all of
West Jerusalem. No one fought harder than those J e w againat
British occupation and now our enemies and radical leftkits are
telling us to turn it over to so-called Palestinians who have no
basis in fact.
Moreover, after the war of liberation in 1948 more than 560,000
Jews were forced out penniless of surrounding Arab countries where
they had lived for centuries in ghettos. But unlike the Arab refu-
gees, who, for political mmns are still kept in refugee camps, the
Jewish refugees were absorbed by Israel and thereby ended the
problem. As a matter of fact, the majority of Jews living in Israel
today are originally from Arab countries. How can one argue then,
as the Arab propaganda maintains, that Arabs who came in the
twentieth century from surrounding countria are true c i t h m of
Palestine, but the Jews who came from the same countria in the
same period are "Aliens."
Alaa the Jewish community throughout the world muet be on
the alert to keep Israel strong and to restore the Maccabean epirit
of resistance, elf-a98ertion and self-respect. Mi Z'hhevn aloi mnst
remain the battle cry of our people everywhere.
INTERPRETING PURIM
By JOSEPH I . SINGER
Purim, the Festival of Lots, is a minor holiday requiring proper
understanding. It is the only festival that originated outside of
Israel and is flavored with exile.
The theme of Purim has been a recurring major theme in Jew-
ish history. Even today, with the establishment of the State, the
Jew in dispersion is still enthralled by the dangers anteceding the
holiday and fascinated by its miracle.
We can best understand the forces t hat created Purim and
brought salvation by paying close attention to what precedes Purim.
As a rule, Tannit Esther, the fast of Esther, is observed on the eve
of Purim. This year because i t is Sabbath, it has been advanced to
Thursday. According t o Halakhah, there should not be any fast day
preceding a holiday. One exception i8 the fast of the first born the
day before Passover. This, however, is more of a token fast since
one who makes a siyum, the completion of a book of Talmud, may
partake of refreshments. The reason why the fast of Esther pre-
cedes Purim perhaps indicates the reason for the emergence of
Purim aa a day commemorating the miracle of being saved.
This year we have two other important preliminaries to Purim.
Today we read Parahut Zochor t o remind us t o wage an unrelent-
ing warfare against the Amal aki t . . Likewise, today we begin the
Book of Vayikro which deecribes in great detail the korbaaot, sac-
*em.
How did the Jew manage in hie millennia1 struggle to outlive
the Hamane of all generatione? What were the weapons in his ar-
senal of survival t hat a Jew used t o fight for his existence in the
walled-in ghetto and behind the barricades of deprivation and per-
98 MA N U A L
aecution? Tanmt Esther, Parahat Z m , and the Book of Vayikro
supply the answer.
An ancient and honorable technique of the Jew in time of
danger was to fast and to pray. Jewish history ia replete with
martyrdom but at the same time records that sincere spontaneous
prayere of supplication and intercession that a Jew has used
throughout the centuries to give him strength to face ordeals that
no other peoples have ever been aftiicted with.
The synagogue became the fortress of the Jew while the siddur
waa the manual for exiatenee. Prayer was the most popular re-
sponae of the Jew whenever danger threatened him. The siddur is
stained with the team of the weeping of men and women in danger.
The Holy Ark was opened time and again for fervent prayers of
succor and salvation.
Another method was to fight, to fight either with economic
resourcee and political preeaurea at the command of the Jew. At
other timea the method was fighting with bare f s t s and with make-
shift weapons againat a greater enemy, as epitomized by the re-
sletance of those in the Waraaw ghetto. The Jew survived because
he knew there cannot be any truce between him and the ~nhl aki t es.
Finally, the Jew survived because the Book of Vayikro, the
pivotal book in the cicumosh, always taught him the need of bring-
ing kot bwt , eacrificee, of submerging hie pemonal desires for the
collective good, of being ready with his very life to protect the
community and the Jewish name. The Temple was destroyed 2,000
y e m ago h t daily ~aeriaces were the most consistent routine of
the Jew.
The Hamana ntill lurk in all parts of the world and even in the
United States. There k evident di sdmbt i on against the Jew on&
becaure, M a Jew, he ia mddanly pictured as belonging t o the
majority. Aa the cities, where the majority of the Jews are con-
centrated, became more blighted, splllfng over into the subdm,
there are tremendoue mhigivingc~ about the future. The premm
against the Jew Ie potent in dl directions. Likewbm, them ilr 8
mountins campaign to enanare the &oul of the youngstera. We ean-
INTERPRETING PURZM
not be comforted by false aasurancea that Key 73 or the strong
campaigns for J m s are intended to appeal to that segment of the
Jewish youth that is spiritually rootless and anemic in their Jewish
identity.
What are we to do? The old methods are as valid today as they
were in the past. There is a crying need to teach the Jewish adults
the meaning of worship and the need to attend services, attracted
not by gimmichs or frills but motivated by a communion with God.
You cannot fight the appeal of religion of others with inauthentic
substitutes. Once the parents are sincere in their desire for war-
ship, it is bound to influence the children. Empty lives make possible
the inclusion of all typee of ideologies, for no one can live in a
spiritual vacuum. Likewise, the activism of the Jew displayed on
behalf of Soviet Jewry and in his strong support of Iarael should
alm be broadened to include a strong position in defense of Jewish
rights and Jewish intereats in America.
As the government expands into more and more sectors that
hitherto were private, the political clout is most important in mak-
ing our justifiable requests heeded.
The Jew in America has been bringing sacrifUces of money
and'his generosity is not excelled by any other segment of our
society. But now there is a need for sacrifice not only financial
but to give of oneself, to give time and thought to the betterment
of the community. We must be properly organized so that the
Jewish institutions can radiate influence making all Jews aware of
their destiny and obligations.
We can see that even by the nature of these three prelimin-
aries to Purim, they need not come simultaneously every year. A
little boy whose mother gave birth to triplets was told by his
father: "Thia calls for a holiday so aak your teacher to excuse you
from attending school for a day." When the child returned from
echo01 he told h b father: "I did quite well. I'm taking off a day
this week for the f ht brother, another day next week for the
second brother, and a day the third week for the third brother."
Whether spaced separately or lumped together, the prelimin-
aries of Purim, the festival of dispersion, teaches us that we can
overcome the Hamana by prayer, by militancy, and by sacxilice.
ARE YOU CONCERNED?
By ISAAC GOTTLIEB
Our Sages designated this Sabbath as Parshat ShekoUm. The
Torah enjoins every adult to contribute a half of a shekel to the
sanctuary.
Concerning this requirement, the Talmud teaches :
~ 7 5 3 wa 5 y py7nvn i i ~ 3 i n ~ 3
On the first day of Adar, the campaign for shekolim was pro-
claimed. This money was marked for the purpose of
i r 3 ~ nrnip
to be offered the following month.
The following question intrigues me: If the korbanot were
sacrificed in the month of Nisan, why the announcement thirty
days in advance?
Two illuminating and significant reasons are advancq by our
ancient Rabbis. One commentary states :
HI^ 117 H ~ J - D ~ ) at nN at rpm N ~ V
They should not h- ~r t one another. Because of this possible danger,
a thirty day period was allotted to remit the shekel tax on a grad-
ual basis. In other words, it was a precautionary measure to ward
off physical harm.
Another commentary explains it in this fsehion:
~ N W inr~S IrJnrIw i"3 ]at rat ,aiipn arr5 prri3a 7335 P J ~ N "
".>ban a$w> nrw lam Trna 'I> >inwrw ,15
('~UIU- N Q I ~ 131'23~1)
This period of time waa provided for the eake of the
0"JY
and since they, too, were obligated to fulfill the duty of thfe an-
nual tax, they wek given ample time to obtain the shekel.
ARE YOU CONCERNED? 101
On a superficial level, one might safely say, t hat since it is
a duty incumbent upon a11 adults, no one was exempt from this
communal assessment. But, I feel that the explanation of the lat-
ter ha8 a deeper meaning. In psychological terms, if the poor were
not afforded the opportunity to have a stake in t hi s endeavor, it
might affect them emotionally. The poor might suffer a psycho-
logical blow. Being left out, they would suffer mental pain. In this
case, the poor have t o be judged in the domain of psychology, and
not only according to the regulation.
Our wise masters, apparently, were just a s concerned about
one's mental anguish as they were about one's physical hurt.
The application has relevance and meaning today, as it did in
the past.
Many, in our times, are sensitive about bodily hurt. They are
cautioua not to c a w pain, if it involves the physical being. But,
unfortunately, they are insensitive and unconcerned when it in-
volves the spiritual being or emotional feelings.
Let us meet this challenge and concern courageously by ever
being mindful of our taek to our fellow men.
THE MAGIC SYNDROME
By 0. ABHER REICHEL
"He ahall purify himeelf therewith [purification water of
the heifer asha] on the third day and on the eeventh day
and he shall be clean" (Numbers 11:12).
One of the moat interesting phenomenon of modern man is
that he cannot do away with his split pemnality. On the one hand,
twentieth century man f& that he is aloof from his ancestors-
that through the medium of science he has attained the blessing#
of the super-machine age aa well ae the atomic age. Thus he is
quick to diamiae anythiig that cannot be scientifically substanti-
ated. On the other hand, modern man seems to be obseesed with
magic and with the unreal. How can one explain the manner in
which miliione of people throughout the world are under the spell
of television and similar fonne of entertainment Wed with hours
of nomeme and pure fantaay. Ia it because they cannot f~ the
world of reality that they turn their baclra to i t ? Not only young-
sters, but I dare my the adult world haa a h been brainwsshed
almost to the point of believing that with modern acience and know-
how the world of make believe and magic will become a Wty.
To put it another way the modern idea of the Messianic age ir
that of the world of magic.
It is one thing to count on some element outside of our#elvea
to solve all our problems for us, without our involvement, 8a it were.
This is what magic fa all about: the pebble6 in our backyard turn
into diamonds and that all our wishes become real. The Torah con-
cept, however, of inetant t r adomat i ons, aa in the law of the aehea
of the red heifer whereby a pereon's ritual status can be changed
forthwith, or the Torah concept of repentance whereby a moment's
will power can turn a wicked penaon into a noble eoul, are proven
phenomena that &d this magic eyndrome. It b therefore
THE MAGIC SYNDROME- 103
quite another thing to hitch our deatiny to our Creator by living
according to His world order. The prophet Isaiah put it succinctly:
"No eye has seen a Gd beside you who could do the like for the
one that awaits Him" (Chapter LXIV). If only modern man could
yet be humble enough to realize that despite all his accompliehmente
he cannot detach himself from his Divine origins and obligations.
A NEW YEAR TO YOU
By MEYER KRAMER
It would be very much in place this morning to begin, as I
normally do on the firet day of Rosh Haulurnah, by wishing all of
you a happy New Year. Yea, a happy New Year! For tomorrow
indeed mark the beginning of the Jewish ritual year. Ae the spe-
cial portion of the Torah, read this morning, stated clearly: "Thie
month, Nissan, shall be unto you the beginning of months; i t shall
be the firat month of the year to you." If Nb a n is the 5rst month
of the year, then Roalc Chodesh Nissan, the h t of Nissan, &arb
the year. In fact, throughout the Five Books of Moeea, the year
is counted as if it began with the Bret of Nissan, and the Boola
of Leviticus and Deuteronomy epeak of Raeh Hashanah as occur-
*
ring on the first day of the seventh month. Even the prophet Ezekiel,
who spoke in Babylonia after the deetruction of the first Temple,
refers in today's Haftorah to Pamaover as occurring on the Mteenth
day of the first month.
Consequently, an the aagea in the Talmud state, Jewa have
more than one Rash Hauhanah. Indeed, the h t day of Nisd~n and
the first day of Tishrei are two out of four. Nor llhould we be our-
pried at this aeeming inconsistency, for American Jm celebrate
another new year, the firet of January, and many of us note our
birthdays and wedding anniversaries, which are but other meam
of becoming conacioue of new yeam Yet, to the Jew, Rosh Hashan-
ah and Rash Chodcsh Nhwn are something special, lrignificant re-
flection# of his dual existence as a human being and aa a member
of a specific group. Jews are, on the one hand, of the world,
sharing responsibilities ae part of the great family of natiom,
participating in the tmublee and rrufferingo of mankind and gaining
i m m m l y from their contributione to ecience and peace. Bnt,
in addition, we carry unique dutiea and reapoaeibilitie~~, impo8ed
A NEW YEAR TO YOU
105
upon us by our faith and by our special covenant with G-d. Over
and above the seven natural laws which bind all children of men,
there are rules which apply specifically to you and to me because
we are Jewish. Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of the
world and hence emphasizes the aspect of our common humanity.
On Rosh Hashanah, Jew and Gentile alike stand before G-d's
throne as His creations, His children and His servants. This uni-
versality of Gd' s judgment on Rosh Harshanah is obvious through-
out the liturgy of the High Holy Days, whose theme is that the
L-rd is king over all the earth and some day all creatures shall
serve Him. If you will analyze the confessional on Yom Kippur,
wherein our errors and our weakneases are disclosed, you will find
few references to sins committed in violating Jewish ritual law. The
admissions of guilt center around general human weaknesses and
culpability, such as lying, cheating, distorting the truth, badgering,
disrespect t o parents-these are violations of the standard mores
and are not specifically Jewish in content. Rosh Hashanah presses
upon US our duty as men of the world. But the specifically Jewish
nature of our life is pinpointed by Rosh Chodesh Nissan, for on
t hat day we became a people.
The Jewish nation started not when Abraham was born, but
when the Jewish community in Egypt stood ready to fulfill the
commandment to set aside a Iamb, to sacrifice i t on the eve of
Pamover and to place i t blood upon the doorway of their houses.
This wae the firet time when the nat.ion collectively performed a
mitzvah, addressed only to it, and expressive of its uniqueness and
diatinetiveness. Because our peoplehood began on the very eve of
the liberation from Egypt, whenever G-d commands us to fulfill His
law, He constantly repeats that He brought us out of Egypt, rather
than eaying that He was the creator of the world.
The laws of the Torah apply to us, not because they came from
the creator of the world, for then they would be applicable to all
mankind, but because G-d freed us from Egypt. Even the Ten Com-
mandments, general as they are in nature, begin with the words:
"I am the L-rd thy G-d, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt,
out of the house of bondage." We became the Jewish people when
106 M A N U A L
the &at mitzvah was given us and we remain Jewa only through the
fulfillment of the nzitzvot. "The Jews are a people only through the
Torah," wrote Yehuda Halevi. The Jew at heart, who believes that
he is a good Jew because he follows the ethical concepts which are
commonplace in Western civilization miaaee the difference between
being a good man and a good Jew. There is nothing uniquely Jew-
iah in liking art or in advancing science or in taking an intereet
in the political life of one's country. What makes us Jews is the
willingness to go further and to adhere to the specific detaile of the
life of the Jew as set forth in the Torah and in the oral tradition.
The famous Jewish poet Chaim Nachman Bialik understood this
well when he remarked: "A Jew may know everything that science
ever discovered; he may be able to repeat every verse of hh nation-
al literature; he may be acquainted with every beat of every great
symphony. But unless he underatsnds a sentence of the Bible with
the commentary of Rashi, Jewiahly he ia an ignoramus."
I
Today we tend to emphamize Roah Ha u b n o h and Yom Kippur
over Pacartover. Even with all the attention that Pesach geta from
commercial houeee and advertising, many a petaon who will attend
Synagogue during the three Holy days will break bread onhis table
during the week of Pasecuver. This attitude may be symptomatic
of the fact that we are so much mori! eager to be good people, gooti
citizens of the world, than we are to be good and full Jewa The
day must come when N h n will take its rightf'ul role b i d e Tbh-
rei, ctnd with as much fervor aa we celebrate the creation of the
world, we muat undertake to observe the beginning of our people.
Therefore, i t is with conviction that I wish to repeat the greeting
with which I began this morning: "Happy New Year t o you, J m! "
THE LAST SERMON
By ISAAC C. AVIGDOR
Dedicated to the memory of my father and teacher,
Rabbi Doctor Jacob Avigdot., of blamed memory,
former Chief Rabbi of Mexico.
It happened exactly 30 years ago, on the Shabbat Hagado1
preceding Passover, 1942, in our home town, Drohobycz, Poland.
The Germane were advancing triumphantly in their war
against the Russians. Although the S.S. people were systematical-
ly instituting the first of the "Aryan laws," the situation was atill
tolerable. To be sure, Jews had to wear armbands with blue Stars
of David, but they could move freely in the town. There was no
ghetto ae yet, and some Jews were doing buaintya with the Ger-
mans aa well aa with the local Gentiles. The majority of the Jew-
ieh population, however, waa in dire bancia1 etraits. Every day
they had to do forced labor in exchange for a morsel of bread and
a bit of soup. And thaw who could not work did not have even
that.
At this time, my father launched a Maot Hittin operation to
open a Paeeover soup kitchen which would serve free hot meals,
matzot and potatoes to the needy. That Skabbat Hagadol after-
noon, the "Ykhrei Leu" synagogue, where we were living in the
women's section, (earlier the Germans dispoasec#led. us from our
houee), had a rather full congregation, and my father, of bleesed
memory, mounted the bitncr to deliver his -on. Here is what
he said:
I have alwaye had some difficulty comprehending the brief,
dramatic episode of the Exodus from Egypt. Before the liberation,
the Torah tells ua, the Almighty twice instructed the Jewish
108 M A N U A L
people to borrow gold and silver from their Egyptian neighbors.
Before leaving their exile, they were to fill their pockets with
wealth. God thue instructs them in Exodus 3:22, and then again
in 11:2. Both the content and the form of these veraes appear in-
comprehensible. Why did God have to repeat this instruction? If
God were to tell one of us just once, "Go and take," we would
immediately hurry.
Raehi, in his commentary explains it by saying that God
wished to fulfill His promise to Abraham that "after that they
shall come out with great poaeeesions" (Genesis 15:14). In other
words, what concerned God here was that Abraham should not
come complaining that He had gone back on His promise concern-
ing his descendants. That after they had been "held in oppression
. . . for four hundred years . . . they shall come out with great
posaeasions." So God repeated his instructions to help Him fulfill
His promise.
But is this really a satisfactory explanation? On the con-
trary, it raises further questione. For it implies that were it not
for Abraham, God would not have been at all concerned about hie
promise. Secondly, why doee God tell Moses, "Please s'peak into
the ears of the people" (11 :2) ? What was the secret? And if the
whole matter doea require eecrecy and th language of entreaty, why
is not the m e language ueed in the earlier reference in 3:22?
Then, in 11:2, God tells Mo w to instruct the Jews that "each
should borrow from hia feZZau." Fellow in Hebrew is derived from
the root "re'a" (15 :4). In all the laws enumerated in Exodus 21 :24,
the term "re'u" applies exclusively to Jews. It should follow, then,
that the instruction in 11:2 means that the Jews should borrow
valuables from each other. If so, how would all the Children of
Israel leave Egypt "with great poeeessions" after borrowing from
each other, and how would God's promise to Abraham be fulfilled?
But it appeara, my father, of blessed memory, continued, that
just as there are &ong ue today different categories of slaves,
so were there then among the Jewa in Egypt. There were Jewa who
performed hard labor in the lime pits, producing bricks, and haul-
THE LAST SERMON
ing rocks. But thre were alao Jews who did business with the
Egyptian oppressors, acted as taskmasters over fellow Jews . . .
these were the Dathans and Abirams, informers and toadies. This
latter group of prominent slavea lived as neighbors with the
Egyptian rul'ers.
When God issued His first command t o the Jews these Jewish
prominente dashed off t o the homes of their rich neighbors and
helped themselves t o their more precious posaessions. The poorer
Jews, on the other hand, what could they possibly have found
when they went into the homes of their Egyptian neighbors? A
cracked pot. Some tattered clothing. It is understandable t hat such
an operation should be carried out quietly, discreetly. The Jews
were not powerful enough t o stage an open insurrection, or for the
mass of poor slaves t o walk boldly into the neighborhoods of the
wealthy Egyptians. The Egyptians would immediately have slaugh-
tered them. That is why God instructed them t o carry out the
whole operation quietly, in the form of neighbor-to-neighbor bor-
rowing. And t hat is the way the Jews did it, and t hat is why the
operation was a success.
But, t o be sure, in the end, the whole thing caused a scandal
among the Jews themselves. What God had told Abraham, t hat
his deacendante "will be slaves, and will be held in oppression,"
was fulfilled in ita entirety. But when i t came t o leaving "with
great powwions," the poorer Jews left only with the pittances
they were able t o borrow from their poor Egyptian neighbors. And
they cried out to God about the fact t hat precisely those who had
done the least work and suffered the leaet from the lashes of the
Egyptian taskmastere had acquired the "great posseeeions." So
God's promise t o Abraham had indeed been fulfilled, but for only
a part of the nation. Abraham surely could not allow this.
That is why God again instructed the second time the Jews
themselves t hat "each should borrow from his fellow." Here God
was asking the richer Jewa t o share their wealth with their poor
fellows, 60 t hat all should leave with an equal ahare of Egyptian
wealth.
110 M A N U A L
Now over the years we have always aeked Jews to contribute
to Yaot Hittin as an act of charity. We collected money from gen-
erous people on behalf of needy people. But the Hebrew word
"zedah" d~ not really mean "charity," but "righteousness,"
"justice." And the term "mishpt ze&k" does not mean "charitable
judgment" but "righteous judgment," or "true judgment." I have
never before asked for zedaka as a measure of justice as I do now,
when we are all living in the shadow of death!
If i t has been decreed t hat we are t o be slaves t o the Germans,
then the decree applies to all Jews equally and without exception.
Therefore, i t is only right and just t hat those Jews who are en-
joying the privilege of working less arduously, and also the pos-
sibility of coming into "great poawaaion," should lend to their
fellow Jews, share their pamessions with the needy, the hungry
and the ill.
i
My father bowed his head to conceal the tears which welled up
in his eyes and ran down his cheeks. The deep wrinkles on his
face seemed deeper than ever, as though his heart told him t hat
this would be the last sermon he would deliver after twenty yeare
of service as Rabbi of the proud and glorious community of Dro-
hobycz-Borislaw. i
j
And I think t hat the congregation felt it, too. There was a
good response to my father's appeal, and the soup-kitchen was
,I
open for the entire eight days of Passover. The following year,
1
all those who had managed to survive the year were in concentra-
tion camps. i
i
UPON THE THRESHOLD
By MILTON KANTOR
At this time of Passover, we are inspired by the seder services
in which we participate and caught up in the glorious history
leading up to the exodus from Egypt. It is the rare person who
is not psychologically enervated by this story. For i t is a story
which never loses its appeal and which still grips our hearts, espe-
cially the heart of the modern man whom desire for freedom seems
to be the ultimate goal of his life.
Yet, in reading about the exodus from Egypt, we note a
curious discrepancy in the Torah reading, a discrepancy pointed
out by the famous Keli Yokor commentary. In Exodus 12:7, the
J ew&& people were commanded by G-d, through Moses and Aaron,
to take the blood of the paschal lamb and strike i t on the two
sides of the door post and then on the upper door post; the To ~a h
puts it thusly:
.'xi1 hipwbil 5 ~ 1 ntitbil ynw 4~ iJnJi o m I D rn~Si
On the other hand, the Keli Yokor commentary points out in the
same chapter, t hat Moses reverses the order and bids the Jewish
people to atrike the mashkof and then the two side posts. Why,
asks the KeZi Yokor i s the order revered?
The answer which the KeZi Yokor gives is one which establish-
ea him not only as a courageous Biblical commentator but alao a
echolar who had a far reaching and almost prophetic vision from
his time to our own. He explained that the two side posts repre-
sent man's desire for G-dly behavior, whereae the mashkof repre-
cents G-d's providence and care for man. The Eternal attempted
to teach Moseta a deep psychological lesson, namely t hat man can
only be free and may only call upon G-d's providence when they
exert all the energy at their command and when they themeelves
112 M A N U A L
take the risk and develop the courage to act G-dly. If they do not
involve themselves in such behavior, i t is not fitting for them to
call upon G-d since they have not expended enough energy of their
own.
Moses was concerned, however, t hat the Jewish people would
never "buy it." He felt t hat this lesson was too difficult for them
to learn and t hat being a people born and raised in slavery, they
could never develop the courage and fortitude necssary t o act
G-dly. Hence, he cited the mh k o f i ht and then mentioned the
two side posts, indicating a t the same time his doubt as to whether
these two side posts representing the Jewish people could rise to
the occasion.
The fact t hat this generation, as we are told later in the Bible,
perished in the desert and, thereby, fulfilled Moses' fears, should
not deter us from advancing ourselves to the firat commandment
of G-d and involving ourselves in the G-dlike behavior t hat will
*' I
earn and merit His providence for us. Freedom, the great gift of
Passover, is not a lightly given commodity: i t is attainable whether
it is political freedom, religious freedom, or educational.freedom,
only by expending one's utmost energy. It does little good t o be-
t
moan our faith and cry to Ed if we are not going to stand up like
I
the two side posts t hat we are and take the initiative in providing
financial support for the State of Israel, religious support for our
own tradition, and educational support for our own children. To
si t back and mourn t hat these things are not present wihout doing
1.
them ourselves, will surely merit for us the fate t hat our ancestors
encountered in their forty years in the desert.
May this be a significant blessing for us on Passover so t hat
all the freedoms t o which we aspire, may be ours in the future.
HOW ARE YOUR DISTANCES?
By JOSEPH RADINSKY
My family and I went on a tour recently t o Ein Gedi via Jerus-
alem, Jericho, Quamean and the northwestern shore of the Dead
Sea. Ein Gedi is located on the shores of the Dead Sea. The shore-
line still mel l s of sulphur and the Biblical account of the destruc-
tion of Sodom and Gommorah by fire and brimstone( sulphur) is
still very vivid. The settlement of Ein Gedi is set back a little on
an overlooking hill drawing its water from the famous, beautiful
Nahal David with its refreshing pool and waterfall.
David fled t o Ein Gedi when Saul turned ugly and tried t o kill
him. Thus the pool and gorge are named after him. Standing there
I was suddenly struck by the really short distance which separates
the heights of Jerusalem from the depths of the Dead Sea. Jerus-
alem, the symbol of the heavenly, the pure, the refined, is really
only a short distance from the barren, sulphurous Dead Sea, the
lowest place on earth. In fact, from some places in Jerusalem, you
can see the Dead Sea. The climb up from the Dead Sea t o Jerus-
alem is very rough. The Midbar Yehudah with its rugged terrain
looks just like the "Wild West" with its steep canyons and gorges.
A wadi isn't just a dry river bed, it's a deep canyon with steep
wails. The climb up from a lower level existence t o a higher level
one is a hard taek. To go up t o Jerusalem is arduous businem. But
the dement can be made much easier. And the distance really isn't
very great.
Thia ie a leason which our generation seems t o have forgotten.
It t a k a a lot of work and effort to t ry t o live the good and moral
life and i t requires conatant vigilance. Give up ethics and morality
114 M A N U A L
for a little while and take the easier paths and soon you'll find you
have traversed the really short distance to the depths of human be-
havior. Of course, there is a saving feature. Even in the depths of
the world there is an Ein Gedi. If a person wants to, even there he
can find the proper nourishment and make his way back up to the
heights. Let no one make the mistake of thinking t hat because he's
in the depth he is doomed t o stay there forever.
Peaach too, I believe, has something of this same message. By
our efforts t o expunge the chometz from our homes (which in this
context has the connotation of human weakness and failings) we
testify t hat we can overcome our moral deficiencies and t hat we
can make it back up to the heights where we belong. We also say
that if we don't periodically look at our failings we can too fall very
quickly t o the depths. We all, periodically, have to check our di e
tances. May they always be close t o Jerusalem.
THE SEDER PLATE
By LEON D. STITSKZN
The arrangement of the Seder plate represents a curious con-
trast. On one side of the plate we have the symbols of an egg which
is associated with mourning and in contrast to that we place the
paraley, katpas, symbolizing the harbinger of spring pointing to
regeneration and redemption. A similar distinction obtains on the
other side of the plate where we traditionally place the shankbone,
zeroa, betokening the golden era of the Temple in Jerusalem and
the ohatoset which is a mixture of wine, nuts and fruit, reminiscent
of the mortar used by the Jewish slaves and the blood of their
mutilated children.
A counterpart of this picture of contrast8 is reflected in our
contemporary scene. Aa we s w e y modern developments in Judaism
we discern a striking dichotomy which requirea the focus of our
attention. On the one hand, there is a growing awareness in intel-
lectual circles and in the academic community of the unique quality
of Jewish valuea and the Hebraic mode of diecourse. Coursee in
Judaic8 have been introduced in leading universities. Even some
erstwhile bigoted acholars like Professor Arnold Toynbee have re-
cently admitted that the only glean of hope for a more just eociety
grounded in moral purpoee and intellectual perception liea with
Jewish values as reflected in our &able family units and our re-
ligious culture. Surely, the emergence of the State of Israel haa its
metaphysical ae well as its national wpects underscoring the in-
domitable spirit of Man.
But, paradoxically precisely at this significant juncture of our
history, we are confronted with dire statistics on the operational
front casting shadows of despair upon the Jew&& horizon. We are
told by the American Aaeociation of Jewish Education that there
la a considerable drop off in the enru11ment of our religioue school.
M A N U A L
College campuses are experiencing defections of our faith. There is
rampant a spirit of assimilation and intermarriage on an unprece-
dented scale in the small communities and permhi venw, aliena-
tion, and addiction in the urban centers. Only one of five Jewish
children is receiving any formal Jewish education and even in major
Jewish centers one out of five young Jews is marrying outaide the
Jewish faith.
The polarity ia glaring and what ia required is a massive mo-
bilization of our best minds and talents to stem the tide of the sub-
version of Judaism. Only a total commitment to Jewish education
grounded in a philosophy of Judaism that is unique and to the
cultivation of our own vineyard will insure a meaningful survival
of our people, our Torah and Klal Yisroel.
Undergirding the Seder plate are three lnatzot which bespeak
a threefold spirit of independence - a political, social and intellect-
ual emancipation. Indeed the last form of independence hinges upon
the notion that Torah study should be geared to a system of educa-
tion that operates on a conceptual as well as a pragmatic level.
Apart from the general purposes of Torah learning d&igned to
structure and discipline our thinking processes by means of defini-
tion, analysis, speci5c rules of logic as well as that of learning
leading to action and application. Torah study should direct us to
search for the unique philosophical foundation of our faith. What
constitutes the organic character of Judaism muat be the perennial
preoccupation of the Jewish educator. The entire Haggaduh of the
Seder serves to underecore the underlying distinctive rationale of
the ~e b&i c mode of discouree dedicated to a life-affirming and life-
loving commitment. Lie is an absolute. Life is not negotiable. Like-
wise the Jewish people poeeees a dietinct function in the scheme of
thing6 - the realization of this spiritual and moral ideal in the
world.
The spark of aelf-sacrifice, drastic action L needed t o shake LM
out of our doldrums in the face of the current highly charged and
dichotomous c i r c m c e e affecting the future of Judaism and
K W Yhoel . Aa we celebrate the feetival of freedom, may the Al-
THE SEDER PLATE 117
mighty endow us with a sense of the heroic t o live up t o the great
destiny t hat awaits us.
Our sages tell us that when Nikanor had gone t o Alexandria
t o bring the gates for the Holy Temple, on his way home a storm
a t sea threatened t o drcwn him. The crew cast one of the gates into
the sea to lighten the burden but t o no avail. When they desired
t o cast the second gate overboard, Nikanor arose and embraced the
gate and said t o them - "hatiluni imah," fling me together with it.
Immediately thereupon the sea became quiet ( B. Tal. Yuma 38) .
Indeed throughout the ages we invented many devices t o silence
the storm of hate and devisiveness that arose against us. But not
until we arose in a spirit of self-sacrifice prepared t o offer our own
distinctive redemptive power has the storm subsided and we march-
ed on triumphantly t o a more glorious future facing life courageous-
ly and spiritually.
WHY BE DIFFERENT?
By VICTOR SOLOMON
Paesover is an appropriate time to ask questions. The tradi-
tional gashes of the Hag- provide an excellent framework for
a new set of four modern questione which could decide the fate of
American Jewry and our role in the adventure of Jewish history.
The Four Questions are introduced by the familiar words: Mah
Nishtanoit - 'Why are we different ?jY '
' f
The firat question relates to Matzah, the unique P ~ V & food.
Why, we may inquire, must the Jew be distinguiehed by a dietary
code of KoaM laws?
The aecond question concerns Maror, the bitter burden of Jew-
ish identity bracketed between a paet of martyrdom and a future
of uncertainty, assailed by hostile ideologies in a world full of preju-
dice and bittern-?
The third +ion poses a practical economic problem : As Jewa,
. we are constantly rrscrtbilia shtei pyamimy required to dip into our
pocketbooks time and again, to support the uaual philanthropic
causes as well ae special Jewish charities. What is the limit?
The fourth question inquires about kukrtou metubito, the Jewish
problem of "posture"; why not recline, relax, enjoy life, take it
easy, adopt a "no sweat" attitude regarding alcohol, family, morals
and life itself? Why must we always be "on approval"?
In others worda, returning to the introductory query: "Why
be different?"
Why Be Different?
Fkquae Moms, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Rabbi Akiba and your p a mt a
were wemt!
WHY BE DIFFTCRENT 119
Because when you are difEerent you affirm the uniqueness of the
individual who was created in the Divine Image which certainly
is unique and different!
Because you are here to aek these questions due to the willing-
ness of past generatione to be Werent-regardless of the cost!
Because future generations will continue to ask these questions
if you will have the courage to be difFerent!
Because in your veins courses the blood of saints and martyrs,
prophets and sages, giants of the spirit and humble men who
"walked with G-d," who were difFerent.
Because this topsy-turvy world needs the "different" mesaage
of our heritage before i t goes up in a puff of vapor!
Mah Nkhtamh?
Vive la difference!
THE REAL THING
By JEROHE H. BLASS
The Rabbis remark, "Ha-kol taluy be-maul ajilu aefer Torah
aheb'huychal," everything depends on luck even a Torah in the
Ark. One Torah is read from constantly; the other one stands in
a corner of the ark seemingly forlorn and deserted.
The Rabbis' remark concerning the Torah applies, I think,
equally well to the Jewish festivals. Some holidays have maul and
others just have no luck judging by the festival which we celebrate
today. Skavuot is one of the Shaloah Regalim - one of the three
pilgrimage festivals. Normally we would expect them to be of
equal importance. Yet one cannot help but note the glaring differ-
ence. Passover is celebrated for an entire week and Sukkot is cele-
brated for more than a week. Shavuot, on the other hand, is cele-
brated for just two days - and even this because we are in the
galut. In Ierael Shuvuot lads only one day. It is pr&tically over
before we have a chance to celebrate it.
There ie an even more interesting difference between the f a -
tivals. Every holiday in the Jewish calendar hae some unique
symbol, some epecial mitavah which must be pertormed. Thus, on
Paesover we are required to eat Matmh for w e n daye. On &kkot
we are required to my blessinga over the LztZav and the Etrog and
dwell in the Sukkah for seven days. On Roah Hwisonah we are
bidden to sound the Shofar 100 times. On Yom K i p r we fast for
24 hours. Mention any holiday in the Jewish calendar and you wU1
5 d a distinctive symbol and a unique mitzvah which must be ful-
Illled in connection with that holiday. Sh a wt , however, ia not only
the ahorteet festival in duration but is also completely devoid of
any symbols or specific mitzvot which must be fulfilled.
We could understand this if Shavuot were a minor holiday
which celebrated nothing of any great consequence. But this ia
THE REAL THING 121
not true. This festival celebrates >man matafi Torataiyfiu - the
giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai. This festival celebrates the birth-
day of our faith; that which gives meaning to our existence. Sha-
mot ha actually the crown of all the Jewish holidays and, if any-
ing, deserves to be celebrated in a manner which outdoes all the
other holidays. Instead, what do we have? A holiday that is barely
noticed, that is over before we even have time to note i t and that
does not possess even one distinctive ritual or symbol.
The great Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch calls attention to this
strange fact in his writings and he gives a brilliant explanation.
Shavuot, he notes, unlike all the other festivals and holidays of the
year, has no symbols because it celebrates the giving of the Torah
and there is no symbol for Torah. Passover is the festival of free-
dom and we can symbolize that freedom by eating matzoh - the
bread of sffliction, with maror - the herb of suffering while re-
clining in the manner of free men at our seder table. Sukkot is a
reminder of the booths in which our ancestors were caused to dwen
in the wilderness. We can symbolize those booths by re-creating
them and by dwelling in them for the week, experiencing the rig-
ours and the hardahips of our forefathers d old. Similarly we are
able to d e v h an appropriate symbol and observance to symbolize
every concept marked Gy the various festivals and holidays of the
year. There is, however, no symbol for Torah. There is only one
way t o commemorate the giving of the Torah and that is by living
and practicing Torah. To reduce Torah to a symbol is actually to
do violence to the very concept of Torah.
And therein lies one of the great shortcoming of our time.
Ours is an age which has reduced everything to a symbol especially
Torah. The late Rabbi Morris Adler expressed this thought in an
essay entitled, "The Rabbi - 1966 which was printed in The Jew-
b h Heritage of Spring 1966. He said, "While religion i s respected,
it is not invoked. Though he (the Rabbi) is honored as a 'man of
God' he b not taken eeriously. He has become a aymbol on a par
with other symbols - the Ark, the Menorah and even the Torah -
and like them revered at a distance but not profaned by involve-
ment in daily life and crucial decisions."
122 MA N U A L
Examples of this tragic shortcoming are legion. A few years
ago, the Jewish community celebrated the 400th anniversary of
the Shulchan Aruch. In honor of that event the State of Israel is-
sued a special postage stamp and numerous Jewish Centers set up
displays and presented a variety of programs to honor Joseph Caro
and his great work on Torah. But in the midst of these displays
was the ironic fact that the preponderance of institutions which
ao actively paid tribute to the Shulchan Aruch have made it a point
of not observing it. Thus, a certain "Y" had a huge poster of Jo-
seph Caro and the Shulchan Aruch in its lobby and saw nothing
incongruous that their cafeteria aerved non-koaher food and their
swimming pool was open on the Shabbat. Indeed, this is perfectly
understandable when the Torah is reduced to a symbol.
This tendency to convert Torah into a symbol explains the
more common paradoxes and contradictions in Jewish life today.
A child is enrolled in religious achool where years are spent in-
doctrinating him with the tenets of his faith. His education culmin-
ates in a Bar-Mitzvah on the Sabbath when parents and relatives
glow with pride as the young man is called to the Torah to thank
G-d for the giving of the Torah and for the privilege of fulfilling
ita precepta ae a Son of Commandments. Then, in the very next
moment, the new Bar-Mitzvaht his family and gueata proceed to
violate every precept by driving off in their cars to partake of a
non- kder , antimitzvah, Bar-Mitzvah reception. To the observant
viewers of this painful and oft-repeated incident, the whole episode
seems like a farce and they wonder that the principals in this
charade do not recognize the contradiction in their actions. But it
is perfectly understandable when we remember that to many of our
people, the Torah is nothing but a symbol and the Bar-Mitzvah
nothing more than a symbol of a aymbol.
A young couple atsnh under the Chupah and participates in
a ceremony overflowing with Jewish tradition. The grmm placea
a ring on the bridds finger and pronounces her hi wife "k'daat
lllmite v'yisroeE," in accordance with the laws of Mows and Israel,
and then celebratee the event with a non-kosher wedding receptim
in flagrant violation of "duat Mmhe v'yistocl." The obtwmnt Jew
THE REAL THING
wonders that no one present perceives the, utter contradiction. It
is perfectly understandable, however, when we remember that to
those present, the Chupah is a symbol, the ring is a symbol, the
breaking of the glasa is a symbol. Why not the Torah?
Unfortunately, this same misconception lea& also to an even
greater contradiction - the intermarried couple who insist on the
presence of a "Rabbi" to solemnize their union. One stands aghast
a t the chutzpah and the obtuseness of people who, in their marriage,
are dealing a death blow to their tradition, but expect a "Rabbi"
to be present to solemnize their ceremony and give their actions
his blessings. It is perfectly understandable, however, when we re-
alize that to them the Rabbi ia merely a symbol like the wedding
cake. His presence therefore, is a concession to the aroused feel-
ings of the more "Jewish" members of the family.
We could speak of Jewish organizations which are on constant
alert against any threats to Jewish survival and who themselves,
are in the forefront of thoae fighting to cut off public funds to Ye-
ahivae, the only hope of our survival. They oee no contradiction,
for to them Torah b only a symbol.
We could go on giving one example after another of the con-
tradictions which are a common feature of Jewiah life today only
because to moat people Torah has been reduced to a symbol.
Sha wt leetir only one day because it commemorates ma n
matan t mt ai ynu - merely the awesome moment in history when
the Almighty revealed himself momentarily to his people. The true
celebration of matan torathiynu lasta much more than a day or a
week. It liea in 365 days a year and in a lifetime of living and
practicing ita precepts.
The feetival of Skavuot, unlike the other festivals, ia devoid
of any specific rituals or symbols because there is no symbol for
Torah. To quote the words of the popular commercial, when it
comes to Torah, "It's the Real Thing."
BY DEEDS AND NOT BY WORDS
By BERNARD A. POUPKO
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Some 240 years ago a ball was held with the participation of
Poland's leading noblemen and their wives. The occasion was the
20th birthday of the only son of Count Potocki who highly
respected in the arietocratic circle8 of Poland. The name of the son
I
in whoee honor the festivities were held was Valentin. To add
1
gaiety to the festivities Count Potocki ordered one of his Jewish
tenant., the Arendar, to dress up in the hide of a bear and to dance
and perform mimicry for the benefit of the guests. The helpless
and humiliated Jew, much against his better judgment, obliged hie
landlord. He danced and jumped like a bear and the Poles laughed
and clapped their hands with great approval. Suddenly the Jew
stopped. He threw off the disguise of the bear and said to the Count
that now the Sabbath is about to be ushered in he could no longer
continue to entertain the guests. Outraged by the audacity of the
Jew the Count ordered public flagellation in front of all the guests.
Wounded and tormented the Jew gathered the last ounce of hie
strength and left the party for hia little cht ka, peasant's hut.
There he washed and prepared himself for the Sabbath and prayed.
The young and gentle Valentin was deeply moved by the pun-
ishment and humiliation of the Jew and he decided to leave the
party in order to go and comfort the helplees victim. When Valen-
tin entered the hoqe of the Arendar he was overcome with the
splendor of the Sabbath atmosphere, the S8bbat.h candlea, the
BY DEEDS AND NOT BY WORDS 125
beautiful table with the delicacies and prayer books and above all
with the joy and serenity which he noticed on the face of the
Arendar. He could not quite understand how it was possible within
hours t o be transformed from a spineless clown and physically
assaulted serf into a noble prince. He sat down and he questioned
the Arendar who in turn explained t o him the meaning of the
Kiddush, the Sabbath candles, the liturgical chants welcoming the
Sabbath, etc. Valentin was so moved that there and then he decided
t o search and t o study in order t o better understand the teaching
of Judaism. When he was sent by his father t o study in Paris a t
the Sorbonne he discovered a Jewish scholar who became his teach-
er in Hebrew, Bible and the Talmud. Like a thirsty man he studied
and absorbed speedily and enthusiastically. In Paris he met his
friend from Poland, Zaremba, and both decided t o proceed t o Rome
t o the Vatican in order t o search more into the teachings of the
Church. He was received with his friend by the Pope and by the
Cardinals who lauded the young students for interrupting their
secular studies in Paris in order t o come and study their own re-
ligion. There in Rome after months of study and comparison Po-
tocki and Zaremba decided t o embrace the Jewish faith. They both
proceed t o Amsterdam, Holland where they engaged a Rabbi t o
teach them and to prepare them for conversion. After the conver-
sion Zaremba and his wife who also embraced Judaism remained
in Amterdam, but Potocki, the Ger Tzedek, proceeded t o P d n d
disguised so that he would not be recognized and there in the town
of Ilja, near Vilno, he spent days and nights in the Beth Hamidrash
studying the Torah.
In spite of the search by parents and police he remained un-
identified for a number of years but then the calamity happened.
A reckless informer gave the information t o the police about the
real identity of Potocki. He was arrested and tried for humiliating
his own church and he wa8 sentened t o death a t the stake. He
turned down all the pleas of his parents and the church authorities
t o renounce Judaism and thus save his own life, and on the firat
da y of Shavwt in the year 1749 he was executed in t he presence
of thousands of people in the large square which belonged t o the
church. Several Jews disguised as peasants gathered t he aehea and
126 M A N U A L
buried them on the Jewish cemetery of Vilno. The archives of Vilno
reveal t hat an unusual and imposing tree with branch- spread
like human arms grew upon this grave which attracted many Jew-
ish visitors.
Now let us for a moment consider what was it t hat has moved
the only son of the leading aristocratic Polish family to renounce
wealth, title and social status for the frightening risk of life itself
by embracing Judaism? What did really prompt his decision? The
answer is rather obvious and most relevant for our own day. The
young Count witnessed an incredible transformation of a human
being within hours. Only moments before the poor Arendar was
totally crushed as a human being. He surrendered hie pride and
abdicated his human image. He danced and acted like a four-legged
animal. But when the sun was about t o set and the Sabbath was
about to be ushered in there was a sudden resurrection accom-
panied by pride, courage and even the willingness to sufFer pain
and to die for his convictions.
When the gentle and sensitive Ruth resolves t o abandon her
birthplace, noble family and her people for the unknown t o her
land of Brael she pleads with her widowed mother-in-law, Naomi,
baasher tamut amut, which in the true meaning of the word ba-
-her implies for that which - for whatever you are willing t o die,
for whatever you are willing to give your life, for t hat very same
thing I too will sacrifice my own life. Thus, Ruth indicated t hat she
is ready and prepared to bear the same sacrifices for the same
reasons even as her mother-in-law was ready to do it.
Potocki too was so moved by the heroic sacrifice and steadfaat
commitment of the tragic Arendar t hat within himeelf he reeolved
to sacrifice, suffer and die for the eame values and ideals f ar which
this humble Jew was ready to die.
It is a proved and inexorable law of nature t hat the oft-spring
learns not so much from what he hears as from that which he nees.
No matter how much a father and a mother will plead with a child
t o live aa a Jew, t o pray, to observe the Sabbath, to eat Kosher,
as long as the child will not see all of this enacted in hie own home
t he worde will not move him.
BY DEEDS AND NOT BY WORDS 127
More than that.
Our young generation which is in search of content and values
will be much more impressed by the sacrifices which parente, teach-
era and Rabbi will be ready to make and will make rather than
by lofty words and polished phrases. A case in point is a true ex-
perience from life reported in the Jezaislc Advocate of Boston. This
Lubavitcher, young man, a new arrival in the community was
anxious to enlist the help of a noted scientist in the community
for his educational project. Here is what happened when he finally
arrived at the office of this scientist:
"I tried to tell my visitor that he was wasting his time. I
pointed out a whole series of reasons why I couldn't lend him my
name. Aaide from the fact that Lubavitch and Hasidus waa an
anachronism, aside from the fact that his dress and appearance
turned me off, a i de from the f a : that my modern Jewieh point of
view was quite incompatible with oldcountry Orthodoxy, as a Zion-
ist I didn't want to have any d d g e with those who throw atones.
(Don't all black hate and beard6 live in bfea Shearim and throw
stones ? )
"But he didn't engage in debate with me. Instead, to my ever-
lasting consternation, he looked out the window at the setting aun,
mumbles a 'beg your pardon,' quickly rose from his seat, tied some
Wid of a cord around hie waist and started to pray. Quietly, but
deliberately. Quickly, but with articulation. At thevery least I must
be given credit for recognizing that it was prayer.
"I did not quite know what to do. If memory serves, this waa
the first time I had ever seen anyone darni ng Minchu, certainly
the first time anyone davening Minclur outside a synagogue without
a prayer book and without someone to call the pages. Without
doubt, the itrst time anyone had ever dauened in my laboratory.
And above all, the first time anyone d a 4 anything without an
obligation to may Kccddjsh.
"I don't think I will ever forget the flood of thoughte that
swept through me during the few minutes of that winter twilight.
On the one hand, I &as completely nm-plumed. What ehould I do?
128 M A N U A L
Can I smoke? Should I stand up? Could I return to my writing?
How long is this going to last? (My major previous experience
with prayer, i t muat be stated, involved lengthy sermons and/or
Bar Mitzvah speeches.) My secretary poked her head in to say
good night and has never fully recovered. The telephone rang and
I didn't know whether I was permitted to answer. What would
the guard do with his gun when he came to close the vault?
"On the other hand, I was annoyed and righteously indignant.
After all, I had given this man a fixed appointment. Now he waa
using moat of i t for some type of medieval ritual. That's the trouble
with a religious Jew, I thought. They came to ask a favor and then
ignore you. What. chutzpah!
"But through the emotions of concentration and indignation,
I remember being impressed. This young Rabbi, new in town, in
need for favors from people like me, desperately trying to get
something started in a community which didn't know him and
wanted him leas-this young Rabbi felt a higher obligation. Regard-
less d what he needed from me, his hierarchy of values waa such
t hat temporal needs like my name or my check or even my approval
came second to the prime need: to pray a t the time 5 x 4 by law.
"I liked that. Though I didn't lend my name as a sponsor to
his banquet, I liked that. That night I told my wife t hat a different
type of person visited my office; aomeone who wae sincere, someone
whose religion meant more than the external trappings. Thus we
invited the Rabbi and his wife ( a Phi Beta Kappa in mathematicsJ
to our home to meet some of our frienda. I wanted to ahow off
someone who was real. Someone who devened Minclur in a micro-
biology laboratory. Someone who could write computer programs
and wear a shuytl."
This experience s p a most eloquently for iwlf without any
e mbe wme nt or any comment. A Bfmple act of piety in &on
accompllehed much more then a proliferation d word8 and dia-
logues. Honest and consistent idealism ae implemented in life ha the
most effective instrument through which and by which we can
Muence and move the non-committsd and the reluctant onea
BY DEEDS AND NOT BY WORDS 129
amongst ourselves. For the very same t hi ng which we will be
ready to renounce - material gains, comfort, security and social
acceptance - for these very same things they will too be ready to
make their own sacrifices. This was the challeilge of Ruth to Naomi
and this was the lesson which the young Count Potocki received
from the humble Arendar. And this is the indispensable leeaon
which we must provide for those who are looking up to us for
guidance and for instruction.
Naomi too resorted not so much to words aa to acts. Her declar-
ation of intention to embrace Judaism was followed by duvlccxh,
she cleaved unto Ruth and followed her on her journey to the land
of I me l and the people of Israel. Orpha, on the other hand, threw
kiirsea t o Naomi and to Judaism. Naomi who acts becomes the pro-
genitor of King David. Orpha who kieses is doomed to oblivion.
TORAH TIME
By VICTOR SOLOMON
Torah transcends all bounds of time and tense. It comea from
the past to the present, pressing on into the future.
On an ordinary Shabbat or Y m Tov when the Jew is called
up for an aZiyah, he recites the first blessing: asher bachar banu,
thanking G-d for having c h mn ua in the paat, and goes on to con-
clude with mtayn hartorah, thanking Him for Matan Torah - in the
present t er n. The worahipper may ponder the anomaly: Haa the
gentleman on the B i m forgotten his Hebrew grammar? Or waa a
carelem scribe reeponaible for an error in the B'rucha text?
After the reading ia concluded he says the eecond blessing:
aahm nutan lanu Twat emst, e x p r d n g hie gratitude t o the Al-
mighty for a Torah of truth entrusted to us in the past (tense) and
goea on to thank Him once again in the preuent (tense), mtayn
hutorah!
By now the worahipper eu8pect.a that this is no error - not
even a coincidence. Here ia a measage echoing through the corridors
of Jewish hietory - and from that very source understanding must
come. There ia something very special about the Torah's suspension
of time and tense. Torah reaches back to the dawn of time and
vaults through the present to the outer fringe of futurity.
Every 'day in the life of a Jew ia a nexus between now and
then, the past and the future, and what was and what will be. 3,400
years ago h e 1 was chosen on Mount Sinai to receive the Torah -
and i t was decreed that for all time to come Jews would receive
the Torah anew daily aa they a5r m i t in their livea.
The Midrash inquired into the reason for Israel's election to
receive the Tablets of Stone. According t o one mg g d o n it wae
~PP' 51 tnt3t3.
4
TORAH TIME
Another possibility was
v v D n n-2 n t m.
A third view was
n - V D~ 1 5 ~ nt ~t 2.
All are scripturally related to
T2N
stone.
How strange! Moribond atone, ranking lower than the animal
kingdom or even the vegetable world, for a Torat Chaim? No doubt
some wondered how Torah, which is likened to a "tree of life" and
"living watera," could be inscribed on tableta of inert, cold stone!
Like some contemporaries familiar to us, they may have conaid-
ered the Torah outdated, if not irrelevant and utterly dead.
Yet, was it not from stone that Mom brought forth living
water, refreshing watere bringing life to parched throats and
despairing soula in the broiling deeert.
128,
we are told, ia a dynamic fusion of two words:
3n
and
i
* 13.
2
Outmoded, dead atone, indeed! What holds more promise of life
3
than As and Bm united!
P
it
Stones are a fascinating paradox. They have been employed
as deadly weapons in slings, catapults and a variety of ancient
war machines. Stones can also be ueed to build sanctuaries come-
- crated to Gd, and shelter6 for men. Similarly, stones mark gravea
*
:
and separate nefghbora - or, as tableta inscribed with the Divine
"
Hand exhorting man to live nobly with G-d and fellow human
beings, they become keystones of brotherhood, milestones on the
path to a better world.
Tone of atone are forever doomed to isolation from the exciting
1
flow of time. However, one particular set of stones inscribed by the
finger of G-d was &own to become the focal point of history. Stone
'
without a meseage is, indeed, devoid of life. Aa
.+
1 3 4
MA N U A L
i t bridges the "generation gap" to become a dynamic force unre-
stricted by time itself.
The Midrash understood this fact of Jewish life. The Tablets
came from the pmt,
2pyr 5w ini3r2,
t o inspire Jews as they continue t o build sanctuaries,
mpnil nv3 ni x2
in the present even as they dream,
nvmil 75n n i m
for the future redemption. Mighty empires boastfully carved victory
claims on stone. But their great civilizations disappeared in the
shifting sands of time because their stone tablet6 were not touched
by the finger of G-d which turns cold stone into
f2H -
Av and Ben locked in a timeless embrace, immune to the ravages
of temporal circumstances.
The fonnula has come down to us in the Torah blessings:
131 ln2 1WN
of the
3N
in the past and
nvnn tniJ
affirmed by the son, now and for generations to come.
The K2i Yakar in ernor summarized this concept with a marked
simplicity and insight:
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iniu2 i5vu3 il~wil ninv 52n arvi aiv 522 15, 8ni.r il'ilvw
. V J ~ D liln ilhp aiv
The festival of Shavuot was a concession t o human weakness -
man's need for a specific date on the calendar of great events, a
monument, albeit temporal, to an historical experience. The Torah,
on the other hand, i s beyond the reach of space and time. It would
have preferred an arrangement proclaiming every day as 2'-
And so i t is for us - aa i t was for the generations before ue,
aa it will be for the generations after us - a Festival of Torah
embracing every day of the year.
MOTHER'S DAY
By PHILIP KAPLAN
"There are three partners in the creation of man: God, his
father and his mother. If men honor their father and mother I
reckon i t to them as if I dwelt among them and as if they honor
me" (Kiddwhin 30B).
It is this thought of the Rabbis which occurs t o me as we
gather this morning to celebrate the wonderful and special occaaion
called Mother's Day. And i t seems t o me t hat never before was i t
$0 necessary and so important to emphasize the Divine nature of
the relationship which always existed between Jewish children and
God's representative on earth, their mother.
I say this because of the fact t hat during the paat few years
we have been presented on the American literary scene with sev-
eral best sellers which tell of Jewish mothers and their troubled
children. And what a picture of the Jewish mother these books
present! Even comedians on television and in nightclubs have made
hei t he object of their jokes and their fun-making.
If we are to believe these books, the Jewish mother comes
forth something like this: She is a nagging, overprotective pest.
She smothers her children with love and is constantly screeching
at them "eat." She i s ambitious, aggressive, and domineering. She
wants to be part of every facet of her children's lives. She is to
blame for all the troubles which beset the heroes of some of these
booke. She is the cause of her children's ruined lives.
What a sad and cruel description this is! And why? Because
i t is so untrue to the real pereon who was and is the "Traditional"
Jewish mother. She i s the sacred soul who sacrifices herself for the
sake of her family. She would like t o have her children a little
longer and not see them grow up so fast. But she knows t hat for
134 MA N U A L
their own good they should not be tied down to her apron strings.
The real Jewish mother sacrifices for her children. She is a sacred
person upon who we murrt beatow all the love, honor, and dignity
which we give to God Himself. This surely is the purpoee of our
observance of Mother's Day.
A beautiful although mythical legend beet brings out the ea-
sence of motherly love. A man once fell in love with a vain and
cruel princess. He began to court her and she in turn made him
miserable by teasing him with her affection. Then one day she said
to him: LLHow do I know you really love me? Only if you will
bring me your mother's heart, will 1 know that you really do." The
man was dumbfounded by this request but in his blind love he
fulfilled her desire. As he was running and carrying his mother'e
heart, he slipped and fell; and the trembling heart in his hand
sighed and called out: "My child, 1 hope you did not hurt yourself."
This is a mother's love.
25th ANNIVERSARY ADDRESS
By BERNARD GREENPIELD
My M reaction to this auspicioue event b to echo the line
spoken by our Pat23arch Jacob in a moment of Ilelf-evaluation.
Taking into account all that transpired during a period of more
: than two decades of hie life and acknowledging the bounty &ow-
ered upon him by the Omnipotent Creator, Jamb lifted up hia voice
4 to Haven , , c l ~ e d :
nwnn 538 'IIJDP
"I am humbled by G-d's Bleesinga and all your kidneea"-kindness
manifested in so many way8 on so many occasions and by so many
people."
Each of you hrre demonstrated what King Solomon meant when
he described the glory of the Ancient Sanctuary of Jerusalem:
n3nH 91Y1 131n
The Temple waa cherished by the people. They did so not because
of the breathless beauty of the sanctuary or the golden glitter of
the TempIe or the dazzling decor of the structure, but rather be-
cause ,everything was lined with the fabric of love!
I cherish the sentiments of affection displayed here. For 25
yeam you have interwoven the fabric of lov'e that has given Ohav
Shalom and mysell a most enjoyable and eifective relationahip. For
'
all thb, I express my heartfelt thanks to each of you with the fer-
.
vent hope that G-d shall grant me ample opportunity to return
this kindnem at your 1Sivnchot.
25 is a signifA~811t number! You write it in Hebrew with the
two letters
nW3.
These letters, representing the number 25, also spell8 the word
33.
136 MA N U A L
And by some strange coincidence, this Hebrew word
n3
appeara in several significant quotea-quotes that offer sage counsel
to both rabbi and congregation. Three verses have served me as
guidelines in the past and will serve as goals for the future.
The &st is the verse
i 3 ~ ~ n n3
"So you shall Bless." The tenure of a rabbi, the harmony of a
congregation toward its rabbi and to each other, hinges upon this
verse!
"To Blew and not to condemn. To be appreciative, and not to
be critical. To be grateful and not be resentful."
Aa a
lw
I am especially mindful of this command to utter word8 of b l d g
to a congregation. And thank Ed, you, too, have returned these
blessings to me manifold. As a result, we have made strides to-
gether.
The second verae which must be the watch-word of every rabbi
and his congregation also begins with the number 25 -
1 Y V )l'n' n2
G d said to Abraham: "These must be your children." A rabbi must
be emotionally involved with his people. If he is begrudging of his
time and hie energy-he will be ineffective. Therefore, G d command-
ed, regard them as your oum children. Their n u c b will be youre,
their attachment to you will be your reward. Their lives must be
woven around you; their sorrow must touch the core of your soul.
When the congregation is like your own family you become a
part of theire. I consider myself Bleaaed that I have been able to
gain this rapport. You have taken ua into your hearb and your
homes. You've rejoiced at our family h c h t and we've shared in
yours. If, in some small way, during these 25 years we have lessened
your burden just a little or helped eomeone along a difKcult path
it was my way of saying, "You are my people."
25th ANNIVERSARY ADDRESS 137
Finally, you and I have been inspired and guided by a third
verse with the number 25, spoken aa Abraham and Isaac went hand
in hand toward the mountain of Gd.
33 t Y i l 3>~
"We shall walk together, both generations - the old and the new -
until we reach the Lord's mountain."
At this significant juncture, we behold a vision - hands reach-
ing out of the past to touch the present. Your parents and grand-
parents - a board member, a gabbai, our attorney - are people
who gave of themselves to plant the seeds of this congregation and
whose harvest we now reap. They are people who laid the baeis of
this Synagogue and upon whose foundation we've been able to build.
Abraham and Isaac - yesterday and today - their deetiny
linked together.
Ae we now draw the curtain on 25 years, let us hold h a n d
and walk together - onward and forward - onto the mountain of
the Lord to serve our G-d in this great congregation.
"TO BRING"
By JOSEPH I. SINGER
Jewish history is fashioned by spurta and characterized by the
peaks of achievements and the abyss of despair. The latest two
significant additions to our calendar bear evidence of this spas-
modic character of our destiny. Tomorrow we observe Yom Ho-
shoa-Vekcrgeburah, "the day of Holocaust and Bravery" in mem-
ory of the six million martyrs. Next Sunday we rejoice with the
happy observance of Israel twenty-Wth Yom Haatmaut.
Verily, the two polarities of Jewish history are not only close
neighbors in the calendar but they are the two deciaive momenta
in our history. It repreeenta the map of our modern history. To
underatand the significance of the past few decades we must have
these two towering landmarks as our constant guides.
The quintessence of our times can be capsulized in the follow-
ing verse:
il'lvil '3D 5~ D' n3T Di l 7 VK Di l ' n3t JlK 5 ~ 7 ~ ' ' 33 lK' 3' ' IVK ]l fb5
~ r n 5 v 9 n 3 ~ i n x i I n m SK ' lftib 5 i l ~ nna 5~ ' ~ K S D K ~ ~ ~ I
Dn l K " 1 ~ 5
"To the end that the children of Israel may bring their sacrificee,
which they sacrifice in the open field, even that they may bring
them unto the Lord, unto the door of the tent of meeting, unto
the priest, and sacMce them for sacrifices of peace offerings unto
the Lord" (Lev. 17 :5).
Our millennia1 history depicts the Jewirnh people sscrificing in
the open field. Whatever country admitted the Jew was the recip-
ient of the Jew's productive sacrifices. Beyond description is the
contribution of the Jew to European advancement, but alas, it
ended m an open field that became one large cemetery of unmsrked
gravee. Now the Jew realizes .that continuity i s only poseible when
"TO BRING 139
his sacrificee are offered on the proper Altar. The sacrifices else-
where were only of dam safach, ahedding blood, but in Israel they
are Zivcluri Shelomim, peace offerings, beepeaking permanence and
normalcy.
The Baal Haturim, with a profound insight of Jewieh history,
calls to our attention that three times do we find in the Torah
Veheyikzcm, "and they will bring them," bespeaking the three ma-
jor phases of the dynamics of our modern history.
The first time is mentioned in the text we have just quoted.
It ie recorded another time in Jeremiah.
53 nNi m~ 9 53 n ~ 1 ily9.v nNi nNtil -I*Y;I 1Dn 53 nN Ynnlri
a522 nt ~93i 1! ~ i n ~ 9 1 ni t t 21 n i l m ~ ?*a InN n t i n * 935n n i l u i n
"Morover, I will give d l the store of this city, and all the gains
thereof and all the wealth thereof, yea d l the treaaurea of the
kings of Judah will I give into the hand of their enemies, so shall
spoil them, and take them, and carry them to Babylon" (Jer.
20 :5).
The third time that the word Veheyihum is written is in
Isaiah.
. . . DDlPD 5N OlNV2ill O'DY ~ l n P 5 1
"And the people ahall take them, and bring them to their place
(Ie. 14.2).
m e triple mention of VeheyUum, bespeaking movement are
descriptive of the highlights, both shattering and upbuilding, of
modern Jewish history.
The Yon Ho s h h fin& ita tragic lamentation in the prophet
Jeremiah, who lived through the agony of destructions and im-
mor t al i d the soul searing experiences of such a calamity.
Every Jew who wss saved from the Hitlerian deirtruction and
wae snatched from the clutches of the Germane is a Jeremiah
living forever with the indelible memoria of an indestructible hor-
ror. The Jew wrrs alone and when the Chasm, the strength of
Jewry went up in the ihw af the ghetto. Who protested? Where
was the conscience of the world when the Yekero, the elite of our
140 M A N U A L
people, were tortured by the psychopathic sadists? Where were
the guardians of world morality, when all the Otzros, all the treas-
ures were conkat ed?
The world did not care and their unpardonable silence made
them accessories.
The Jew displayed infiinte courage against limitless attacks.
He was alone, but he lived with hope for the future. The enemy
could not take away from the Jew his indomitable will to live and
to hope. A quarter of a century ago, the words of the prophet
Isaiah, the prophet of comfort came true
PDIPD Su oiu93ni P ' D ~ oi n~Si
"And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place."
The disposserseed poeeeslsed a land that was desolate, the uprooted
struck deep rootra in the soil of the ancestore; the bedraggled and
emaciated survivore of the Chamber of Horrors that waa Europe
were transformed into valiant 5ghtere; the escapees from the Arab
countries with their backward civilization became overnight ex-
cellent mechanics and productive factory hands.
The Jew finally returned to his home to make Israel a shining
example of democracy. On Yom Hashoah let us remember that the
process of redemption ia a continuous state of becoming of the
extraordinary of yesterday changing into the ordinary of today.
We must ever reverently remember the Kedoshim of the holo-
caust and must enshrine their abortive hopes and unfulfilled
dreams in our life process.
As we engage today in a retrospective nostalgic remembrance
of the untold sacrifices that we have made for humanity, we must
address ourselves to our prospects ahead. The open Sode, field,
which has become a burial place of our martyrs and our hopes ia
a constant reminder that must proceed with the constant develop
ment of the State of Israel and the intensification of our loyaltiee.
We dare not be immobilized by the haunting memory of the
holocaust or content with our achievements in Israel. The clarion
call is sounded for the third Veheyiholnr
f ~ t t ~ 5nu nna 5u orn*>n~
"that they may bring them to the door of the tent of the meeting."
"TO BRING" 141
Just aa during the war it was said, "there is no atheist in the
fox hole," so that should be stressed that a thinking, feeling and
evaluating Jew can not be apathetic to the eventa and be a pathetic
nonbeliever. The miracle has taken place; a people were born; a
state re-established. We ought to cultivate a perception of these
God-ordained days and discard our cynic* and arid rationalism.
We must be imbued with the passionate movement of our times
and bring Zivchai Shelmirn, peace offerings to God. Only by s re-
ligious orientation can we be at peace with ourselves and at peace
with the Kedoshirn.
THE HOUSE AND THE G A T E 4 YEriRS
LATER
By JOSEPH I. SINGER
Nov. 18, 1973
Aa we observe this evening our twenty-five years of spiritual
leadership of the Manhattan Beach Jewish Center, Rebecca and I
are thankful t o the Almighty for these eventful years in which
we worked together for the realization of a dream. We will always
treasure the enduring friends we have-those who are present here
and those whose memories we cherish. We are appreciative of the
festive presence of generations-grandparents, parents, and children
who share with us this glorious occasion.
It seems t hat in our tradition there ie no apecial significance
attached to a twenty-Wth anniversary. In the Ethics of the Fathers
we note
n3S P ~ WS W 12 ~ Y S P ~ Y WY 12
"twenty years to pursue and thirty for full strength" (2:24).
These twenty-five years were always equidistant between Lir-
dof and K w h . They were inspired by a quest for a meaningful
and creative rabbinate. And we were always in need of resources
of K mh , strength, in order t o be fully involved in the many fa-
cets of work--communal and individual, significant and routine-
t hat dot out our daily calendar. Our Iives and the lives of our
children are fully intertwined with the synagogue, for the syna-
gogue has been our home for nearly a half of our lives and the
full life of our children.
When we first came here in 1947 our feelings could have been
expressed in the words of the Torah t hat we read today:
y n y t y ~5 yJ l U1 illil DlW2 '1N @" UJ N
"surely the Lord is in this place, and I know it not" (Gen. 28 :11).
THE HOUSE AND THE GATE
143
We saw the great possibilities of building and upbuilding Judaism
in this community. We behold the viaion of a glorioua tomorrow
amidst the present. The first prerequisite of 'spiritual leadership
is to envision what can be done with effort, sustained work and
sacrifices. The
?nyl' KS ?33K,
"and I knew not," is the rationalization of those who are content
with the status quo and who are not inspired by the glory of to-
morrow because they circumscribed by the present. Surely there
were hundred of times that we too exclaimed
i l t i l DlPDil Kl13 ?ID
"how full of awe is this place." To translate a dream into a reality
is an awesome challenge. To suffer irritations and smooth out
abrasive effects in the relationehip of a Rabbi and a congregation
would not even suffice the wisdom of Solomon. We are happy to
note that during these years there were no personal animosities
or tights to mar our fine relationehip.
In the procerur of building the new synagogue and its com-
panion synagogue, a project that cost more than four million dol-
lars, we were always guided by the principle
D * D W~ l y w nt1 D ? ~ S H n92 DK 93 nt f ~ ,
"thie is no other than the house of God and this is the Gate of
Heaven."
A bayit, a house, is fixed and fully specified in its blueprints.
Whereaa a shaar hhmwy i m, is limitless in its potential. During
these years the leadership of the synagogue evaluated our actions
under the double standard-the real of the bayit and the ideal of
the airaurr hhemuyi m. Surely the meaningful life is to be found
where the heaven of the viaion touches the boundarige of the tan-
gible. The vocation of the practical visionary is the harmonious
eynthesie~ of the house and the gate of heaven.
AB we I& back nostalgically upon these years in which you
and we were engaged in this tremendow building program, we can
=Y
9u n92 Hi nn olmn DV nu H'IP~I
3 3 1 ~ ~ 1 5 l' flil OV t t 5 ~ 5 1 ~ 1
"and he called the name of that place Beth-el but the name of the
M A N U A L
city was Luz at firet." We together have the rewarding experience
of giving the distinctive name of Beth-el, the House of G-d, to our
community. Each one of you has a share in this grand ent;erprise.
By paying tribute to us, we salute all who have worked with
us. They are indelibly inscribed upon the tablets of our hearts. Our
members have become part of our family.
As to the next twenty-five years, we trust that the past is but
a prelude to the future. Our prayer is to paraphrase
l h i l 'JN 1WN il?il 1173 ' Jl DWI ' 7DY Wi l >N ilyil' DN
"If G-d will be with me, and will keep me in this way, I go."
I> Inn ~ W N 531 P ~ S N i l w i l 3 m ' n ~ w ~ V N n u r i l f 3 ~ i l 1
75 IJl WYN 1 V Y
"And this building which we have set up, shall be G-d's house, and
all that Thou shalt give me I will surely give a tenth unto Thee."
INTRODUCTION
By MOSHE WEISS
Do you remember the Saturday of November 29, 1947, when
the representatives to the United Nations answered yes or no to
the question of the partioning of Palestine? How we held our
breath until more than two-thirds voted yess and Palestine waa
divided into a Jewish and Arab state under English rule!
Do you remember the Friday of May 14, 1948, when, after the
departure of the British from Palestine, the leaders of the Jewish
State declared their independence and called the State, Israel?
Do you remember the gladness that filled the heart of every
Jew when, immediately after that historic declaration of independ-
ence, President Harry S. Truman recognized the State of Israel?
Before 1947, no matter how hard we worked for a Jewish
state, only the dream sustained us. Now we celebrate the first
twenty-five years of the fulfillment of t hat dream. They have not
been easy years. Our Jewish mldiers fought and won three battles
during t hat time, and though we pray daily for peace with our
neighbors, peace still eludes us. But i t was also a period that wit-
nessed the astonishing growth and development of Israel, and the
strengthening of its position as a nation among the other nations
of the world.
We salute the glorious people of Israel, its leaders, its fight-
ers, and all its supporters, and we dedicate the following appre-
ciative sermonettes to them.
BE COUNTED
By HERBERT W. BOWER
n' x1t3il YC) D~ i l ~ ~ ~ w i l NJ mi l YDN' ~ ilstnil t nt u u ~ t ' t (' a , I'D n' uun)
. ~ P YT '7il7 il3 15 Y D N ~ ~ nnu 1 1 ~ ~ 5 %i n au
7395 nm3u YDN 31 YDN m t v Y"' nut ni l t nt u uvt7t ~ U D ('u 1 ~ 1 3 nl u)
NY '$5 m u 13 175til5 ' i ul ' J ' N~ 75w ~ ~ J * J J D Y N ~ 7 n 5 3 n ~~ il"3pil
. 5 ~ 1 ~ ~ 5 5lD r 7N 1%' n1J'JJt)YND
The Baal Torah Temmimuh explain8 that through prayer and
merit one can change his natural course of life and events. He
probably sees the command "look please to the heavens" as mean-
ing prayer, and "if you are able to count them" as representing
zechut-merit. How is this so?
The normal reaction to seeing a multitude is to loae sight of
the individuals who make up the masses. The cliche "not to see
the treetl because of the forest" is well known. It takes a G-dly
ability to count the individual6 and see their dmerences, their
individuality, and their uniqueness even while distracted by the
numbers. The Talmud aays in
(*n-1 n n n ) a wn am i i m l ~ i u 4 ~ 1 ~ 7 t ~ i 5 nu i l u t ~i l ynn
.ill5 a wn t i l ' o t u ~ ~ r7rti ilrS ilr n n n r'u
"He who eees a large population of Jews &all bless Baruch
Chcrchcrrn Harazirn"-pointing out that the Almighty sees the entire
universe, yet He knows the individual appearances and thoughts
of each person. The Raw (Rabbi J. B. Soloveitchik shlita) ex-
plained the name of G-d Zewrhos as meaning the Great General
who not only knows how many his troops number, but he is ac-
quainted with each soldier
(147 *an) NYP? niDw a5135 a733135 ~ D D i l ~ t ~
Avraham Avinu was shown the m e t of the unique ability
of the eternal. Jew. He rules his own nurzel by looking to the
heavens and counting the individual stare.
BE COUNTED
To survive as a people your children must be concerned not
only with the mawee but with recognizing the worth of every
individual. "Thus shall your children be."
n3
is, of course, symbolic of =-twenty five years of Statehood for
Medinat YkaeZ. The secret of success of Israel has been to re-
ceive the multitudes in the modern Kibbutz gdiyot but never to
forget the economic, sociological, spiritual and psychological needs
of every individual. The mozel of Israel has indeed been controlled
by prayer and the intervention of G-d again and again. But who
can forget the zechut-the bravery, eacrifice, the love for every
Jew.
We share the jubilation of KlaZ Pisrael to have the zechsct to
see the existence, growth, development of Medinat Yisrael for a
quarter of a century. The miraculous victories over overwhelming
armies, threats, problems, attrition and atrocities have not turned
our people into vain, glorioue conceit or forgetfulneee of our raison
d'etre-the step towards complete redemption. Our prayers and
zechut have indeed mastered our fate.
Let us keep looking to the heavens and counting so that the
83
may be multipiied by aternity.
ISRAEL AS AN EMOTION
By REUVEN P. BULKA
"Send thou men, t hat they may search the land of Canaan" (Num-
bers 13:2).
"According to your own judgment: I do not command you, but if
you wieh to do so, send them" (Rashi, ibid.).
"It pleased Moses well but not the All-Present" (Sotcbh 34b).
Before the Jewish people entered the land of Canaan (Israel),
they decided to send meraglim, spies, to explore the land and in-
vestigate the value of Eretz Yimael for the people.
Seemingly, this was a legitimate undertaking. After all, a re-
sponsible person does not commit himself t o a real estate proposi-
tion unless and until he is convinced i t is a good deal. Yet, whilst
Moshe liked the idea, both the Talmud (Sotah 34b) and W h i in-
dicate God's misgivings about the venture.
These misgivings seem hard to appreciate. For, Moses the faith-
ful servant surely trusted God's judgment, and his agreement t o
the mission was not born of a lack of faith. Perhaps his motiva-
tion was t o increase the people's excitement with a glowing report
about the land. Then, why did this not meet with God's approval?
The search for an answer t o this question leads to an under-
standing of the role of language in real life. We are under the
impression t hat language is an avenue of communication between
men. But, this being granted, language is not without its built-in
faults. Consider the statement by the famous psychologist, Rudolf
Arnheim: "I've found t hat as soon as you have a concept for some-
thing, you start t o exclude i t from the checkup of continued ex-
perience. If you don't constantly expose your concepts to experi-
ence they rapidly become rigid and paralyzed. They become life-
ISRAEX AS AN EMOTION 149
lees cliches, foeeib of experience." Arnheim goes on to point out
that the verbal concept is a shell placed over a certain experience,
and that the great discoveries in each science came from people
who ignored existing concepts to get back to the experience. Ein-
stein, for example, was unable to speak until the age of three, and
thus he developed an extraordinary feel for non-verbal concepts.
In fact, Einstein wrote that his initial grasp of relativity was a
kinesthetic image, a certain feeling he would get through his body.
In our own literature, we have examples of language-trans-
cendence which point to this idea. Thus, "The service of the Torah'
ie greater than the study thereof" (Berakicot 7b). Study is a word-
language exembe; eervice ia the real experience of Jewieh dictates.
In the Talmud one $ensea a general reluctance to commit to
writing the Oral Trndition, and only becauee of the danger that i t
might be forgotten wae it put down in writing (Temurah 14b). "It
is better that one letter (prohibiting the writing of Oral Traditions)
be uprooted than that the whole Torah be forgotten" (ZM.).
Oral Tradition, the language of life experience, is quite obvi-
ously an integral part of Jewish life, a part that was somewhat
lost in the redaction of the Talmud. Even so, we still find many
talea and statements in the Talmud which almost defy reason. They
are attempts to transcend the concrete limitations of language, and
as such they should be approached.
Experience, then, ie much more a part of human endeavor than
language. And, experience includes the actualizing of the sensee,
the feeling of emotion about an ieaue or ideal.
In such a vein, i t is poeeible to appreciate Heavenly reluctance
to the exploration of the meraglim. Indeed, they might have come
back with a glorious report, a position paper on Israel. But that
would have reduced an emotive idea to sterile words. The people,
then, would have entered Israel with their minds, but not with their
whole beings.
Quite instructive is a comment of the KZi Yokor. He says God
prefen;ed not ancxshim, rather whi m, women, who loved the land
emotionally and would have come back only with an emotive state-
ment about Israel as meraglim.
MA N U A L
b e l , then, ia an experience. It ia an experience beyond worde
and defying language; in a word, indewribable. No exploratory re-
port could have maintained the emotive pitch of the land, and, even
today, the true lovers of Ierael can hardly convey their feelings in
words.
I count myself with those who amnot explain in full what Is-
,=el meam to the Jewish people. Per hap the beet thing we can
say to the State on ite 25th anniversary Se that far above the $reat
p r a h that may be showered upon it in celebration of thie mile-
stone, far above theee expreeeions there ia an emotive feeling to-
ward Jsrsel which tnmecends language, which cannot be chronicled,
fllmed, or reported. But becaurae it cannot be concretized, it cannot
ever suffer the fate of concrete thinge. I t can never be torn, with-
ered, or dentroyed.
IN HONOR OF ISRAEL'S 2%
ANNIVERSARY
By ABRAHAM EELMAN
"And the King and h h men went to Jeruaalem againat the Jebu-
sitee, the inhabitants of the land who spoke unto David saying:
'Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not
come in hither' . . . Nevertheleas, David took the stronghold of
Zion . . . and the lame and the blind that are hated of David's
soul" . . . (II Samuel, 5:6-8).
Them versee are difficult to comprehend. The Midraah suggests
that "the blind and lame" represent images which the Jebueites
had made as a reminder of the oath of Abraham, Isaac (blind) and
Jacob (lame) to live in peace with the Philistines. (See Rashi and
other commelitariee. )
In light of the spectacular events of our time, an additional
interpretation is quite obvious.
Much has been said and written of the historic significance and
achievement8 of the State of Israel, too numerous to mention in
a brief sermon. Two factors, however, deserve special attention;
the vieion of its leaders and the bravery of its people.
Powerful political and diplomatic pressures were applied to
prevent the establishment of the State. Even friendly groups felt
that i t was too daring a move; that it will never succeed and that
the fledgling State will be overwhelmed by its neighbors. To most
people it appeared as a hopelm cause and a futile undertaking.
But a handful of men at the helm of the embattled Yiahuv had
a viaion and they were backed by men and women of unusual brav-
ery, for whom no taek wae too difficult. They eeemed to say, in the
words of David, that only the "blind and the lame" stand in the
way of victory, and only such an attitude will prevent the capture
of Jeruaalem.
MA N U A L
A visionary ia not one who accurately perceives the realities
of a given situation. In the Hebrew language the word chogeh, to
see, irr aesociated with prophecy. The chozeh combines perception
with hope, with prophetic insight. He views as possible what seeme
impossible to many. Who would have foreseen the uniting of Jerus-
alem, or an armistice along the Suez? Who would have dreamt of
thousands of Jews leaving Russia, of a resurgence of Jewish feel-
ing among Russian Jews, living under the crushing yoke of Com-
munism for three generations? This requires s vision that is per-
meated with hope, endleee optimiem and unquenchable love for
one's people.
But to trsnelate thie vision into reality required extraordinary
courage, devotion and bravery beyond the call of duty.
Whatever differences of opinion or disappointments we may
have with regard to Israel, and they should not be d b W ,
should not make us forget for one moment the heroism, mesirat
nefesh of those people, living for decades in the shadow of war
and surrounded by implacable enemies.
To live daily under threat. and intimidation, and yet build
and develop the country with such a tempo and zeal is one of the
extraordinary feata of human history.
Yes indeed, the "blind and the lame" are hateful to David,
for only through prophetic vision and courage can we sustain our
Messianic hope and believe: "David MeZech YkoeZ Chui V'Kayom."
YERUSHOLAYIM
By LEO LANDMAN
;VY nN 1 ~ 1 3 ~ 3 12933 DJ 1 ~ 3 ~ 9 DV 533 nrim 5~
"By the rivers of Babylon we sat down and wept when we remem-
bered Zion."
This gummer, b i n hamzorirn, during the three weeks between
Shiua dsmt b'Tammuz and Tieha b'Av, on one Mot& Shabbat
paat midnight, I went to the Kotel. Although usually crowded with
worshippers and virritora a t this hour, the plaza in front of the
Kotel was almost deeerted. In the inner cavernous parts of the ex-
cavations near the Kotel, in what in known as the Xotel-syna-
gogue, I spotted Harav Getz, the Sephardi Rau M o t e l sitting on
the ground close to the Wall near one of the A~onei kodeah, rhy-
thmically and fervently waying back and forth and, in a plaintiff
tune, reciting T e wt Chatzot, the tearfilled words recalling the de-
struction of the Temple and the exile of our people. Standing a t
the Kotel I could not help but remember my childhood and visions
of my Zeide sitting on the ground and chanting the same words,
with a similar tune and shedding equally full tears. I could not
Help feel the tremendous yearning for the return to Zion that was
also expressed ages ago by the rivers of Babylon.
Yesterday was Y m Yervlsholayirn and Jews are still trying
to define the phenomenon called Yeruahokryim. What is ita magic
hold upon the deetiny of our people? What is Yerusholayim? Is it
a city, like any other city in the world? Is it a thought, a con-
cept, a philosophy? What is Yerushokyim?
Agnon, the Hebrew Nobel prize winner, once wrote to a friend:
"You ask, What does Jerusalem symbolize to me?
Me, you are -king!
Aak the s a g a of all t h e e throughout the generations
MA N U A L
What Jerusalem really is
And what they said about her.
What can I say
And what importance can be attributed to my worde.
"I pray for one thing -
Would that I could eee Jerusalem in my great hour
As they saw Jerusalem in their daily affairs.
J e r d e m never left their hearta throughout their lives
They never resorted to i t ae a symbol,
It was real."
What is Yeru%koZuyim? There was a Jerusalem before there
waa a New Pork. When Berlin, Moscow, London and Paris were
still miasmal foreeta and swampa, there was a viable community in
Yerwicolayim. What is Yet.ilarho&yim? It is the place upon which
the prophets walked, their words W i n g like forked lightning. It
is a place where a lonely people who wanted nothing more than to
be left alone, fought oiT waves of would-be conquerors, bled and
died and hurled themselves into the flames of their burning Temple
rather than surrender. And when finally overwhelmed by sheer
numbers were led into captivity, they swore:
(~' t )' n>wn n' h~r i ' ln>wK OK
What ie YerusbZuyirn? It ie the place toward which J e w
throughout two pain-filled millennia turned and prayed. While they
were the unwelcome pariah of Western aociety, they petitioned
G-d thrice daily:
I ~ Y T N C ) nrcnnrP r~>cS1nr yiwil nran ~ 3 i m fnc r~w~r
"And gather us from the four cornera of the world, bring ua up-
right to our land."
ni 3f iww3 i13in3 tr>wni >ran o-Drn3 tiv o'4wn~5;i
"Return ue in mercy to Jerusalem, Thy city and dwell therein as
Thou hast spoken."
What is YemakolayiRl? It is the word which held out the only
hope for our people.
~' %l t t f - 3 ilK3il NH
Kept the Jew through the inquirdtio~, pogroms, expubdona and
YERUSHOLAYIM 155
the ghettos into which the world jammed us.
~9~1193 DM33 3JM
Allowed us not to be broken even while the nation6 forced bap
tiam upon ue, or their eophisticated anti-Semitiram, or the holo-
caust; and word of all, that -able atrocity, the world's
Ut e r e s t in its unbelievable d t a .
What is YetusIrohyim? The people of the world aay that ita
very name throughout the agea, evoked the religious veneration of
multitudes and the city served ae a eource of 8piritual inspiration
as the common property of eivilixed mankind. Perhape there is uni-
versal reverence for Yemuhulayim, but it cannot be uttered in the
eame breath with the all-cuniruming padon evident in Jewish
attachment. Who can forget the Jordanian legionnaires in their
spiked helmets aacking the Old City, destroying every synagogue,
desecrating Jewiah cemeteries and the ghoulleh aale of Jewish
t ombne e for building materia, army camps and even latrines.
Little international concern wae evinced then and one could not
hear anyone worry about that noble request for univwmz2 rever-
ence for Yerwholayim.
What is Yemdmkryim? What infune~ this ancient city with ita
remnant of a wall with mch emotion packed force and power that
its liberation became synonymous with Jewiah survival? What
c a d heroic soldiem, religiow or otharwiae, to atand by that wall
and cry? One soldier put it ee follows:
"AM, my uncle, died at the wall-
In a village called Lublin, he died at a wall.
With twenty-ldx others
The SS shot them all.
Fur him, and for them, I weep at the Wall.
"Sarah, my cousin, died at a wall-
In a chamber at Auschwilx, she died at a wall.
With r child at her breast,
Sohn&y-sogarll
For her child, I weep at the Wall.
156 MANUAL
"Sholom, my brother, died at a wall
On the Syrian border, he died at a wall.
By the house he had built
He waa rugged and tall
For my brother Sholom, I weep at the Wall.
"0 G-d of my Fathere, I fought for thia Wall
For my uncle and thoee who fell with him - for all.
For my co&in,_her baby, so hungry eo mall.
For my brother Sholom - rugged and tall.
Now let my team win the right - juat to fall."
Jerumalem ia not a city, not jurt a rellgloua center, not jut a
capitol. It is the very soul of our people. We are home and for the
time since the year 70 C.E. there is egain complete religious
freedom for all in Jerusalem. For the fink time rince the Romans
put the torch to the Temple everyone ha8 equal rights. For the
fir& time since the rivere of Babylon can we sing with full tones
and joyous hearta
~ ' ~ 5 1 ~ 3 rJ"n 11's n > w n# ' 7 >rw>.
Yom Ymwholayim says we are home and what a lovely eound
the word home haa for a people whom the nationa for centuries
have willed to wander over the face of the earth. We are home.
D' SW~-P> nu>n n ~ w3
- next year in Jerusalem, and the next, and the year after that,
to the end of time. Zr Shah, city of peace - Yeru8holayim,
YerushoZa;ydm.
IN RETROSPECT
By ZVULUN LIEBERMAN
The Psalmist most aptly chose his words, with prophetic ex-
cellence, when he described the moment of Jewish redemption:
"When G-d returneth the captivity of Zion, we were as dreamers."
I should rather say, that the Psalmist captured the mood of the
entire experience of the beginning of the redemption. For two
thousand years of unparalleled persecution and deprevation, the
Jew carried with him a vision, a dream of a Messianic era, con-
taining in it national redemption and utopitlll fulfillment for the
entire world.
I t waa this very dream which sustained us in our long, his-
toric march through the exiles of Babylon, Europe, Spain; from
Inquisition to ghetto, and from ghetto to gas chamber. Were it
not for that sacred promise of the Divine covenant, that the Jew-
iah people in the future, shall we% the road of Teshtsvah, return
to Ed , and thus be gathered to our ancient homeland, was the
dream able to be sustained; were it not for the obstinance of our
heritage, which proclaimed year after year, ccL'siurna Ha'bauh
B'Ymholcryim," the Jew could never have continued. For we
never compromised with the reality of exile. Our holidays and
festivals, our traditional prayers for the rain and the dew, were
oriented to the geographic needs of the Holy Land. Jewish auton-
omy was still best deecribed as a government in exile.
Throughout those bitter centuries, there Waa the dream. This
dream, in 1948, waa the exact description, as our sages stated in
the Tslmud, that the unfolding of the redemption will be likened
unto a dawn, with a little bit of light on the horizon, aa a line,
a harbinger of greater things to follow. But just as in a dream
there is the strange psychological reaction, in which everything
seems so real, and yet very often we ask ourselves: Are we dream-
158 MA N U A L
ing? Similarly, we questioned reality in '48: Wa# this the long-
awaited redemption? Is it really true? Have we walked out of the
gas chambers of Dachau and Auschwitz, and arisen from the dead,
as Ezekiel's dry bonea, to become again, after two thousand years,
a people? We were as dreamera. For centuries, our "halalchah"
had assumed a dimension of relevance. Aside from Maimonides,
who codified everything, the other c&em of Jewish law, limited
their works to those questions which were then contemporary and
current. Jewish law in the dhutckan A m h and the Turim, con-
cerned itreelf with marital problems, ritualistic problems, and even
lhancial litigations; but waa never faced with the obligation of
dealing with a Jewish army, police force or municipality. 'We were
aa dreamers," not yet awake t o the halakhic neede of a Jewish
State. Today, b yeara after, Israel has become a peychological
reality. At all tima in hietory, the Land of Israel, served as a
spiritual centerpoint for Jewish aspirations. Today, it is Mc ul t
for the new generation to conceive of the Jewish people as a home-
leas nation. Israel is a reality, and the emergence of the new Jew-
iah pemonality Is a direct result of the centrifugal force of the
State of Israel on Jewish life.
We, within the Torah community, who never accepted the in-
dependence of Lmel as the tinal conclueion of the Zionist dream,
but who beheld the ongoing development of the C'AtchiaZta Iygen-
M" (the be gi ~i ng of redemption) as a seriee of unfolding de-
velopments lea'ding to the Meaeianic em, have a special taslt, aa
regards the Jewish State. Our sages have taught us that the Al-
mighty has granted the people of IQ.ael three gifts, the Torah, the
Land of Inmd, and the World to Come (Ohm Raba). Each Jew
holds dearly hie share in eternity. All mligioua Jewry speak in
support of Torah learning and Torah living. Yet how zgaloua ia
religious Jewry in its love for the Land of Ierael, atl equal prtaer
in the Almighty's gift? How tragic is the situation, whereiin we
measure the religiosity of individ.uals on a sliding scale of observ-
ance to nonsb8ervance of Yom HaJAtmaut, in an invense rela-
tionehip to onek religious practice; placing the less obeervant
schools amongst those wherein the practice of reciting the E&Z
with a blessing on Yorn Ha'At-t is comp1etely oimerved; and
traveling along the spectrum to "the moet religioue crchool," which
will not forego the recitation of Tachumm on Porn Ha'Atzmuut.
A truly religious individual muet ahow hie devotion and dedica-
tion, hie love and affection for the Land of Israel, aa hae alwaya
been the tradition of our people. The new yeshittot, in the spirit
of Kerem B'Yavneh, have established Torah centers in army m,
through a personal commitment to the concept of love of Israel,
its people and its land. Herein lies the true secret of Jewish re-
demption. In the worda of the eaintly Rabbi Kook, d., "The sec-
ond Temple waa destroyed became of the sin of Jewieh self-hatred.
The third Temple will be rebuilt because of Jewish self-love."
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25th ANNIVERSARY OF ISRAEL
The prophet Isaiah offers a lofty vision and a precise blueprint
of goals and objectives that should be sought by a Jewish State.
"And P have put My word8 in thy mouth, and have covered thee
in the shadow of My hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay
the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion: 'Thou art My
people'."
To plant heaven is a compelling arcaignment to recognize Gd' s
central role in the affairs of man. To plant heaven is a plea to
realize that human destiny moves in directions designated by
Providence. The incredible and miraculous birth of Israel on the
5th day of Iyar 5708 in the very aftermath of Auschwitz served
as a signal to a tormented humanity and a crushed Jewish spirit
that history cannot be computerized. In defiance of grave realities
and inconteatable statistics - never in history was a nation found-
ed in any part of the world with 95 percent of ita people thousands
of miles away and 1900 yeam removed from national sovereignty.
It certainly was a challenge to practical wisdom that 600,000
people, surrounded by millions of enemies with established states
and armies, did suddenly achieve the etatus of nationhood. Is there
anything else in the world which could have planted more lastingly
and more meaningfully heaven upon earth, the notion of G-d's role
in human affairs, than the resurrection of a Jewish heart and soul
out of the ashes of the crematoria? Verily have we heard the voice
of the Psalmist re-echoed: "Then it was said among the nations
'the Lord has done great things for them. The Lord had done great
thinga for ua, and we rejoiced'." For "them" and for "us," what an
accurate and what a timely appraisal. Yea, something happened,
not only with the scarred body and emaciated bones of the survivor
of Buchenwald and Bergen-Belaen, but also for the golf-playing
and Porn Kippur praying Jew of America. When the armies of the
four Arab &ate8 converged upon the newly born State with ita
negligible military akilla and minimal food resources for daily eus-
tenance, and by the Grace of Ed they were driven back, even the
a t h d a in Mascow and the pagan in Zambia were moved to admit
"the Lord has done great thinga for them."
Then came the fateful Six Day War which virtually electrified
not only the Jew but alm the nonJew. This wae one of thoae rare
162 MA N U A L
historic occasions when multitudes of people saw shomayim cover
the entire surface of the earth. The spark of the Divine gal vani d
the indifferent Jew of Paris, the estranged Jew from Houston and
the tormented Jew in the shadow of the Kremlin into one people
with one triumph, and, of course, with one G-d. Shomayim waa
planted upon earth and people cried out: "G-d is the Lord."
"V'Lisod Aretz"-To lay the foundation of the earth. Shomayim,
however great, must have a base from which to operate. This base is
aretz. He who was the object of villification by the profemor of
Heidelberg University; he who was reduced to a pathetic clown
by the savage Polish nobleman; he who was regarded by the Ukran-
ian anti-Semite as a creature in human form but without human
ability, suddenly started building factories, planting orchards, dis-
patching a merchant marine and linking continents by soaring
gracefully in the air, and even emerging aa a leader in electronics,
scientiic research and the skill and proweas of handling, rather
successfully, the tank and the bomber in self-defense. He, who was
humiliated by Pope and King and relegated to the lowest rank in
human society, sent out his engineers and scientists to build roads,
hospitals and schools in the Congo and in Brazil. He who wu de-
nied a piece of land by Czar in Russia and by King in Russia,
uent out his agronomists to teach the people in Abyssinia and
Uruguay bow to plant better corn. Once he was permitted to touch
the land, he knew how to establish the foundations of the earth.
In his triumph and joy, the Jew did not forget that ehomayim
and aretz must be linked, and that link is the heritage of Sinai. The
rehabilitated survivor of Christian hatred, Nazi savagery and Krem-
lin brutality recognized that before G-d will rule in the world, he
must rule in Zion. Thus, in Zion reborn, the Halakhah of Rabbi
Akiba and the Rambam and Joseph Karo found a new and a wide
psrchment. On this parchment the reborn Jew inscribed, with in-
dellble lettsn, 8lkrbba;t even in the city, Kwh& even in the m y
and in the Univedty dining hall, 8hmitcr even in the vegetable
market place and KWwki n even in the laftiat Kibbutz. Of courae,
many of w would like to see the sovereignty of Ed expand and
ambrace and even mom and more of our brdhnn, yet it ir dii3alt
to deny that there ir another plaw upon earth, including our Free
25th ANNIVERSARY OF ISRAEL 163
Society, where the Shulkhan Arukh plays such a prominent role in
the daily life of the community as i t does in the State of Israel.
V'bmur L'zion Ami Ata: The social revolution in the USA and
the rice of the new independent states on the Afro-Asian continent
coupled with the rejection of the melting pot philosophy have in-
vested ethnicity with legitimacy and even popular acceptance. The
trend to &late lost it8 tempo. The yarmulka achieved a stamp
of approval, and i t ia no longer fashionable to hide one's national
origin. But more than that, Jewa even with very fragile links to
their people and heritage are no longer reluctant to speak up on
behalf of their people and the land of Israel. The otherwise timid
university student and the sophisticated academician are joining
the ranks of thoee who condemn the Lud Airport and the Munich
maesacrea and those who challenge the Kremlin on their primitive
exit tax. Those areaa and cornem which could have not been
reached by the plea of the prophet and the teachinga of the sage
were yet deeply moved by the unprbcedented heroism of our breth-
ren in the land of Israel. Just coneider if American Jews, with the
glory of Israel, are agonidng about the 7,000,000 missing Jews.
(According to the ceneua of a quarter of a century ago when there
were 5,000,000 Jews in the USA, there should have been today not
6,000,000 but 13,000,000 Jew8 in America. 7,000,000 J m , accord-
iag to eodologietcr, were loat through inter-marriage and aesimila-
tion.) How much greater thia disaster would have been without the
very obvioua and irrefutable advantage8 of the Medinah? Therefore,
when the Jew of the Diaapara linlw hfmeelf to the hemiem and the
glory of Iasel and Zion reborn, Zion in turn eaya to him: "You
are my people. You belong to me."
The term National Liberation Movement which describee ade-
quately the emergence of mane 65 independent etatee on the Mro-
Adan continant, cannot be applied t o the ertablbhmat of the
State d krasi. The maon ia rather obviour. J m are a dirtiact
people md the procerr d thedr national and political evolution fr
.Ira dbthetive. Thus, the Divine mmwanc8 given to Mows in
Egygt ir arprsrrsd through four stage8 of red#nptbn. "Wherefore
a Y unto thechildran of brad: IamtheLord, andIwiIl bring
~ ~ 0 ~ t ~ ~ 1 1 c t w l t h e ~ o f t h s E g y p t i u u , m d I w i I l d ~ -
164 MA N U A L
liver you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an out-
stretched ann, and with great judgments; and I will take you to
Me for a people, and I will be to you a God; and ye shall know that
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the
burdens of the Egyptians."
Am we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the founding of the
State of Iarael, even as we examine this our national m e d , we
cannot confine ourselves to the mere phenomenon of Statehood or
political sovereignty, however historically significant it may be.
Instead, our gaze must reach out beyond the United Nations' Re.60-
lution or the historic Proclamation of the State. Can we possibly
overlook in our birchut husiurcbr the bleasinge of our people's
dawn, the inescapable truth that Ierael made it p d b l e for us to
discern between day and night, between the darknew of homeless-
nem and the radiant light of returning home? "He who endowed us
with the imtinct to distinguish between day and night."
In his autobiography, 80 Par, Meyer Weisgal relatee this most
moving tale: "A young relative of Levin's, a budding barrister from
London, waa viuiting him and had gone up to Jerusalem for the
day. When he returned he locked himself in hie room and refuaed
to eat or to speak to anyone. It waa all very mysterious and worri-
some. When he finally emerged he told Avraham what ha6 c a d
his shock. On the way to Jerusalem the bua had etopped to pick
up an old woman. She did not have the necesuary change for fare.
The driver ahrugged it away eaying he himself would make up the
difference. Some of the passengem engaged the old woman in con-
versation, in Yiddiuh-she spoke no Hebrew. She told them that
uhe had arrived in Palestine a few week before, aWut el y certain
that uhe would find at leget one of her sons alive. She had an in-
tuition and die waa traveling from place to p&ce with this hope in
her heart. Everyone in the bua tried to be helpful, asked where rhe
came from, what her mu' namea were, snd who mhe herself war.
When the young driver heard her name he uuddenly rtopped the
buu and turned to her. 'Mamma! Do8 bin Zch!' The pamwqem
began to weep, and one by one they got oiP where the bua W
standing, lll~ying to the driver: "Never mind urr. TBke your mnmma
hame'."
25th ANNIVERSARY OF ISRAEL
No matter how much some of our unfortunate contemporaries
fail to realize t o the full extent the great blessing of the Medinah,
we, fortunately, do know the difference of the Jewish life-style,
Jewish involvement and commitment as i t exists in Israel and in
the Diaspora. In Israel, we have yom - the language, the national
character, the religious fervor, the profound sense of belonging
which is evident wherever you turn and wherever you go. In the
Diaspora you have to kindle a lamp and in the thick darkness of
assimilation and intermarriage you can discover here and there
sparks of Jewish life. Even those who were blind and oblivious
t o their national origin, their culture and their religion, prominent
among them our brethren from the Soviet Union, had their eyes
opened, their identity rediscovered and re-established the moment
their feet touched the sacred ground of Israel.
"Who openest the eyes of the blind." Those amongst our
brethren, especially in the free world, whose ties with our people
were fragile and marginal, whose life, dreams and hopes were in
no way or manner related t o our history and our faith, have sud-
denly, especially as a result of the Six Day War, submitted to the
regal "garments" of nationalism and Jewish identity. It wae truly
a caee of marlbbh arumim-He who clotheat the naked. Not only
those who were imprisoned, literally and figuratively, in the feudal
states of the Arabs, upon whom unspeakable humiliation and suf-
fering were impoeed, but even those who came from the Western
world, have suddenly discovered a new freedom, a new acceptance
among the non-Jewish world, a new image amongst their neighbors.
Those who were stifled, those who were Jewishly inhibited, suddenly
gathered enough pride and strength to declare on the college camp-
US and in the Kiev courtroom: "I am a Jew, I am alive, I be-
long . . .!" With them it was also a case of straightening out their
backs. No more cringing and bowing. Instead a firm and steadfast
posture with dignity and respect. The State conferred upon them
gevurah and glory, and the tired and the weary of the long journey
amongst hostile neighbors and indifferent friends gathered new
strength and new vigor. Only the call of the Kotel Maarw pierced
the massive and gray walls of the Kremlin, and the seemingly l wt
were found. "He who releasest those who are bound."
MA N U A L
In our joy and enthusiasm, we must not forget that we returned
to Jerusalem not as beggars. Instead out of the 1900 year Odyssey
in the merciless jungle of gaZut, even aii our ancestors of old, we
have most eminently succeeded in bringing to our homeland an
astonishing wealth of Torah scholarship, literary creativity, pru-
dent statesmanship and certainly unsurpassed heroim. Out of the
Ghetto and the Pale of Settlement, we succeeded in adding to the
ranks of our Rabbi Akibaa and our Rabbi Meira such luminoue
giants ae Rambam, Rashi, Joseph Karo, the Gaon of Wilno, the
Baal Hatania and the Chofet Chaim. Now that we are home, and
we are free to mold our destiny and character, certainly in the land
of the prophets we must drive to add to our spiritual and cultural
resources achievements which would merit a place of honor and
recognition even among our giants of the paat.
In the smoldering ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto, the Jew in-
voked the credo of: "I ahall not die." In the battle for Jerunalem,
the Jew proclaimed to the world his determination to Zive. Now in
the Biblical boundaries of the Holy Land and in Jerusalem, liberated
and reunited, the call of our people muat be: "I will recount the
deeds of the Lord."
HOPE FOR THE HOPELESS
By EMAiVUEL 0. ROTHENBERG
"r~na i f t i l ~ n*awr* r3nfn na ram Sn w*n rion*ru
('1:'l ' 3 \'mi\
The theme of the Haftorah we recite on this Yo n Atzmaut,
k indicative of the spirit of the Anniversary observance6 that have
taken place thb seamn, marking 25 years of Israel's Independence
and 30 yeam aince the holocaust. !he meeeage delivered by the
prophet deewibes the Syrian Army laying dege to the capitol city
of Israel, with its people facing 6tarvation. It tells of four lepers
who were facing death in that time of horror, the inhabitants in
the last atagea of despair. The king blamea the Prophet Elisha
for all theee calamities, an the prophet no doubt encouraged hie
people to continue the reaistance, predicting that the dege would
be lifted, and that the very next day G-d would eend relief to end
the famine. A courtier standing by breaks out in mockery. It did
happen, the miracle came to parre, em the prophet foretold. The
people rushed out of their beleaguered city into freedom, and re-
lief was at hand.
Aa we refiect this day upon the miracle G-d wrought in our
time, we are a h mindful of the agonizing martyrdom that pre-
ceded it. The six million of our brethren died ae martyr8 and
heroas. It has been eaid that a martyr ie one who haa a choice
between loyalty to h b belief and death, and chooses voluntarily
the htter. The inmatea of the death camps, it b argued had no
choice. How could they died for an ideal? Thb, of mume, b utter-
ly fallacioue. The nix million died because they were Jews, and
to be a Jew meane to s u m b e to the covenant of our people, and
the moral code of our Torah-Faith. This did not wit the demonic
Nazi barbarlana. The Jewish people, harbingers of world morality,
had to be destroyed. But let us remember too, tcns of t h o md a
MA N U A L
who died as heroes. This must be brought to light 30 years after
the holocaust. The extraordinary courage, the indomitable hero-
ism, many Jews displayed as fighters in the ghettos, aa partisan6
in the forests, aa members of the underground even when they
knew that they were lost. Even in thie, their finest hour, they
poured forth poems, d r a w and songs, affirming Ani Maamin,
I believe, even if they perished, their destruction would not be
the end. Zog nit Kein mol ors du geyst d m letzten veg," sang the
Jewish Partbans. "Never my that you go on your final way, how-
ever dark the skies, however bleak the days! our longed-for hour
at laat; the pounding of our footsteps will proclaim: 'We are
here'."
It is thia Mtachm which prompted a little girl of Barracke
318 in Auschwitz to write words which fell on deaf ears beyond
the barbed wire walls: "I want to fly, but where, how high? If
in barbed wire thing6 can bloom, why can't I ? I will not die!"
Broken glass dr eam in aahes, words of hope in a hopeleas time.
Infants torn from their mothers, children unborn, incinerated.
The aged stripped of pride. The cry of six million, unheard, out-
& lepers, the hopeleas-this waa the more aatoniehing miracle.
Those Jewe who were not caught in the insatiable Nazi machine
were smuggled out of war-torn Europe. Those few who could get
out were helped to survive. And through them the dream of le-
rael survived. The holocaust, left desperate Jewn on an island
of the world's indifference. But the Jewe of the world, heard their
anguished criea and shared their yearnings for a home of their
own. Survivors flocked from all over the European continent with
nothing but despair behind them, and a dream in their future.
But there were those who would lieten. The American Jewish
community banded together to give hope to fellow Jews, to form
a human life-line, hand-to-hand and heart-to-heart. In 1948
opened their arms to those in neeed. Israel, a promised land, be-
came a "land of promhe."
Let us proclaim to the world the words of the lepers
".a$wnn ranau) urn nirwa a)* nrn ar*nw
"Thie ia a day of good tidings and it ie not Mt t i ng that we
should be quiet about it."
HOPE FOR THE HOPELESS 169
Let us on this day of celebration and remembrance keep our
rendezvous with history, and tell the world t hat Israel, the land
and ite people are an eternal monument to martyrdom and mir-
acle and the triumph of hope for the hopeleas; and that the ''Jews
of eilence" will be silenced no more. Let us hearken to their dec-
laration. "We want to live ae Jews, among Jews, as free men
among free men!" For those who still live in hope, and who hope
with each breath and who wait minute by minute, for redemption,
the promise ia their life-line to the future.
ISRAEL AT 25
OR THE SIGNIFICANCE OF ISRAEL'S
25th ANNIVERSARY
By MAX SCHREIER
It is most important for us to h d religious ai gni hce in
the events of the last twenty-five years, and thereby to &are in
the celebration of the twenty-fifh anniversary of the State of
I aml .
We, in the United States, are today engaged in a struggle for
the survival of the Jewiah people and of Judaism. Ae a matter of
fact, t hb struggle ie global in mope, for the greatest danger facing
Jewish communities throughout the world ia aseimilation.
In Russia, aseimilation has been a calculated program to eradi-
cate Judaism as a force among the Jewish people by ceaaelese
repression and by a banning of Jewish education and Jewinh intati-
tutionta. In the Weetern World, with ita heritage of freedom, the
greater mobility of Jews economically, intellectually and socially
has d t e d in a watering down of Jewiah valuee and an alarming
atatistic of inter-marriage and attrition.
When at the end of World War 11, we were in the midst of the
trauma of the Holocaust, from which we have not and cannot fuIly
recover, had Ed not given us the great miracle of the restoration
of Medi nut Y MZ , the coneequences to the survival of the Jewiah
people would have been catah-~phic.
The thought is best illustrated by the hunchbacked Runsian
Jew, who when coming to Israel, beheld the Kotsl, straightened
up and proclaimed that h b life had now been fuMlled.
1 ~ ~ 3 8 5 PIlWDlP 133Yjlnl
Ae we recite in our daily prayers, "and lead us upright into our
Land" - thire was fdiilled for that Jew when he saw the remnant
of the Temple. -
ISRAEL AT 25 171
For a large segment of American Jewry, the creation of the
State of Ierael, the need to support its growth, and the conetant
effort to protect Israel politically and militarily by intervention
with the American government and with American public opinion,
have spelled the Merenee between Jewish oblivion and Jewish
identity.
Side by side with the mimilation in the Western countries,
we have also 8een a revival of Torah learning and Tor& living.
That revival, too, has been strengthened by the developmnt of
Torah in Israel. Thousands of students, strengthened by the Torah
of Israel, have brought new etrength to the Ymk(uot in America.
The visits by hundreds of thoueands of Jews to Israel, the periods
of time spent by ecienthh, profemors, teachem and other experta
have not only helped brael, but have given new spirit to the people
involved.
Many tho~88nde have made the move for their own self-fulfill-
ment by fullllling the m i t d of
>~(Tw' p l w 31w
and settling in Iarael. There are many more in various stagea of
preparation for Aliyah.
The spectacular aohievemenb of the State of Israel in the Six
Day War-an unprecedented miracle--have more than any other
event made kmel respected in the eye8 of the world, even if the
hatred to the eternal people has not vanished.
It hi not only in the field of battle that Israel haa excelled.
The development of the land in the face of very great obstacles
haa been lfttle short of phenomenal. A country that has to divert
the major part of ita reaomcea to defenae agaim so f m intractable
d e e , has nonetheleas &sorbed a million and three quarter im-
migrants, haa developed new ei-, towns, fadorfer, achools, cul-
tural and health inetitutions, and haa taken a signiflcnnt place in
the adcab of nations. In all of the twenty-five yeam of ite starmy
esbhnce, hael has not disappeared fnrm the headlinm of our
" - wwm.
172 MA N U A L
Developing the land, ingathering the exile, the victory over
forces of evil, the establishment of Torah law over significant as-
pects of Israeli life, all of those are religious categories that are
identifiable as steps to what we pray will be the complete Redemp
tion.
39313 N ~ N il*J>N *tPn 4N - 3t l > il*j>N 1VN YlN
We can truthfully say with our Rabbis
A land whose stones are iron - do not read stones, but read its
builders iron.
May the future yeam Gtnees continuing growth in an atmoa-
phere of peace and the steady ful5llment of our prophetic dreams.
THE GREAT CHANGE
By PHILIP HARRIS SINGER
Passover is the primary holiday t o celebrate liberation. There-
fore Purim is always adjacent t o it even when there are two
months of Adar. And in our days Iyar has become the time t o
celebrate freedom and independence; again in proximity of Pesach.
This gives meaning t o Yom Atzmaut.
The Mordechai (Arvay Pisochim) asks why the sages com-
memorated the four expressions of redemption
*nn?5i ,*nZs~l ,*nZ~ni ,*nsYini.
by the drinking of four cups of wine? Why not commemorate
the redemption by eating four matzot, or four different kinds of
meat or other foods?
The Ntziv answers. Eating matzot or meat would not make
a notable change in a person. Four cups of wine, however, alter
a man's thinking, feeling, action and even appearance. The four
expressions of redemption indicate four changes in the people of
'Israel. And when we celebrate we are t o relive these changes.
We are t o experience, rather than merely retell them.
The 25th Anniversary of the State of Israel. What a cause
to celebrate! Yet we behold t hat there is something lacking. The
young generation of Israelis, born in a free state, did not know
galut, did ~ o t live through the horrible holocaust, and thus did
not experience all the changes.
*nn~Zi ,*n5sii ,*nZxni ,*nNulnl.
You can not st art with
DYZ 9 5 D3ns *nnpZlP.
Four changes must take place. At times we wonder if the older
generation had really undergone all changes. Bankrupt, antiquated
philosophiee still prevail.
M A N U A L
The Jews of Chelm needed a new synagogue. The Council of
the Wise decided that they can afford only to build with the
bricks of the old. The problem was only where will they pray
until the new synagogue will be erected. The Council deliberated
for seven days and seven nights, and came t o the solution that
until the new synagogue will be completed they will continue t o
pray in the old one. At times we demonstrate the same wisdom.
We want a new life, but without any changes.
When we shall experience the changes of
*nn351 , *n5~31 , *n5~nr ,*nNurnr,
then shall we also know
n v 5 - ~ 5 n35 *n9*n1.
A TRIPLE MEASURE
By JOSEPH I. SINGER
The greatest compliment paid to the glorious achievement of
the State of Israel is the mounting hate of the Arabs and the
envy of many nations. An insignificant state is pitied or ignored;
but a state with strength is always the focus of attention and the
butt of anger. Often it is even the object of violence.
There ie a danger that the euphoria of the celebration of the
25th Anniversary 0% the State of Israel may cause us to relax our
commitment or merely rest serenely on past achievements. A
celebration without sustained efforts is but a one-day party or a
glorious anniversary that does evoke in us further commitment, is
alas, short lived.
As we rejoice directly or vicariously with the State, let us
analyze whether them deetiny-laden two and a half decades mould-
ed our lives and made most of us more Jewiah-oriented. Can it be
mid that Jewish illiteracy has been conquered and positive bonds
of attachments established? How many children are bereft of a
Jewish education? As the Israelis march proudly into an important
milestone, many young boys and children are marching off the map
of Jewish history either through intermarriage or freak spiritual
experiences. What about the legions of Jews, some of them even
expatriates of Israel, who do not contribute in accordance to their
means to the support of Israel?
On thSa glorioue annivereary, we should read carefully the
Divine commandment
. . . 3703 O D V ~ ~ 5111 rvyn ~5
"Ye shall not do unrighteouanesa in judgment, in measurement of
dietance : . ." (Lev. 19 :%). It appears that there ie an i mp a b l e
M a , measurement of dbtance which ueparate us from b l .
176 M A N U A L
Mido, spiritual and emotional distance, should be our grave con-
cern on this day that our dreams t hat have come true.
It behooves to understand our timea and analyze our obliga-
tions in the light of the present. We must fashion a center and
create a focal point in our existential situation.
The Baal Haturim offers a profound insight of the present in
his cryptic manner. He says t hat three times we find the word
mido. Once in the verse just quoted. Secondly, when the Israelites
were poised under the leadership of Joshua to storm the land of
Canaan. And thirdly when King Solomon was building the Temple
in Jerusalem. Each time mido is mentioned an interpretation of a
phase of our current history is illuminated.
We too should experience a similar mood as did Joshua and
the Israelites who were about to bring into being a Jewish state
for the first time. They emerged from the servitude of Egypt and
the desert of the wilderness. Our generation has escaped from the
anti-Semitism of the world and the concentration camps to re-
establish a Jewish state after a millennia1 hiatus.
AB the Israelites were about to cross t o Jordan and t o conquer
the land of Canaan under the leadership of Joshua, the Aron Bris
Odoshem, the Ark of the Covenant led the way. But
(I ,I UU\IT\-) ilim ilnu P- DSH: ~ ~ ' 3 1 P>' J ' ~ il'il' Plni l u
"Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand
cubits in measure," which represente the techum Shabbat, the
area which ia considered to be a part of the area permitted to walk
on the Shabbat. Beyond t hat point it is legally considered ae being
outd#e of the permitted sphere t o walk. Hence two thousand cubita
represents proximity.
The Jew is establishing and promoting the development of
the State of Israel and must always keep himeelf near to the Ark
in order to f d i o n a state which will express the unique character
of Jewish society and destiny.
The great commentator Raehi in one vemion cogently pointe
out t hat reading is
l7J' 3I PYJ' 3 3'8' PlI71
"that there ahall be a apace between you and them." Why should
A TRIPLE MEASURE
the Ark be referred in the plural sense as
l'J'2,
He explains t hat
i n * 1* ~5nn q ~ r * 5w1 ?I *JW SW n11' n~ ' J
"that there were two Arks, t hat of the Divine Presence and t hat
of Joseph marching ahead."
The Jew merely marched into nationhood by following rever-
ently both these Arks, either together or separately. The religious
person saw in the state the movement for geulah, for establishing
in the Holy Land a state which would express his Torah aspira-
tions in all its dimensions. The secularist, especially those who
survived the holocaust received impetus from the Arono she1 Jo-
seph, the Ark symbolizing the suffering of the modern Josephs in
the Egypts of today and the haunting memory of millions t hat
were killed. Each Jew was always within hailing distance of these
Arks t o sustain them in the great ordeals t hat establishing and
defending a state represented.
A quarter of a century after t hat turning point in history even
the non-religious Israelis are beginning t o understand t hat re-
ligion is a vital component of the Jew. The problems of intermar-
riage, Jewish apathy by the non-religious and especially the empti-
ness of life imparts a poignant sense of alienation t o those who
are estranged from Judaism. Efforts are being made by responsible
leaders to infuse an ingredient of Judaism into their secular lives.
The action of King Solomon in building the Temple becomes
a blueprint to the Israelis of today.
nr nu ~ i u n n*nSun n*a nu nr135 nn5w i br n n5u1
n ~ i w u ~ n ni n2
"Now these are the foundations which Solomon laid for the build-
ing of the House of God. The length by cubits after the ancient
measure" (I1 Chroniclea 3 :3).
All the new measures of modern, socialistic, and humanistic
admixturee were found t o be wanting and even to dilute the con-
tent of Judaism. Now, after so many experimentationa is there
the gradual awakening t hat the ancient meaaure fits the Israeli
today. Even the rabid Mapam Kittbutznilca no longer consider it
a8 a heresy to their ideology if they expose themeelves to the
MA N U A L
Torah and the Synagogue. The Tanach CWuva is the major event
in Israel and Torah books are no doubt read even by the non-ob-
i
servant. The mirlo Tishono, is being established, a miracle that is
i
a sequel to the miracle of the establishment of the State. I
If there is an apparent change in Israeli values, what should
,
our attitude to Israel be in the light of its transforming existence?
. . . ;no> ~ D V D ~ 51v l wvn KS
I
"You ahall not do unrighteousness in judgment in measure of
distance . . ." (Lev. 19:35).
While American Jewry has poured millions of dollars into Is-
rael and is proud to identify itself with Israel, yet we are guilty
of committing a grave injustice. There are alas, too many Jew8
whose names do not adorn the Honor Roll of givers. There is hard-
ly noticeable in our country a revival of Jewish learning despite
the increase of yeshivot and the popularity of summer visits. The
Jewish organizations are in the main composed of those who work-
ed before the state came into being. The attacks on the state from
the radical left to the other end of the spectrum alao indicate that
we are doing an injustice by furthering the distance between our-
selves and the State of Israel, a distance not of geography but
sharing like ideas and Wi g moved by similar visions. How mean-
ingful to our situation in America ia the rabbinic interpretation
of this injection.
D'DW33 n l ~ 3 3 i n ~ S i nDn3 n 1 ~ 3 3 t n ~ S tnw KSW
"he ahould not measure land to me during the aummer and to the
other during the rainy season" (Baba Met zi ol i 6lb). In ancient
times land measuring waa done by a rope and therefore one ahould
but measure by the same rope in winter and in the eummer. In
winter the rope ie wet and therefore expanda while during the num-
mer heat it ehrinkr.
During the Ygnros hugssholnim when a torrential rain oi hate
daended upon ua the rope uniting us with keel eeemed longer.
But, Ierael waa the direction of our prayers and the goal of our
h o p . Today when we enjoy living in the bl- of a uunny Ye-
w h b m o and e y e d all bendte of citkm, the rope uniting
A TRIPLE MEASURE 179
us appears ehorter, but do not reach out to include segments of
the Jewieh population.
Aa we joyfully observe this great anniversary let us remember
that the rope uniting us with Israel and ite future must include
all. We must not commit a grave injustice by keeping a distance
between oureelvea and Israel.
YOM HAATZMAUT
By STANLEY M. WAGNER
There are now two holidays in the Jewish calendar which com-
I
memorate Jewish independence. They are our oldest and newest
holidays, Pesach and Yom HaAtzmaut. Passover commemorates
geulat yisrael mishibud mitzrayim, the redemption of the people
of Israel from Egyptian bondage. Yom HaAtzmaut commemorates
geulat yisrael mishibud hagalut, the redemption of the people of
Israel from the bondage of exile. During the past 3,500 years, the
meaning of our Passover independence has been indelibly impressed
upon the Jewish consciousness through its manifold and significant
observances. Twenty-five Y m HaAtzmaut, Israeli Independence
Day celebrations, on the other hand, have not yet been sufficient
t o provide this day with a fixed character and with an everlasting
message.
Certainly, we join on this day in proclaiming vigorously and
joyously techee medinat yisrael, Iong live the State of Israel, and
may she continue t o add glorious chapters in the long and stirring
history of our people! But Yom HaAtzmaut, when we pause t o
consider it, is a day not only for jubilant celebration. It is also a
day for sombre reflection and serious self appraisal in the spirit I
of Chayav Adam lir'ot et Atzmo. Atzmaut must motivate us t o look
into the essence, the Atzmah, of Jewish political independence, t o
understand its character and meaning as an aspect of Jewish history
and Jewish destiny.
Jews throughout the world, together, mark this event. We have
a deep sense of commitment and loyalty t o Israel and are pledged
t o assure i t s survival. We are proud of this achdut, this thrilling
sense of unity which permeates Jewish life when i t comes t o Israel,
for i t was the corporate efforts of all elements in Jewish life t hat
transformed the dreame, prayers, hopes and yearnings of genera-
YOM HAATZMAUT
tions of Jews into a reality 25 years ago. It was the corporate
vigilance of Klal Yisrael, of all the Jewiah people, t hat enabled the
tiny State of Israel during these 25 years to withstand and sur-
mount the political and military onslaughts of an abundance of
enemies bent on her destruction. So, too, will the future of Israel
depend greatly upon our ability to maintain this atmosphere of
solidarity and unity of purpose when it comes to responding to
Israel's needs and exigencies. I pray t hat Israel will continue to be
the amalgamating agent which unifies and coheres our people, for
we are a nation sorely in need of such achdut.
But while it is true, to paraphrase the Tanchuma, t hat Eretz
Israel is the center of the Jewish world, we would be naive not to
recognize t hat all of Jewry's aspirations for Israel are not the same.
Yom HaAtzmaut celebrations have different meanings even for
thoee who are bound together by, a love for Israel. For beneath
the surface of_ our benign and seemingly phlegmatic unity there
surgea swirling, volcanic ideological differences among us which
threaten to erupt and turn to ashes our relatively peaceful camp
in the molten current of a genuine Kulturkampf, culture war.
The stakes are high and the destiny of Israel hangs in the
balance. How ehall we, aa a religious community, convince our
brethren t hat if the Jewish State is t o be merely an instumentality
for geuZat haguf, a haven from oppreaaion, a political sanctuary, it
ahall fall significantly short of our expectations and aspirations.
How can we dramatically demonstrate t hat even if Medinat Yisrael
becomes a socialist utopia or a democracy par excellence, it will not
possess t hat ingredient which is its sole guarantor of survival.
If we read Jewish history and Jewish tradition correctly, it is
manifestly clear t hat Medinat Yisrael needs Torat Yk a e l for life.
GeuZat haguf, saving Jewish bodies, must be considered only as a
prelude to gevlcrt hanefesh, saving Jewiah souls, otherwise we may
become the victims of spiritual extinction, even in our own land.
Unless Eretz Yisrael becomes artzaynu hakedosha, a holy land,
rooted in Godliness, fortified by religious values, then, God forbid,
i t can be swept away by a much metmyah, by any number of up-
heavals or calamities t hat can snuff a modern state out of existence.
We know t hat it is not chayil and koach, might, strength, technical
M A N U A L
knowhow or political sophistication, but m h hashem, the spirit
of God, which alone can ultimately sustain the State. We know it,
but mark this well, the r w minyan ubinyan, the overwhelming ma-
jority of Jews in Iarael and in the Diaspora, scoff and scorn at
these notions. What is frightening, however, is that we are facing
mobilized militant forces bent on ridding Israel of the spiritual
dimension which it currently poeeeeaes.
It pains me to admit this, but based on my travels throughout
I
the country, and having met hundreds of leaders in every major
Jewiah community, I am convinced that our Torah community is
I
simply insensitive or unaware of the grave danger which faces
Iarael in this regard. Perhape we are piously optimistic about the
future. If ao, we are guilty of makiig a serious miscalculation. How
can we, as religious Jews, permit ourselves the luxury of indiffer-
I
ence with regard to the threat which the advocates of secularism,
Golds Meir, Moehe Dayan, Yigal Alon and Abba Eban included,
polre to Torad Yiiwael and thereby to Medinut Yisrael.
It is upon thia challenge that we as a religious community in
America and in Israel ought to focus our attention as we draw
inspiration from our Yom HaAtmnaut commemoration. Moreover,
we in America need not, and we ought not, etand on the sidelines
while the battle for YWishkeid in Iurael rages. What has aaved the
Jewa from destruction from our earlieat days is needed now -
Torah and Te mh . Our maeaive support of Torah inatitutione, of
I
Yeshivot in Eretz Israel, especially the 20 Yeahivot Bnai Akiva,
and others whose products have become the dur k i p s mga, the
"generation with the knitted yarmulkaa" who are settling in heroic
numbers the new border settlement8 in liberated territories and for
whom the Imel Yishuv has such a profound respect and admira-
i
tion. Theee institutions are the most potent weapons we in
our spiritual araenal.
I
The second element respowible for Israel's salvation was Te-
1
pkrh, literally meaning prayer. But here I want to uae a homiletic
licenee to interpret Te- to mean the Bait HaTeplah, the Syria-
1
gogue. I nee the Synagogue as a potentially powerful force to hold
I
back the watera of eecularism which threaten to inundate ua, and
as a llource of political and spiritual strength capable of helping
YOM HAATZMAUT 183
to foster Torah life in Eretz Yisrael. We have not, as yet, mobilized
the Orthodox Synagogue in America for the purpose of promoting
Torah ideals in Zarael, so that our dreams for Eretz as a Holy Land
can hopefully be realized.
1 can think of no more urgent message to share with one on
this significant occasion. Your resolve to transform this Synagogue
into a vehicle for building Israel A1 Pi Torat Yisrael can significant-
ly affect the spiritual deatiny of Israel, thereby hastening the day
when the atchalta digeulah, the beginning of our redemption as a
people 25 years ago, will become a geulah shlemah, a complete and
total redemption.
RELIGION AND STATE
By MOSHE WEISS
At the last World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem, Prime Min-
ister Golda Meir said, "If not for Jewish religion and Jewish na-
I
tionalism, which were always inseparable, it is doubtful that our
people could have S U N ~ V ~ ~ . ' ' In this pronouncement the Israeli
Head of State was echoing the words of the Torah (Exodus 19:5) :
7 5 nn79nt rn'i3 nN nnit3wt 751~2 tmwn u t ~ w DN ilnvtv
C. ~i ~i l 53 9 5 73 n7t3vil 53t3 i l 5t m
"Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my cov- I
enant, then ye shag be a peculiar treasur unto me above all people:
!
i
for all the earth is mine."
When Moses, the Priests and Levites told the Jews,
ni 7 ; 1 5 ~ '35 nu5 n7733 i l t i l nt7ilIv
they were referring to the day on which the Jews stood at Mount
Sinai. The children of Israel became a nation when they received
the Torah, not when they entered the land. And it was at Sinai
that the Jews understood the relationship between
Qnria nN nni ow~~
and
"il5l2b DP."
The combination of these two-religion and nationhood-were what
brought about the result of
l-nlan5 yaw3 TWN pi ~i l ,
or the promised land. The two are bound together as a body and
a soul. Neither can be separated from the other lest the whole
perish. To deny the existence of one is to implicitly deny the other.
For this reason it is impossible for a person to be a Jew according
to nationality without being a Jew by religion ae well. As Golda
Meir said at the Congress, "I have never seen a Protestant Jew."
Whereae Jewa who have lived in exile have found it neceesary to
i
f
t
RELIGION AND STATE 185
distinguish between their nationality and their religion, calling
themeslves German Jews or American Jews and so on, those who
are fortunate enough to live in the Jewish State no longer need
to make this artificial distinction. A unique situation exists in
Israel. Here, religion and nationality are one. Those who seek to
separate the two-be they secularists or religious extremists-are
undermining the existence of the Jewish people as the unique entity
which the Torah prescribed it to be, an entity that incorporates
both religion and nationhood within the single fabric of its being.
When God gave the land of Israel t o the Jews one of the con-
ditions He set forth was
j i i si 7 7ni i i ni j 7nwi n ji~v7 1 ~ ~ 5 .
This means much more than the personal commitment of an in-
dividual's life to Torah and good deeds. I t also implies that the
Jew is responsible for carrying out those Torah laws which govern
the activities of his entire people within and without the State.
The Jew cannot escape his obligation for Kiddolsh Hashem for the
sake of the fulfillment of the dream of the land of Israel for the
people of Israel according to the Torah of Israel.
The emphasis of Religious Zionism is not only upon the duty
of each person t o become a better Jew when he is in Israel, but
also upon the responsibility of the people of Israel as a whole to
become a better nation in comparison with the way they were in
Galut. Every law passed by the Israeli government must carry
on it the Torah seal. We can achieve this goal only by strengthen-
ing ourselves, by increasing our faith in our faith. I t is not enough
t o say I believe. Our faith must be realized in action. I t must be
strong enough to surmount every obstacle. He whose faith is deep
and abiding will find the strength to persevere and to overcome
the resistance of those of lesserfaith. The faithful Jew who sees
it aa his mission t o do his share to bring Israel closer t o the Torah
must also take it upon himself to live an exemplary life. He must
refrain from gossip and pettiness. He must be friendly and honest
in his dealings with his brother. By setting himself up as a model
of virtue, all will seek to emulate him and t o incorporate his fine
qualities within their own life style. And, by extension, it is to be
186 MA N U A L
hoped that if the Religious Zionists conduct themaelves in an irre-
proachable manner they will serve as living teetimony for the
secularist8 of the desirability of Torah and faith in both the per-
sonal l i e of each individual and the national life of the entire
State.
CAN THESE BONES LIVE?
I stood on a low hill in the Auechwitz death camp surrounded
by rows and rowa of grim barracks where the prisoners had once
lived, sufTered, and spent all their time preparing to die under the
black smokestacks of the gas ovens. The stark whiteness of acres
of snow &etched as far as the eye could see. The Polish guide
at my side explained: "There is grass under these vast snow plains.
It grows luxuriously during the spring and summer. The blue
graaa is fed by the fertilizer still underground-the ashes of the
millions of Jews burnt in these ovens. Come back after the winter
and see how lovely it is!"
I gazed into the horizon of snow fielde beneath which tone
of my brothers' ashea had been spread by their own brothers, fel-
low victima. Shovelfull by shovelfull they spread the ashes, their
blood mixing with their team.
I stood there thinking of the duet and ashes under the anow
and spring grass, wishing the ashes could eomehow be transformed,
revived. I remembered the question asked of the prophet Ezekiel
as he stood gazing into th Valley of the Bones. I, neither a prophet
nor a eon of a prophet, wondered aa Ezekiel of old wondered, "Can
these bones live?"
I began to imagine the fulfillment of the prophecy of the man
of God: ". . . A noiee, a shaking, and the bones came together.
Bone to his bone . . . The sinews and the fleeh upon them and the
skin covered them above . . . And the breath came into them and
they lived, and etood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army."
God's words to Ezekiel were alive in my memory: "Behold,
0 my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up
out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Ierael."
188 M A N U A L
How stunning these words were in their undeniable truth
when, sometime later, I stood on a mountain overlooking the holy
city of Jerusalem, as I had once stood on that hill above the waste-
land of Auschwitz. No longer did I need to dream or imagine, for
I was privileged to witness the resurrection of the Auschwitz
ashes, rising to form great armies of Jews on the fronts, at the
Wailing Wall, in schoolrooms, cities, and villages. Life surrounded
me. The laughter of the children and grandchildren of the Ausch-
witz martyrs rang joyfully in my ears. God! We are only the be-
ginning. Only twenty-five yeare of our life as a people in its own
land have passed. Remember the souls of the departed and guard
over the resurrected children of Israel in the land of Israel.
ISRAEL: FULFILLMENT, PROMISE,
AND DREAM
By WALTER S. WURZBURGER
Theodore Herzl, the father of modern Political Zionism, con-
cluded his epoch-making manifesto, The Jewish State, with a state-
ment which then appeared to be the height of absurdity, "If you
will it, it is no dream." Now that we celebrate the 25th anniver-
sary of the State of Israel, it still turns out that Herd wasn't
quite right. For the reality for the historic transformations cannot
be properly described without recourse to the language of dreams
and visions.
The very existence of the State of Israel constitutes not so
much a fulfillment but rather the beginning of a constantly ex-
panding dream, the meaning of which cannot be reduced t o socio-
political terms. Not Herzl, but the Psalmist has provided us with a
truly adequate formulation. "When the Lord returneth the cap-
tivity of Zion, we shall be like in a dream."
To appreciate the real significance of the State of Israel, or-
dinary dimensions of historical perspective will not suffice. Instead,
we must be guided by the dreams and visions inherent in the mys-
tery of Jewish existence. Contrary to all the expectations of the
early pioneers of Zionism, the establishment of the State of Israel
did not solve the "Jewish problem" by "normalizing" the condition
of the Jew in the world. No one can claim that in the wake of the
establishment of a Jewish State the position of the Jew in the world
in general and in the various countries of the dispersion in par-
ticular has become more secure. For that matter, the Jewish state
finds itself in a perpetual struggle for its very survival. lsrael has
not yet enjoyed, even for a minute, the luxury of a peaceful, nor-
mal co-existence with her neighbors.
190 MA N U A L
But while the Jewish State has failed to solve the Jewish prob-
lem, it has added new dimensions to the mystery of Jewish exist-
ence. Who would have dared dream that a state which was sup-
posedly designed to end the very abnormalities of Jewish l i e (wit-
ness Arthur Koestler's notorious theais in his Promise and Fulfill-
ment) would, especially after the Six Day War, become the instru-
mentality for bringing back to the fold of our people countless
Jews who otherwise would have been totally assimilated to their
non-Jewish environment. Who could have imagined that young
Russian intellectuals raised in an atheistic environment and edu-
cated in Communistic universities would sacrifice not only material
benefits and comforts but risk their very livea to reapond to the
beckoning vision of Zion, which promised them, not safety nor
ease, but the opportunity to lead authentic Jewish livea?
The return of so many atranged Jews cannot be explained
merely ae an upsurge of Jewiah ethnic conscioueneee or national
identity. We are witneseing a phase to which we can apply the
words of the prophet Jeremiah. "For thy work shall be rewarded,
and they ahall come back from the land of the enemy" (31:15).
But let us not forget that this phenomenon is merely a prelude
to a higher stage "There is hope for the future . . . and the children
shall return to their own domain" (31:16).
When Jews fully return to their own domain, they realize that
they are not a "normal" people, but one that is bound by a unique
:ovenant to the God of Israel. It is highly significant that the
celebration of the 25th anniversary of the State of Israel coincides
with the observance of the Sabbatical Year, which conveys to UE
ao dramatically through a host of regulations and prescriptions,
the cardinal tenet of Judaima that God must be acknowledged a.$
the absolute eovereign. We are reminded that God, not the State,
L the real owner of the land; man, individually or collectively, L
but a cu~todian guarding a rracred trurt.
To be nure, large negments of our people are not yet ready for
the unconditional commitment to the sovereignty of God. But there
are mounting dgns that with the baakruptcy of modern mul a r
valuea and the reeulting moral vacuum, there ir a growing recep-
ISRAEL : FULFILLMENT, PROMISE, AND DREAM 191
tivity t o the authentic Jewish ideals which are symbolized by the
Sabbath.
Israel and the Sabbath, so the sages inform us, are destined
for each other. Indeed, the mystery of Jewish existence points to
our miasion t o bring to the world the blessing of a Sabbath of
peace and harmony. And i t is this vision of the sabbath' which will
make it possible for us t o look a t the miraculous return to Zion
not merely as the fulfillment of an old hope but rather as the be-
ginning of what, if we but will it, will turn out to be an ever-ex-
panding and ever-fresh dream.
n*wmTa
FAITH THE TRUE
One of the most lonely experiences that a human being can
encounter is being rushed to the hospital and examined in an
emergency room knowing that no friend or relative-even husband
or wife-can help if the examination indicates a serious condition.
When bereft of clothes and waiting in the examination room one
is deprived of all external coverings and in solitary confrontation
before God and the examining physician.
There is a difference between being alone-which indicates
physical separation from other humans-and loneliness which in-
dicates a psychological and emotional state of mind. One is usu-
ally alone in an isolated location, while one can be lonely even in
the most crowded room. And being lonely which is an emotional
state 9f being often causes psychological depressions - which can
take place in the most crowded street or thoroughfare.
In the Bible, Cain waa the first "loner." His response to God
after he waa asked "Where is Abel thy brother?" was "I know
not, am I my brother's keeper?" (Genesis 4:9).
Cain's motivation for killing Abel entailed a desire to keep
. all the material goods of the world for himself. In accordance with
Midrash Braishit Rabbah, Cain wanted all material goods including
real estate and movable property for himself. Since he wanted to
share nothing with Abel, he thereby killed him.
Prior t o his repentance Cain wamr indeed a loner. l l ~ n h Cain
knew his wife; and she conceived and bare Enoch: and he builded
a city . . ." (Genesis 4:17). The word "knew" teaches us that
Cain after hir repentance reached the highest level of marital har-
mony by experiencing the paternal feeling already at the time of
conception. In most instances the father is unable to share with
S E F E R B E R E S H I T 193
the mother her parental feeling until the child is ready for an
education. Marriage is a positive commandment in Judaism and
therefore Cain's marriage was his initial returning to God. Had
he been married previously, the tender feelings of his family re-
lationship would have prevented him from killing Abel.
What is the return of the faith t hat we propose as a solution
t o man-s greatest psychological illness - loneliness? How do we
gain faith? Abraham J. Heschel in his famous book Man Is Not
Alone differentiated between the act of faith and the expression
of faith. The expression of faith is as an "Amen," affirmation of
truth and a moment when the soul of man communes with God.
Again what is the essence of the act of faith and how does it
work? Many naively think t hat faith is a convenient short cut to
the mystery of God. In truth, faith is not a way (t o cite Heschel)
but a breaking of a way of the soul's paasageway constantly to
be dug through mountains of callousness. Man does not chance
upon faith but it is attained rather by dedicated and constant care
and vigilance and insistence upon remaining true to a vision.
Faith will be reached in the heart of men who passionately
yearn for ultimate meaning and are alert t o the sublime dignity
of being. The greatest impediment to faith is the inclination to
be'content with half-truths and half-realities. Only he who loves
with all his mind and soul receives true faith.
Faith is to be found in solitude and a passionate care praying
to God, for the marvel of God t hat is everywhere. By foregoing
beauty for goodness, power for love, grief for gratitude and by
praying to God for strength to resist feara and to help understand
our hopes and aspiration, one may consequentIy receive a gentle
sense of t hat holiness which permeates the air like a certain
strangeness t hat cannot be removed.
God is of no importance unless He is of supreme importance.
This means a deep certainty t hat it's better t o be defeated with
Him than take victories without Him.
H. David Rutman
PORTION OF THE WEEK
n * m
TECHNOLOGY VS. THEOLOGY
For the first time in over thirty years, man is beginning t o seri-
ously question his relationship to the machine which he created.
For the first time in twenty years man is questioning his techno-
logical world and his quest for material progress.
And if man himself is not questioning, his children surely are.
They are beginning to wonder if i t is worth cutting all the trees
down in order to make room for another super-highway t o serve
aa an artery for faster cam t hat pollute the air and kill more
people in accidents than the number who die in war.
So unprecedented is man's accelerated industrial and techno-
logical progress t hat he putting himself out of existence. He is in-
deed loeing ground with himself.
He is able to produce drugs t hat can relieve his pain; but t hat
can also "blow his mind." He is able to produce power and energy
to conserve his world, but also t hat same thermonuclear power
can in a moment destroy his world.
. In short, man in the past fifty years is like the first man of
5,732 years ago. Adam of today and Adam of yesterday are one
and the same.
nwi l nu 'H '3 n391
mnw51 ; n z ~ S ~ Y Y 123 l nnn
"And G-d took Adam, and placed him in the Garden of Eden, to
work it, and to guard it."
G-d said to man, "I have placed you in the Garden of Eden.
Eat of ita fruit, enjoy its beauty. Work it-but do not abuse it.
Guard it, watch over it. Do not become greedy with i t s fruit, nor
with what i t can produce for you."
And then G d goes one step further to test man's diecipline
and moral behavior. He gives man his first prohibition: "Do not
eat of the Tree of Knowledge."
nlon nlo unn ~ S > H n1'2 '3
"For on the day on which you eat from it, surely you will die."
S E F E R B E R E S H I T 195
Now,+one thing for sure, eating from the fruit of knowledge
and having knowledge-having saichel-are not one and the same,
because the Torah tells ua that man was born with the ability to
discern and to choose. It was man-9dam-who, as the verse in the
Tmah tells us:
r b v KID n9n WDJ n i ~ n rS ~ i p - i w ~ 531
"The namea chosen by Adam for the different animals, those are
names that remained."
But what G-d did tell Adam was this: There is a beautiful
world-a beautiful Garden of Eden, a paradise.
n' bwn q r ~ z r 0-8 n j t z nil
Let the fiah in the sea and the birds of the sky be subservient
to you. Rule over them. Become a Shutof LJMaseh Berayshis-be-
come a partner with G-d in the everlasting and eternal struggle to
create a better world. Yes, ggL-avdoh"-work and create in this
world, but with one condition: "LJShamro"-watch over it. And in
order to make sure you are a guardian in this world, I am teaching
you self-discipline. Control! Do not eat from the Tree of Knowl-
edge; because, if you do, you will bring death into the world. "Mos
T'Mua."
Do not eat technology, do not worship it, do not become sub-
servient to it, or you will die.
To me, the eeeence of the entire episode of Adam and the
challenge presented to him by G-d is "What are you, man?" Or,
"What can you be?" Moat crucial is the question, "Can you be a
shomer-a watchman, a guardian? Or, must you always be an
Oved A&mh-a worker, a producer, a money maker?"
And this was the difference between Cain and Abel, Adam's
two sons. Once Adam sinned, he produced a Cain who went one
step further .than he. AbeI was Shomer, a shepherd. Cain was an
Ovaid. Abel can sit peacefully, tend his &eep, in serenity play his
flute, or when necessary blow his horn. Cain, however, Wi on
work. His personality does not permit him to enjoy the beauty of
the land, the colorful mountain$ the babbling of the brook. For
good or for evil, he is a creator, a producer, who wiIl not let the
196 PORTION OF THE WEEK
earth rest. To him, the land cannot be idle.
In one word, Cain is materialistic, earth-bound, and earth-
driven. Man is soaked up and swallowed up by the interests of
earth, which he really does not dominate, but which dominates
him. Cain, the worker, is reatless. His personality is never aatia-
fied. He is a disturbed and frustrated man. He is haunted by
frustration and failure.
Aa his name, Cain-Kinuh-implies that earth-bound man is
jealous. He is particularly jealous of G-d's attention and accept-
ance of spiritual man-~bel-a' peaceful man.
And although G-d warns Cain about his jealousy and hie vio-
lent temper, Cain does not accept the warning of G-d. And one
day, when he and hie brother are in the field Cain, without warn-
ing, debate or discussion geta up and kills his brother.
This is the work of Cain, who is the man of earth, the Ovaid
Adumah. I t is he who worships the earth and his material pos-
sessions.
G-d immediately asks, "Where is, Abel, thy brother?" Designed
t o deceive G-d Cain answers, "Am I my brother's keeper?"
"I am not the Shomer, the watchman, the shepherd, neither
of sheep, nor of man. I t was Abel who was the Shomer, the guard-
ian. I have no responsibilities except to myaelf. I produce! I take
from the earth anything t hat it will yield."
But G d says: "What has thou done? The sounds of the drops
of thy brother's blood, they cry unto me from the earth."
Your technology may be your doom and disaster. Yes, the
same earth calls unto me in petition and protest. The earth re-
fuses to be still and now demands you. The same earth that you
conquered and cultivated, now wanta to conquer you and collect
you into ita bottomlerss pit.
"The earth now curses you." Dr. Samson Raphael Himh in-
terprets this sentence, ''There ie no need for me, says G-d, to psse
sentence on you. You are already condemned t o die, inasmuch as
S E F E R B E R E S H I T 197
the whole world rises up against you."
A man who cannot control himself, but who wants to "eat"
knowfedge, who wants to devour everything, who wants to know
everything-will produce not another child, but another machine.
Now I understand why in our prayer we give thanks t o G-d for
giving us knowledge :
nvi ni n? 11rn ;Inn
3 1 3 ~ v31nS in5nr
' With loving kindness you endow knowledge unto man, and
you teach man wisdom."
Knowledge can eat you up, even as you eat i t up, if there is
no "Ate/ if there ie no G-dly moral disciplines attached to it.
(3rd knew this and He therefore had to chase man out of the gar-
den, became man waa more interested in selfish and greedy ac-
quiaitions, than in being a Shomer, a peaceful and quiet guardian
of the Garden and of his brother.
David Stavsky
nr
THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE
A show opened two weeks ago on Broadway under the guise
of a modern interpretation of a religious them. Opening night
brought out hundreds and hundreds of young couples of the "now"
generation. Amidst their f ar out and bizarre dress and questionable
undrear, the young theatre goera were described as the "Beautiful
People" of the rock generation. Many were called the "Unmarried
married."
The gathering was to me extremely symptomatic of what is
now taking place in society. The mood, the people, the world i s
indeed in continuous change. What disturbs me, however, ia t hat
these "beautiful people" and their life style eerve as models for
our children. There ie a -rim, on-going effort t o est abl i h and
recognize the legitimacy of "non-married marriages." Many young
PORTION OF THE WEEK
ladies are now willing to "play house," without being "tied down"
to a married and responsible life. And these are the "beautiful
people."
"Beautiful peoplew-this ia a rather popular term. It deserves
clarification. For it is a highly ambiguous adjective, and as well
as paradoxical. "Beautiful people" means different things to dif-
ferent people. To the writers of Vogue i t means the young ones,
the ones with gleam, and excitement, the ones who move in a gust
of vitality and grace. They are not only physically beautiful, but
interesting and cultured. They are fun people; and their fun is
sensational. They are extremely wealthy. Theire is an unending
life of parties and pills, fiestae, yachts, jets, and money.
To the hippiea and rock generation, however, the term "beau-
tiful people" means eomething else entirely. To them, even ae they
deacribe themselves, it mean6 the "truthful people!' People who
do their "thing," people who will act, do, and say, and accept or
reject whatever they want. There ie no restraint, no discipline, no
inhibitions, no inhibitions whatsoever. They are truthful in their
art even if i t ie bold; t rut hfh in their apeech and drem even if it
is vulgar; truthful in fulfilling personal needs and eatiafaction
even when immoral, wrong and einful. Aa long as the experience
was truthful, i t was "beautiful."
The "beautiful people" are people who insist on enjoying life
to its fullest. Life is a blast, a beautiful blast. In their vocabulary
the words "morality" and "sin" are archaic, old faehioned, and
undemocratic. They simply do not fit or belong in a progreeeive
society.
The "beautiful people" yearn for the eathetic in life; not for
the soul, but for the body; not for the epirit, but for the physical.
That is why we read today about the flood that destroyed the uni-
vene, because G-d found that man yearned only for the body and
not the soul. We read in the Torah today that G d regretted that
He created man in the firet place.
Lieten to the text of the closing veraea of laat week'e Torah
reading :
o i ~ i l n132 nH 119ilS~il 933 1~191
t i n3 YWH 5% o-WJ oil5 trim n3o 93
S E F E R B E R E S H I T 199
"And the children of G d saw that the daughters of man are
fair (and beautiful). And they took for themselves women whom-
soever they choae.
"And the Lord said: My spirit shall not abide in man forever
for that he is also in flesh."
In the Dor Hatnorbul, the "generation of the flood," men re-
sponded to beauty. They thought that one must succumb to the
beautiful and esthetic. Modem man is still a captive of physical
beauty and pleasure.
And a human response only to the physical pleasure, is a re-
sponse to no control and no standard, no moral lay, no kiddwhin.
It is a eimple theory and concept, an empty life. This life irr for
now and today; you are not intemted in tomorrow or yesterday.
It is a selfish world, wrapped in one's own egotism. It ia the world
of the guf without the neshamcrh.
It is the world G d felt He had to destroy and that is why He
brought a flood on the earth.
The text of the Torah is clear
'w ,Dan W N ~ ~ S a n r nynSttn ' ~ D S Pl Ni l nnwnt
"The land became full of violence. The land was promiscuoue."
A new morality existed.
"And G-d saw that the land waa spoiled!'
How exacting is the text. The T m h sees fit to tell us this
morning, twice in one sentence, that it Gd, mind you not man,
who saw that the land waa immoral. Not even Noah was able to
recognize the wickednee8 of his contemporaries. In their own eyes,
rirlpr, murder, luat, sharing families, and no marriagee were right.
But not ao in the eyes of G-d. "Vu-yahr EZokinr." Because man
refumed to see, G-d did see and he asid to Noah, "Make for your-
self an ark." Build for youreeli not a cruising yacht, not another
pleasure boat, but an ark, a aolid and durable house, a home which
can withatand the flood of times, and can save you, your sons, and
their wive&
nmi l 5~ t nn O~ J W D~ J W 113 53t) ,*nil 59t)
]From all living species, from all living f l d , bring into the
ark two and two, male and female; no, not a commune, not an
200 PORTION OF THE WEEK
open family, with three fathers and four mothers, but "two and
two."
Gd wanted to teach Noah and to teach man that without
taharah, without purity, without morality, there can be no world.
He married them off two by two, and only then were they permit-
ted to go into the ark.
What Gd told Noah, he tells modern man, modern parents,
the now generation-be they young or old.
An ark is your home. It is your fortress and castle. It is the
bedrock upon which you build.
Don't the homes we build have windows, real windows to look
out upon the turbulent oceans and see the horizons before us?
Don't we have windows from which we can examine our environ-
ment and surroundings? Or, do we build arks, which instead of
having windows, have only precious and beautiful stones; afauence
but no influence, beautiful but not real. And I have often found
that "beautiful people" have form but no substance.
Yes, a beautiful ark is beautiful only when there is inner
beauty. A beautiful home is beautiful when there is inner beauty,
and beautiful people are beautiful when their inner spirit is pure
and beautiil.
No, marriage' is not a game! It is "two by two." By definition
it negates pre-marital experience otherwise i t is not marriage, the
people are not "beautiful," and the unwanted children remain
unwanted. The statistics never lie.
G-d saw all this and He therefore aaid that there is no aense
in destroying the universe anymore. He would destroy man instead.
I J Y ~ inn3 lnvp nN
He will place His beautiful rainbow in the dark clouda, and
the beautiful rainbow will remind Him of genuine beautiful people--
and He will no longer destroy the world.
David Stavaky
S E F E R B E R E S H I T
75 75
NOMADIC AMERICA
"Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer. Go,
gather together all the Jews of Shushan" . . . (Esther 4:15-16).
We are living in a fantastic age of travel and mobility. This
is the age of skyways, freeways, turnpikes, airports and jet travel.
No industry has doubled or quadrupled its business in the last
decade as haa the travel agency or mobile home industry. The
Madison Avenue advertisement8 and slogans are true and to the
point. They aay, "Let us put you in the driver's seat." Or "spend
a mini-vacation this weekend in Paris or London, three days, two
nights, be back in the office, Monday morning." The irony and
truth is t hat this travelling and mobility i s not limited to vacations
or tourist trips. America is a nation on the move, period.
Vance Packard, the social critic, in his new book A Nation of
Strangers, calls America "The Land of the Nomads." He aays, "We
are a nation of men and women who are rootless, isolated, indif-
ferent to community problems, shallow in personal relationships
and aflicted with unconnectedness and a lonely coldness."
Aceording t o Packard the average American moves about 14
times in his lifetime as compared with five times for th;! Japanese.
About forty million Americans (one fifth of the pqpulation) change
their addresses a t leaat once a year. In many cities, more than
35 percent of the population moves every year. In Great Falls,
Montana there is a school that annually loses 70 percent of it8
pupils and 30 percent of its teachers. At any given time, half of
the 18-22 year old8 in hundreds of towns are living away from
home. Many of them never come back, except to visit.
And if this is the story for Americana in general, then I would
aay it is the same story for American Jews, except mwe so. What-
ever we do, we "must do better." So if the average American
moves fourteen times in hie life, we Jews statistically will move
Mteen times. No sooner do we settle down in a neighborhood then
we make it nice and ready for another ethnic group. No sooner
202 PORTION OF THE WEEK
do we put in a new lawn, a gas barbeque pit, an automatic sprink-
ling syetem, then we ar e prepared to more on. Where to? Green
Acres? Golf Manor? Cherry Hill ? We go wherever, but we scatter
about. We disperse. We run from what? I do not know. We take
our schools and build them in Yenner Velt. Synagogues put up
educational wings only to be used two days a week. And we have
good precedent for our innate yearning to travel. It began with
none other than the great Abraham, the first Jew, as the Torah
testifies this morning.
"+nd God said to Abraham go for yourself, from your land,
from your birthplace, from your father's house, unto the land that
I will show you."
And since we are all strict followers of the Scripture, and
since we take every syllable and every letter literally and serious-
ly, we too cannot wait. We too hear God's voice calling unto us,
"Go! Move! Relocate! Go E a t ! Go West ! Escape, but go!" The
real estate agenta must have mastered this particular chapter in
the Torah, for they cannot wait for a Jew to get eettled in one
neighborhood, when they have him all psyched out for the next
neighborhood. "El Ha-Aretz Asher Areka, Unto the land that I
will show you."
And if Vance Packard in his new book says that America has
produced rootless people a3licted with unconnectedness and a lone-
ly coldness, he too must have studied Rashi who says that God
had to promise Abraham three blessings.
"And I will make out of thee a great nation, I will bless thee
with auence, and I will make thy name great."
Why these three blessings, asks Rashi.
"Became travelling brings about three afflictions-it diminishes
your chances to have children, i t diminishea your wealth and se-
curity and it diminishea your reputation."
I do not need Vance Packard or anyone eltae to tell me that
we J e w in America have become our own worst enemies. For hun-
dreds and thousanda of yeam we travelled. But we travelled se did
S E F E R B E R E S H I T 203
Abraham. "We travelled before God, and with God." If indeed we
"relocated" ae God told Abraham, if indeed we were immoralized
with the title "the Wandering Jew" we nevertheless remained in-
extricably bound to God.
The first thing we did was find out where the shul was so we
could be near it. Secondly, we wanted to know where the Yeshivah,
cheder, or Talmud Torah was so that our children could be near
the spiritual oasis, the living spiritual waters of faith. And if we
did relocate, it waa indeed based upon the promise: "Travel to a
place to go study Torah." And that ia why for centuries Jewish
mothers and fathers, who loved their children and wanted them
to remain Jews, sacdiced much so that a child could be sent to
the famous European cities of Volazhip, Radin, Mir, Slobodka or
other cities to learn Torah.
Two things the Jew created for himself and for hie loved
onea: a neighborhood, yea, a ghetto, where he waa able to preserve
and observe the spiritual life of his ancestors, and secondly, a
Makom Torah, a "place of Torah," where he would go if he had
to leave. We, here in America, in the majority, have tragically
and unfortunately not understood this, nor appreciated it.
Indeed "the road," changing of neighborhood, and constant
relocation destroy a Jewish community. You lose your children be-
cause they assimilate; you loge your security and your investments
because you always need more; and you lose your identity!
I say we are not all privileged to be like Abraham, we are
not all privileged to be guarkteed by Haahem the &ability of our
families and of our children. It is we who must look into the naked
eye of the hurriaue of Nomadic America, and say, "I live where
my synagogue is. I inaiet that other J e w move into this area, and
I will not let it be destroyed, not now, or even five or ten years
from now."
Can Jewish communities throughout America alTord millions of
dollar relocation projecte simply because social preeaures, or aa
Vance Packard says the "restlerwnesa of America," tells us so.
Should the millions of dollars go for brick, stone and mortar, or
204 PORTION OF THE WEEK
should it go to improve our Jewish education systems, enrich our
Day Schools, its program and present facilities, and continue our
support of the State of Israel and its daily critical problems of
survival and Russian immigration. Who should "relocate," we in
f l uent suburbia or the Jew of Riga, Minsk, and Moscow who
needs our assistance to relocate to Israel?
David Stavsky
m*i
OUR FATHER ISAAC: THE SPIRIT OF
SACRIFICE AND SERVICE
What ie the h t drama we ammiate with Isaac? It ia the
incident of the Akedcrh. The chapter of the Akedat Yitzcbk, in
the wor d of Isaac Abarbanel in hie commentary t o the Torah,
comtitutee "the pride of Ierael, hie chief virtue before his Father
in Heaven" and ie the turning point in the history of man's devo-
tion to Gd. Our Sages have seen in this epic story the historical
challenge to Israel of all generations.
The Jew in his devotion to G d was ready to ascend the
heights of Mount Moriah in order not to be obliged to desecrate
the laws of his religion. The Jew sacrificed for his religion because
deep in his heart, he knew its truth and reality.
Abraham's willingneee to give up hie beloved son to G-d, and
Isaac's readiness to sacrifuce his life a t Gd' s command, are ex-
amples of Kiddush Ha-shem (the sanctification of the name of
Gd) .
This same spirit has inspired Jewish martym through the agea
who sacrificed their own lives or gave up what they loved beet for
what they considered to be the will of G-d. For i t was L mh m
Shomayim-there was no benefit involved-it was unquestioning
obedience to t he will of G-d.
After the Akedah there was a certain Kedushah t hat perme-
ated Yitechak, for he waa never permitted to leave the land of
S E F E R B E R E S H I T 205
Israel (t he only one of the Avot that could not leave). Although
some feel that Isaac did not attain the heights of his father Abra-
ham, still the Torah states
it 75 sip7 3n~73 93
(Genesis 21:12) only an Isaac will be able t o transmit the heritage
of Abraham t o a Jacob.
Aa we center around the march of our patriarchs t o Mount
Moriah, Scripture quotes Isaac as he turned t o his heavy hearted
father and inquisitively inquired: Hineh Ha-esh Vho-aitsim, V'ayeh
haseh L'olah? (Genesis 22:7). (Behold the fire and the wood, but
where is the lamb for a burnt offering?) The Rabbis of the Mid-
rash quaintly observe that when the author of the Pesach Hagga-
dah referred t o one of the four sons as a wise and an understand-
ing one, he had in mind the patriarch Isaac at this critical junc-
ture in his career. Indeed t o the author of this Midrashic gem it
was clear, Chochem Zeh Yitzchok She-omar V'ayeh ha-seh L'olah.
It will not be too far fetched t o suggest that the meaning of
this question, the significance of the thought behind these simple
words is closely tied t o our perennial problems as Jews.
Isaac cautioned that there are times when the fire and the
wood, the material contribution and physical substance are not
enough, that there are times in human experience when the com-
pelling need of the hour carries us far beyond the customary mode
of sacrifice and the demands of the circumstances are such that
their fulfillment will come only through active participation within
our hearts, with our souls, and with our entire being.
The obligations confronting us currently will not be discharged .
with financial contributions alone, however generous they may be.
It has t o be not only
71un 533
but also
7WN 5331 7335 533.
Let us indeed relearn from our father Isaac the personification
of sacrifice, service, and resolve t o rise t o the heights demanded
of us by destiny. And let us perform similar deeds and actions that
206 PORTION OF THE WEEK
will stand the test of time and the judgment of history m that
when our reaponae to the nee& of thie generation will be weighed
on the scalea of the future, those who will judge us will rise with
reverence.
Earl J. Fkhhaut
8479
ABRAHAM QUESTIONS GOD
The Shri~re of the Torah Must be Opened
"Abraham came forward and said, 'Will You meep away the
innocent along with the guilty? . . . Far be it for You to do such
a thing, to bring death upon the innocent and guilty aa well aa
the guilty, m that innocent and guilty fare alike. Far be it from
You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?'." (Genes&
18:23, 25). %
When G-d was about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, Abra-
ham did not hesitate to question the Sovereign of the world and
urgently seek an answer. G-d did not speak of His majesty and of
His being Omniscient and Omnipotent. In no way did He criticize
or frighten the fimt patriarch for daring to question the way8 of
Gd. He answers Abraham as if the latter were Hie equal. Abra-
ham, in order to save human lives, refused to remain silent.
On April 30, 1972, eight days before the harbor of Haiphong
in North Vietnam waa mined by U.S. planea, President Nixon
stated: "Communist victory in Vietnam would cause the offiee of
the Presidency to lose respect in the eyee of the world." On March
19, 1968, the late former President Johnson aaid: "Danger and
sacrifice built this country, and today we are the Number One na-
tion. And we are going to stay the Number One nation;"
President Nixon and his spokesmen have emphasized on diifer-
ent occasions in 1972 that the majesty of the President must be
upheld and that only he has all the facts. They alsb atreirsed that
all citizena should support him in his agonizing decisions and that
S E F E R B E R E S H I T 207
the news media and all leaders in oommunities throughout the land
should not ask any embarrassing questions. When ordering the B-52
plane carpet-bombing of Hanoi and other parts of North Vietnam
from Dec. 18 to Dec. 29, 1972, he did not even consult the leaders
of Congreaa in this undeclared war. He resorted to intensive bomb-
ing of a large city for political reasons even though innocent civil-
ians would be killed - and at least 1300 were killed, besides the
thousands who were injured. The American public was told again
by the White House spokesmen to remain silent and not to queation
his majesty, the President.
When the Sefer T& is carried from the Aron HaKodesh to
the Bi mh, the cantor and the congregation chant: 'Thine, 0
Lo-rd, are greatnew, power, glory, victory, and majesty; for all
that is in the heavens and on earth is Thine. Thine, 0 Go-rd, is
dominion, and Thou art supreme over all" (I Chronicles 29:ll).
The Scriptural reading in the synagogue instills in our minde an
important lesaon. The sacred shrine of the Torah must be opened,
and the Sefm ora ah mu& be taken out, read, studid, queetioned
and interpreted. If we may question the ways of G-d, as Abraham
did, we certainly may question the ways of man-even if he hap-
pens to be the President of the U.S.
Albert Einstein wrote about Mty eight years ago in Germany
(printed for the b t time in the collection of his correspondence
and papers by Princeton Univereity in 1972) : "When I look into
the house of a good, normal citizen I aee a softly lighted room. In
one corner of the eame stand a well-cared-for shrine, of which
the man of the house is very proud and to which the attention of
every visitor is drawn with a loud voice. On in it, in large letters,
the word 'patriotism' is inecribed. However, opening this ahrine is
normally forbidden. Yes, even the man of the house lrnowe hardly,
or not at all, that his ahrine holds the moral requiaitea of a n i d
hatred and maaa murder, in caw of war, he obediently takes out
for his eervice. This ehrine, dear reader, you will not find in my
mm."
The Torah teaches ue that the majeaty of G-d takes precedence
over that of any man, any ruler. We honor a human sovereign
208 PORTION OF THE WEEK
when he reflecte the Divinity of G-d, when he acts in accordance
with the ethical principles in the Holy Scri pt ~~res. We have a moral
obligation t o question the President of the U.S.: "Will you destroy
for political reasons the innocent along with the guilty? Shall not
the President of this great country deal justly?" If we are bidden
to take G-d's Torah from the Holy Ark, and to open i t and question
it, we certainly have a right and a duty to take the President, so
to speak, out of his White House sanctuary and question him over
what he said and also what he did not say. This ought to be the
m w r b k e l - the moral lesson - to us of Abraham's questioning
the ways of Ed.
Morris Caariel Katz
n ~ w **n
PARENTS AND CHILDREN
A most serious problem plaguing the American Jewish com-
munity is identified by the two word phrase - "generation gap."
Bookshelves abound with literature which purports to teach par-
ente how to understand their offspring and bridge this distressing
gap. Complementary material i s written for the younger set in-
structing them how to deal with their elders and make the most
of the necessity of living with parents until their majority is
reached. Hardly an organization, club, or sisterhood has not had
the "youth problem" on its agenda this year.
Our Torah, written and oral, must be the authoritative guide-
book for our actions and arbiter of our conduct. So called social
issues are in essence also religious ones, for we turn to our Torah
and t o our Sages for underatanding, clarification and direction.
What, then, is the proper relationship between parent and
child? What role should each play? What are the reaponeibilities
of parent to child and child t o parent? A beautiful Midrash, re-
lating to this mornin's 8i&rah, Chaye aura, sheds light on the
above problem.
S E F E R B E R E S H I T 209
Dill3N 5W Ivn1P1Y nN i l " 3~i l ilKlW> ,DvD>n nDN
. . . 15 1 n ~ 1 1n3vn 5vnnil
"Our S a g a a i d , When the Almighty beheld the righteousness of
Abraham He praised him saying . . .
(nl-r\nn o7'lr\n) "D'IN 9 ~ 3 ~ nvmvM
"You are more beautiful than any man!"
1 9 ~ 5 IvDJ3J ?J31 ?JN , V ~ W vB1'il ;IT ?N Dn 3 N 15 1DN
8135 3Nil Iv3 I vl v3D DlN ?33 I'N1
Abraham replied: "Wherein lies my beauty? My son and I enter
a city and people cannot distinguish between father and son."
.IvPID ilvil N ~ I ilJW DvnNDI ilKD v i l DlN ilvilW VJDD
For a person would live one hundred yeam or two hundred years
and would not age.
135 3Nil Iv3 V' l ~i l C) ilnN l v l Y ,Y'V31 , D8l>K 1DN
. Y Y J ~ 1 ~ 1 8 f33nvw 1 ~ 1 5 ~ Y J 1 ~ 3 1
Abraham said: "Master of the Universe; You must distinguish
between father and son and between the young and the old so that
the old will be honored through the young."
.5vnnn ~ J N ~ D D f y y n ,ilP3'pil 3 9 5 ~ D N
The Almighty a i d : "From you I begin."
iw 1v35ilw i l ~ i inYw 11~3 . i ~33 'IDYI 85953 l n 1 ~ 3 151 f5il
.Kt3211 YJnyWY ~ ' ~ ' 3 1 , I ~ J D ~ 1DN 13311 IVNl
(*N nw mu 7.n nu19 NnInln)
Abraham slept that night and in the morning, upon awakening,
saw that the hair of his head and his beard had become white.
He aaid, "Master of the Universe, You have made an example of
me."
One aspect of the youth problem today is that parent8 strive
too hard t o be like as well ae liked by their children. Fathers and
mothers are no longer teachem and instructom but rather pals
and buddies. They wear the same clothes, follow the same fash-
ions, speak the same language, and play the same games as their
children. The differentiation between young and old that Abraham
requested and-received is slowly being obliterated. The fact that
today's youth problems are increasing and not disappearing is
evidence that in the current trend the solution does not lay.
PORTION OF THE WEEK
The distinction between young and old that Abraham prayed
for is as valid and neceaeary today ae it was then. Parents must
teach their children, through example and precept, the religious
moral course of action. Ru e love for our children is not shown
by giving in to their demands but by following the more difficult
path of guiding them in the eternal ways of our Torah so that
they may grow up to be committed Jews and responsible citizens.
Parents must accept the harder role of teacher, leader, and disci-
plinarian rather than the easier one of friend and companion. Our
task is not to eliminate the generation gap but to maintain the
true and proper relationship between generations. Only then will
we gain the respect of our youth, insure the survival of our people
and be worthy of the praise of the Almighty
D'IN ' 333 n' m' .
Howard Gmshon
nthn
WHAT IS SUCCESS?
"And the boys grew up, and Eeau was an expert hunter, a
man of the field; and Jacob waa a plaii man dwelling in tents"
(Gen. 25:27).
Eaau is deftly described by the Torah as an outgoing person-
ality, a worldly man of practical affairs, a skilled hunter, a go-
getter who is vigorously aggressive and who know how to suc-
ceed in the broad world of commerce. He is the kind of man much
admired today. Ecau is of a ruddy complexion; physically strong
and robust, bursting with good health. By comparison his brother
Jacob is weak and inferior to him in every respect. Jacob being
a homebody, reticent, withdrawn and timid, no doubt vi ew with
trepidation the larger external world with its hustle and bustle.
He is appalled by the human cunning, malevolence, machinations
and rivalries for earthly power. He is a humble scholar, physically
definitely not the peer of hie brother.
S E F E R B E R E S H I T 211
When we coneider the above contrast between the brothers,
what follows in the narrative is indeed surprisingly strange. Here
the Torah pointa out that it is Esau who turna to Jacob for sus-
tenance and for moral and, perhapa, mental support. It is he who
admita to feeling faint and weary, exhausted and crushed by the
vaunted, worldly success he haa so ably achieved. It is Jacob, dwel-
ler in tents and a pious scholar, who now revives his hggi ng spir-
its. "And E$au said to Jacob: Let me swallow down, I pray thee,
some of that red pottage, for I am faint. Therefore, waa his name
called Edom" (Gen. !26:30).
Yes, it waa the weaker Jacob who unexpectedly supplied 8W-
tenance to the mighty Eaau. We mortals are inclined to classify
people in terms of the weak and the strong, which we have no
right to do aa we do not really know what makes a pereon weak
or strong. The truth ie that there are no weak people in G-d'e
world. We have often seen the so-called infirm and the ailing sur-
vive their hale and hearty relatives who commieerate with them.
'V'ato m'chuye Es Kukmr,'' You cause everyone to live" (Ne-
hemiah 9:6). The word m'chuye means not only that He pours
life into every being and keepa the body functioning, but also s u p
plies him with the wherewithal to sustain him. G-d enables him to
uphold hie position in life and to prevail against all opposition in
hie race for survival. This fact can beat be illustrated by an ex-
ample from the world of commerce. Let us say that a person plan8
a bueinew venture. If he can convince an important financial es-
tablishment to back his undertaking, he will succeed even in the
face of all competition provided, of course, he haa the business
acumen and drive to succeed. In the business world the victory
belongs to the one who can summon superior financial reaourcea;
he can then absorb loeeee and eventually prevail against the
fierceat competitors.
Every human being ought t o consider the supreme power that
is backing him in the businew of living-it is none other than G-d,
his Creator! The qirit of Gd reaides in everyone He created. By
virtue of that spirit, everyone haa been endowed with sufficient
212 PORTION OF THE WEEK
strength, talent and aptitude to sustain himeelf. We may thus cor-
rectly conclude that no man is weaker than another.
G d ie fair and just in hie dealings with all his creatures. When
He gives one human being power in the form of wealth, He give8
to another power by blessing him with great genius or talent. G d
often deprives us on one male of the balance only to add to the
other scale. In summation, we may state that the scale8 are bal-
anced for all.
If people only underatand how strong and important they
really are and trusted in Gd's fairness, they would then walk
this earth with an inner confidence and self-aeeurance. They would
be experiencing a eense of security, which would free them from
all feelings of fear, and from the deadly envy-hate syndrome which
turns them against their fellow man. A person must believe that
G d is not depriving him of what is justly due him and that envy,
hatred, and fear of another in an unjustified as i t is groundla.
To a father there are no second-clam children; they are all
equally precious to him and he will therefore, protect and defend
them with equal vigor and determination. When we hurt or mortify
any child, we run the risk of kindling the wrath af and the pun-
ishment by the father.
The Creator does not bring people into the world for others to
abuse, hurt, manipulate or use to their advantage to promote their
own position in life. To sin againet man by brutalizing him, or by
robbing him of his human dignity, or assault his sensitivities is
to affront the Creator who made him. "Thou hast anointed my
head with oil," mid David. While human beinga annoint only king#,
G-d annointa everyone. In His sight, every man, woman and child
harr royal stature. To believe deeply in the justice of our merciful
F'ather in Heaven is to live on Hie earth with confidence and a
victorious spirit, calmly and serenely accepting all things from
the beneficent Maker of us all.
David H. Webenberg
S E F E R B E R E S H I T
ACT FIRST
Are our actions haphazard and spontaneous or deliberate and
calculated? Do we follow a clear and vivid plan or lead a hand-to-
mouth existence? How do we respond, in particular, t o grave crises
or t o a gushing joy?
The action of Leah in naming her children may supply some
clue t o our non-uniformed behavior.
The Torah relates the birth of the first four sons t o Leah and
records the name she gave t o each and mentions the reason for
the name.
In t he case of the first born, Reuben, she first called him the
name, then the reason for the name is explained. But in naming
her next three children, Simon, Levi, and Judah, the order is fvst
vatomar, she said the reason and only then she called each by an
appropriate name. Why should there be a change in the order of
the first born from the other three?
When Reuben was born t o Leah, she was very happy and did
not even look for a reason for name-giving. It was an overwhelm-
ing experience-joyful, and giddy. Later she assigned the reason
for the name which appears forced and not fully suggestive by
the name Reuben. But, after the first, the novelty was missing, and
she had a chance t o engage in introspective thinking and t o de-
liberate about the name. Hence, we find first the reason and then
the name calling. Part of our failure t o be more creative is our
sitting on the fence t o carefully analyze the situation and t o pre-
dict the outcome. Very often undue calculation does not even re-
sult in action.
We should be moved by a strong sense of commitment and a
readiness to initiate actions. Our reasons can be minted at leisure
but our actions must take place when the occasion demands it.
Amidst the sound of talking and the consideration of the pros and
the cons, action may never be forthcoming. Let us therefore pre-
214 PORTION OF THE WEEK
serve the flush of the original moment and the enthusiasm of the
beginner when we plunge in naming and only later seek to crystal-
lize our thinking. Let us lead off with Reuben.
Jmeph I . Singer
nSwr
VISIONS OF REALITY-THE SYMBOLISM
OF GID HANASHAH
Sedrah Vaylishloch begins with Yaakov, acting in fear of total
extermination, splitting his family into two camps, so that one
would survive if the other were attacked. After taking care of hia
family, Yaakov remained alone.
rf25 ~ P P * tnr*r
(Genesis 32 :25). He wrestled with an angel (representing Esau)
till the morning. The angel, seeing he could not overcome Yaakov,
grabbed him by the joint of hia thigh, dislocating it and rendering
Yaakov lame. Because of this, Jews today refrain from eating the
gid howhah ( Genesis 32 : 33 ) .
Before trying to understand the prohibition of gid hawhah,
it ie inetructive to analyze the wrestling match between Yaakov
and the angel. Did it really happen or waa i t a dream?
This might appear as an almost heretical queetion, yet this,
in fact, is a point in dispute between two great luminaries, Rambam
and Ramban.
Rambam, in Moreh Nevukhim (Part 2, Chapter 42) aeeerts that
Yaakov's meetling with the angel was a dream. This, in fact, ia
consistent with Rambarn's approach in many other placea in Gene-
sis. Ramban (Genesis 18 :2), dieagree8 quite vehemently. He ineista
on the real experience as per the presentation in the Torah, albeit
with all the transcendental overtones. In fact, both the Ramban and
Cre8caa in his commentary on the Moreh both question how Yaakov
could have become lame from a dream. Abarbanel in Vayishtcich
corn- to Rambarn's rescue, raying that oft-tima what happew in
S E F E R B E R E S H I T 215
a dream can so overwhelm the dreamer that the dream has carry-
over into real-life. To further subatantiate Rambam, it is known
that if, under hypnosis, a person is told that the finger touching him
ia really a hot-iron, he will develop a real blister. Thus, Rambam's
approach coincides with real experience. And, more important, it
opem up avenues of interpretation to this and other parts of the
Bible, literally creating a darshun's paradise.
Yaakov's wreetling aa a dream can now be seen in profound
symbolism. That he ahould see himself wrestling with Eaau's angel
the day before a direct confrontation with Eaau, which he dreaded,
is readily understandable. Obsessed with this fear in day, he dreamt
of it at night.
~nvn niSY 7~
Until the break of day they wrestled. Yaakov experienced in his
prophetic dream the d a r k n e ~ of his children's exile, an exile they
would runrlve. The angel, seeing he could not overcome Yaakov,
131' Q33 PPl,
gri p the joint of his thigh. Yerech, the thigh, ie quite an interest-
ing symbolism.
131' 'NY'
is used (Genesis 46 :26) to include Yaakov's children. The thigh be-
comes symbolic of one's pasterity. Yaakov, in his dream, sees that
whilst the strong will be able to wrestle with Esau, the children,
iesue of the thigh, will be singled out and attacked with greater
ferocity than the fathers. It ia easy t o appreciate that this so
startled Yaakov aa to render him lame. How prophetic this dream
really wan can be comprehended even today, when the cream of
Jewieh youth is being inundated by the "freaks," who seek to lame
Judaiem by attacking ita posterity.
The Torah react% by prohibiting the gid hanuahah. In our
everyday habita we are forced to remember Yaakov's dream.
Through this prohibition, we aesert that Judai m has no hind
quarters, that our children will be, a t all times, in the forefront
of our thoughta and actione. The gid harrcrshah we scrupulously
refrain 'from eating remind8 us that we will never allow our her-
itage to be lamed by an attack on the rear flank, our posterity.
PORTION OF THE WEEK
Hiatory has proven that the best defense against an attack on the
next generation is a strong contemporary era. Wih a strong, value-
imbued this-generation, the next generation ia less vulnerable. The
gU havmhah command thus symbolizes our ultimate responsibility.
Reuven P. Bulka
2w't
MASTER OF DREAMS
Men have been fascinated by dreams since the dawn of time.
From ancient Dream Templea to modern Freudian couchea and
dream analyeis, people have lived their past, soothed their present
and inquired into the future through the mysterious veil of noc-
turnal dramaa.
J e w qualify aa the world's greatest dreamers. They dreamed
of ladders and angels, Heavenly Hosts and Meesianic glory. Patri-
arch and prophet, psalmiet, sage, and humble handmaid dreamed
visions of faith, hope and universal love. Enemiea conquered and
pillaged citiea but they could not destroy Jewish dreams. The very
Sanctuary was razed to the ground but the Jewish soul continued
to dream despite the torch and the sword.
Even aa they sat by the waters of Babylon and wept bitter
tears, Jews dreamed on.
(1*35 ,o-ynn) " ~ ~ 3 5 l n ~ i ~ v ; I VY nlvv nN '3 l t v ~ "
"When the L-rd brought back those who returned to Zion we
were aa in a dream."
At the nadir of national calamity, during the darkeat mo-
ments of captivity, our people were sustained by beautiful viaions
of redemption and reatoration. When destiny elevated them to the
zenith of their collective experience they continued . . .
P' b51nJ -
"As in a dream !"
Ibn Ezra states:
P'IN I'N Pnl 3W '3 l l W3 5 ~ 1 ~ ' 1bN' 13 PnD'PI P n l V ~ S V ~ 511
(OW) P l 5 n l Pl iltil ~ 5 ~ 3 P7Pi l l 3811
Israel's redemption was beyond rational interpretation. The human
S E F E R B E R E S H I T 217
mind was puzzled, the senses bewildered by the miraculous phe-
nomenon of a nation resurrected. How could the Valley of Dead
Bones come to life with song and cheer? I t is against the law of
nature! History, we are taught, must follow a predictable course
and subscribe to rigid rules.
The world stares incredulously at a people coming home after
2,000 years of exile. The rise of a dynamic State of Israel in the
Land of the Patriarchs and the Tongue of the Prophets reverber-
ating in kibbutz nurseries, shattering the desolate silence of Ju-
daean hills. Exotic prayers are pouring forth from a thousand
Jerusalem synagogues and half-muted verses from David's psal m
are echoing through the market-places of Safed, Tel-Aviv and
Beersheba. Can i t be? Is it real?
"!n15n3 P l - ilTil H S D ~ Y'Pil3 nu11 D l H putt
I t is only a dream - a wonderful, beautiful, subelievable dream.
I t is the fulfillment of a million impossible hopes!
Metzudat David prefers a different interpretation for the
dream of redemption:
5 9 n15n 1m5n 1 5 9 ~ 3 nil 918 n 3 y v n l i f n 52 mi l I N n n u ~ "
H"J nnu3 nnyi l 19il H ~ V nil5 nni9 TH nil5 v v v n3Itln 3175
(nu) "nil5 nci 9yn 1 5 9 ~ 3 IN^ n15n3
I t is not a dream but a nightmare - not a vision of wonderful
blessings t o come but a sheaf of bitter memories recalling terrible
experiences that were.
Returning exiles from Babylonian captivity had their struggle
with painful recollections of defeat, persecution and humiliation.
Could the returning remnant of their decimated descendants 2,000
years later easily forget the horrible holocaust - a Kafkaesque
phantasmagoria of concentration camps, gas chambers, crematoria?
And on the threshold of the Promised Land, another breed of
hunters waiting for them with "Cage Ships," new concentration
camps and more barbed wire!
Even if holocaust's memories etched by a fiery finger on the
tablets of seared souls could be forgotten, ugly ciphers would re-
main indelibly inscribed on withered arms to lament the 6,000,000
cruelly e r d from the Ledger of Life. The Survivors, were indeed
o~n%n J -
PORTION OF THE WEEK
They were dazed and shattered by maddening memories, night-
mares beyond the scope of reason. Human minds cannot survive
with such recollections.
Joseph's brothers were correct when they called him
ni ~i 5nn 5~3.
Joseph was indeed a Master of Dreams. The world i s full of dream-
era. Psychoanalysts unanimously agree that everyone dreams.
However, most dreame tend t o be mediocre and unimaginative.
Joseph was not content with ordinary dreams. He saw visions of
celleatial grandeur, the coemoa a stage on which heavenly bodiea
dramatized Divine plans. Joseph also had his ahare of painful
memories : sibling betrayal, frustrated paseions, subdued tempta-
tions, the dungeon and a long and bitter separation from father
and home.
Thia werr Joseph's personal nightmare from a tragic paet
which he wanted to forget in his later momenta of triumph and
joy. There were also exciting dr eam of wondera to come: eleva-
tion to a position of political power and a happy reunion with his
family after yeara of separation.
Joseph's dreams had a distinctive quality. More distinguished
was Joseph the man who waa singled out by the Torah for the
title
nrbr5nn 5~2.
Unlike Pharaoh and a11 paeaive dreamers like him, Joseph was a
Maater of Dresmrm. He lived his dreams and made them come true.
Joseph could read the meerrage in a dream. He could also infuee
them with meaning and give them direction. Joseph waa not a
"mere dreamer," he wae a Maeter of Dreams!
The State of h l waa conceived in dreams, faehioned from
dreams, founded on dreams, sustained by dreams. They were the
dreams of Torquemada's rnartyra and Hitler's vicitims, young
couples under the chupa eager to rebuild their share of the Sanc-
tuary and mothem at the cradle einging lullabies of Zion, Yeshiva
students and Halutdm . . . holocaust nightmarea and vieione of
Md a n i c redemption. Theae were not ordinary dreams. They were
S E F E R B E R E S H I T 219
the flashes of memories and fascinating visions of a great future
which only a
ni~i5nn 5in
nation of Master Dreamers could dream.
Such dreams turned deserts into fertile fields, created forests
where mvampa once reigned, excavated ancient towns from the
duet of centuries, built bustling new cities, restored people and
returned that measure of human dignity stolen from us two mil-
lennia ago.
Nothing can deatroy Israel's dreams - not frightening night-
mares of the past nor impossible goals for the future. brael's
dreams will overcome a hoetile world, jealous neighbors, geopolit-
ical "facta of life," economic obstacles. A Divine Hand has again
suepended the laws of nature. Time stands still to view with won-
der the miracle of Israel's 25th Anniversary - the impoeeible, re-
markable nation of Joeeph'e - Mwters Dreamers all!
victor Solomon
?'?a
THE IMPORTANCE OF HIDDEN THINGS
(nn p1o9 ,Hn n'u~n) n m nmu ~ 1 7 nw ~Y'ID NQP'I
During Chanukuh we almost invariably read the Torah portion
of Miketz. This portion deals with elevation of Joseph and of his
being given the Egyptian name Teofnae Paneach by Pharaoh when
he was appointed viceroy. This is a strange name. Rashi explains
that it meane, "the one who reveals hidden things." The only prob-
lem L that the words are backwaKZe. It literally mema hidden
things, the one who reveala. Why? What's more, the Rabbis ex-
plain, ie the opening worda of this Torah portion, SmoZ Ner TadZik,
Yamin Memuah, on the left light the lamp, on the right the Mezu-
zab. The Rabbi6 explain that in the old days, every Jew was sup-
posed to light his Chanukuk lighta outside on the left aide of his
door. The Memmh wcur to be on the right and dhanukah lighta on
the left.
220 PORTION OF THE WEEK
I would have thought, though, that the order should have been
reversed. The Mezuzah should have been on the left and Chanukah
lights on the right. After all, the important part of the Mezuzah,
the parchment, is hidden and can't even be seen while the Chanukah
lights are bright and shiny and can be seen by everyone.
The Torah by reversing Joseph's Egyptian name and by having
us put the Mezuzah on the right and the Chanukah lights on the
left is telling us something very important. In order to do something
important, t o express something that is vital, to reveal insights and
truths in a proper way so that everyone will understand them and
eenee their importance, one has to first take care of the hidden
things. All too often this seems to have been forgotten. All that
seems to count ie the slick packaging-forget the content, forget
about the meeeage, concentrate on the medium. If i t doesn't conform
to human nature or human needs so what. Spruce it up and make
it bright. But ultimately, d l these slick jobs will fail. The hidden
things must be right, if anything is to last.
Joseph Radinsky
FROM THE EDGE
When the family of Jacob came t o Egypt, Joseph presented a
number of them to Pharaoh.
3tnD 9 ~ ~ 5 OJ 9Yr l Or WJ K i l Wt 3n I735 l r n K i l Y3t 31
"And from hie brethren he took h e men, and presented them to
Pharaoh" (Gen. 47:2). Who were the brothers?
The Talmud (Baba K a m 92a) says that
J l l b W3 l 5 ~ 3 i l ~ DJ l l N
These were the namea that were repeated a t the find blessing
of Moses: namely, Dan, Zebulan, Gad, Aeher, and Naphtali, who
were the weakest of the tribes. Therefore, a specid blessing was
added. Miktze, is interpreted to mean the weak ones who were se-
lected in order not to be conscripted to become captain8 of the
army.
S E F E R B E R E S H I T 221
The Baal Haturim in his Peresh ha- mch, extensive commen-
tary, says on the contrary those selected were not the chobshim,
the weak ones, but the chashuvim, the most important. He inter-
prets Miktze from the word Katzin, nobility.
These two interpretations are not merely semantics but point
to the mobility in status that the Hebrew language suggests. There
is a definite relationship between the lowest of Miktze to the high-
est of Katzin. The social untouchables of today may become the
Brahi m of tomorrow.
The Synagogue should encompass all segments of the popula-
tion and not disregard anyone. All are important in the eyes of
G-d and all should have a due place in the synagogue. In but a
few short years the neglected of now will become the leaders and
arbiters of the near future. Ethical consideration of human broth-
erhood as well as prudence should make us aware that a short
leap leads from Miktze t o Katzin, from the lowest to the highest.
Respect each for what he is now and for what he may become.
Joseph I . flinger
m*?
PREDICTING THE FUTURE
What can the Jew expect from the world in the second half
of the seventies? Will the seventies be the same as the sixties?
Will the next decade be better or worse for the Jewish people?
Astrology is in. Occultism is the name of the new game. Books
on mysticism are being devoured by the searching intelligentsia.
Knowing your zodiac and carrying your symbol or sign will be the
life style of the seventies. Many a young man and woman begins
his day first by checking his daily newspaper for his astrological
forecast. When two people of the now generation meet, they often
first identify themselves by their respective zodiacs. "I am a Ge-
mini, and I am a Scorpio." All of this is so symbolic of man's con-
scioua or subconscious rejections of science and materialism, of the
advancements of technology, or of western civilization and its em-
PORTION OF THE WEEK
phaeis on secularization. Man must now turn to 5 d inspiration
in the mystery culta of the unknown. He muat turn to that which
ia hidden, t o a faith, and try t o remove the veil in his search t o
find hL own essence, being and destiny.
He turns to the zodiac and eees t hat on January 4, 1970, the
planet Neptune, which has been under the influence of Scorpio,
will move into the sphere of Sagittarius, the sign of idealism and
spiritual truth. The result, predict astrologers, should be a pro-
found change in the way people think and act in the next ten years.
Well, we may have to wait until 1980 to see if the zodiacs
were correct, but one thing we know from today's Torah reading,
man, even a man as great aa Jacob the Patriarch, could not pre-
dict the future for hie children.
ilJ'3Wil 1JDD ; 13>i l b~
"The Divine Presence left him."
The sages of our people, who established for us the Parshiyot,
the order of portions for reading the Torah on the Sabbath, were
extremely impressed with this fact. Here the great Patriarch Ja-
cob could not convey to his sons what the world had in store for
them. The rabbis, therefore, called the Parsha, the portion, "Sesu-
mah," meaning locked, closed. It is closed because there is not one
normal space allocated between Vayegash, last week's reading and
Vayechi, today's reading.
In the words of Rsshi:
712YWil n7YD > N ~ w ' >V I,>>) I,i1'JqY 1DnDJ
"The eyes and heart of the people were equally closed, shut, be-
cauee of the torment and oppreaaion and persecution t hat the chil-
dren of Israel already began to experience in the land of Egypt."
As Jacob looked back to h L past and as he looked forward tq
his future, he had to shut his eyes, and he called it a closed book.
My children, and the world's reaction to them is closed, shut.
Therefore, if I were t o ask once again, what the Jew can ex-
pect from the world, despite the coddence of the astrologers, the
sorcerers, and the self-styled mystics, we can say with a fair
amount of certainty t hat we really do not know.
S E F E R B E R E S H I T
But let me word my queation differently. What can the world
expect from the Jew in the next decade? Here, I submit, we can
predict with a certain amount of confidenie.
I would tell the world today that nothing has united the Jews
of the world as that great event in the sixties, he Six Day War
in June of 1967. I would tell the world that they are not now deal-
ing with a Shakespearean description of the Jew in his Merchant
of Venice or a Charles Dickens description of the Jew in Oliver
Twist. But you are dealing with a post-Auschwitz Jew. He is out-
spoken, articulate, unafraid, and if need be, militant.
Whether American, European, Israeli, the Jew has a complete-
ly different attitude about himself, his people, his friends and his
enemies. From the hell ovens of Europe was forged a different Jew;
a man, woman, or child who says "Never Again." He or she will
not be intimidated, blackmailed, or coerced by a State Department
of the United States, or by a Kremlin ruble, or by an Arab sum-
mit meeting.
We are not speaking out of a sense of egotistical pride, nor
are we, as a vicious and mean former French president would call
us, "over-confident" and a "warrior like state." We are speaking
not out of a sense of audacity or aggressiveness, nor out of super-
cilioue pride. We are speaking from a swelled heart, Ued with
teare and torment which says we want to live.
m y should our heart beat fluctuate and pulse rate change
with the uncertainties and fluctuations of the American State De-
partment? Is Arab oil really more significant than human blood?
Why muat American Jews feel frustrated and disappointed with
the preaent administration?
The world in the -seventies will see a new American Jew ae
well. A Jew who will not vacillate as did hie father or grandfather
in terme of Jewhh committmentto Jewiah learning and knowledge.
The American born Jew is going t o continue to intensify his own
search for authentic Judaim, a search which began, for h y ,
during the sixties. We will hear more from disenchanted., youth
about Jewish education. We will hear more about the role of the
synagogue and ita efEectivenees.
PORTION OF THE WEEK
Wise indeed were the words of Jacob when he said on his
death bed,
a+n+n n+i nH2 a,nH H ~ S ' i w ~ nH 035 i l 1 9 2 ~ 1 I DDH~~
"Gather together ao that I can tell you about your futre." Even
though Jacob could not predict the future for them, he did indicate
upon what their future would depend. Their future, he said, was
dependent on
. . . IY2Pil . . . IbDHil
"Uniting and staying in one band with each other."
This inextricable tie of body and soul, of heart and mind, of
every Jew with every Jew everywhere ia the secret of his survival.
The State Department will know, the President of the United
States will know, and all others will know that the message of hu-
man concern of one Jew for another burns deeply in our hearts.
We will not atand by idly and witnesa the surrender of Ierael'a
security and borders. We will react. We will respond to every in-
justice. And the Jew of the seventies will be more concerned about
his contribution to the world than the empty promises made to
him by the world.
David dtavaky
ntnw
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
The Synagogue is filled with well-dressed guests. An elderly
gentleman is called t o the pulpit. As he ascends, someone asks,
"What is your name?" The great uncle of the Bar Mitzvah replies
t hat it is Eric. No, no, your Hebrew name. A blank expreseion
comes over his face-he has forgotten. I t has been many years since
he last had occasion t o use his given name as a Jew. I t often takes
a week or two for a young bride or groom t o learn their Hebrew
names which are essential to the marriage ceremony. On many oc-
caeione I have asked a father of a newborn son at a Brit what will
the Hebrew name of his child be, and the answer often is, "Rabbi,
pick out anything t hat will go with George or Steven."
What's in a name? Children have often asked me why they
must have Hebrew or Jewish names. In fact, I am told, t hat a t
some reform congregations they call people t o the Torah by their
English names.
The question is a good one. We sign checks with our English
name and on all civil forms including birth certificates, marriage
licenaee, driver's licenses, property deeds, etc. Our identity there-
fore ie determined not by the Hebraic or Yiddish nomenclature, but
by the Chrbtian sounding Anglo name.
The Second Book of the Torah is called Shemot, which means
names. It is called so although it deals with the deliverance of our
forefathem from Egyptian bondage. I t is called Shemot because i t
commemorates G-d's redemption of the Jewish people who did not
change their names while in Egypt. I am not suggesting t hat we
give our children Hebrew names only, although many people are
wisely doing so. It is important if not imperative, however, t hat we
use our Jewieh names constantly. This would serve as a constant
reminder of our proud identity. I t would provide for us an identity
PORTION OF TIiE WEEK
and image as a Jew, particularly, when the names are scriptural
or of historic origin. For then it links the bearer with the heritage
of his people.
If there is a place where the line must be drawn in our battle
to sustain Jewish peoplehood, it must be the point of identification.
If there is something that lends itself so easily to assimilation, it
is the lack of a personal image as a Jew. The child called Chaim
all his life will feel awkward standing before the bar of marriage
with someone of another faith, realizing now, t hat he is no longer
a Chaim. By no means should we undermine this. In ancient times,
when the Hellenists sought-to subvert Israel and Judea, they estab-
lished the custom of giving all Jewish children Greek names. Those
parents who fall prey to this by thinking it would be better for
their young ones to succeed in the new society, lost their offspring
entirely. It is symptomatic of the Jewish life in the home when the
inhabitants are oblivious or ignorant of their Hebrew names. If
&he names do not matter much, very little else can be of real
importance.
Every person conscientiously strives to make his mark upon
this world. In the vernacular, this is referred to as "making a name
for yourself." If we are so concerned with this achievement, should
we not also feel compelled to accomplish this in the eyes of G-d,
our people, and our heritage. How sad it is to gaze upon a tomb-
stone and t o realize t hat there is no Jewish name because the aur-
vivors did not know the religious identity of this person who died
achieving nothing as a Jew.
There was a time when Jews were ashamed of being confronted
in a Gentile or Christian society, as being part of a "minority."
If there has been a resurrection of Jewish pride within our times,
it can best manifest itself in the greater use of our sacred names,
for they are holy.
The naming of a newborn Jew has always been a joyous and
cherished moment. At the Bk t of a son or at the Torah for a
daughter, a blessing is offered to "He who blessed our fathers,
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, may He bless this woman and her child
S E F E R S H E M O T 227
who was born with Maze1 Tov, whose name in Israel will be
called . . ." May we continue to be called by our names in the hal-
lowed tradition of Israel.
Rafael G. Grossman
FROM SLAVERY TO FREEDOM
(Delivered in Johannesburg, South Africa, on January 14, 1972)
During the past two weeks, I attended the Mid-winter Confer-
ence of the Rabbinical Council of America, and the Second World
Conference of Synagogues which was held in Jerusalem. AB part
of our comprehensive itinerary, we were privileged to visit an ab-
sorption center for
n-win n+rv,
new immigrants, from Ruseia. And i t is this experience that I want
to share with you, because it is an experience that touches the
heart of every Jew in every corner of the world.
This past Sunday, I and about forty of my colleagues, were
taken to an absorption center in Beer Sheba to meet with and to
talk to newcomers from Rueaia. The center maintains the new im-
migrants for a period of five months. They are housed, fed, clothed,
taught the Hebrew language, and helped to become adjusted to a
new life-a life of freedom in their own land.
And here, in freedom, we heard firat-hand reports of the situa-
tion in Russia today, and of the miraculous rekindling of the Jew-
iah spirit in the hearta of men and women who, only thirty years
ago, were convinced that Russia was the fulfillment of a Utopian
dream and that Communism had ushered in the Messianic age.
However, after the second World War, the Jewa of Russia dis-
covered that they, in reality, did not have any of the freedoms
guaranteed by the Constitution.
There comes to mind this week's Torah reading which tells
of the bondage of the Jews in ancient Egypt. And Pharaoh feared
228 PORTION OF THE WEEK
them-
?J9NJlW 5Sl Nlil 03 9tllJl i1219 10
and so he attempted, by vari ~ue means, to destroy the Jewish
people.
ini395wn m ~ ~ n ' l i 5 9 i l 1x1 53 1 ~ ~ 5 111)~ 535 i l ~ i ~ ~ i ~ v i
Ra&i points out that this law applied to all males
tl912Sl5 '1159il lBN3 ~ 5 1 715'il 12il 53 'N3W 113 t l i l 9 5 S l 9N
My distinguished colleague, Rabbi Sholom Kowalaky, noted that
the Targum translates the Torah portion as follows:
* ~ ' l i i l 9 5 '195in9'l ~ 1 2 53
In other words the Targum adds the world
* ~ ' l i i l 9 5
- "to the Jews." This hel p us to understand the condition in Rue-
sia today. Like in ancient Egypt, there is a Constitution that guar-
antees outwardly, for the world to see, freedom of religion and
equality for all; but, within the country, the people are told-this
doe8 not apply to Jews!
It waa this awareness of their own sense of inequality that
began to have an effect upon the Jews of Rueaia, and they realized
that, whatever the consequencee to their own safety and well-being,
they will no longer remain the "Jews of Silence." Ae in Egypt of
old, the crucial decision regarding their future destiny had to be
made by the Jews of Ruesia.
The Jews in ancient Egypt were enslaved, but the situation
could not continue as heretofore.
W'N i1311) 9 1 ~ 1 1 ) W ~ N ~ i 9 i an52a2 ~ i 9 i i9nN 5~ N Y * ~ nm5'la*i
9 i ~ ~ i l nN 191 W ~ N I ~ N 93 ~ i 9 i n3i 33 1~91 ivtm ri ast
.5rn2 ~ ~ J DD' I
It waa my sainted Rebbe, Rabbi David Kaganoff, Z'L, who indicated
that thia passage wae not only the experience of Moses but can ba
applied to each individual Jew.
And, psychologically speaking, the Jews of Russia were faced
with the same problem: they were not dear in their own minds
ae to who they are.
W'N I'H '3 m'i mi n3 ID'I
And, just ae Moses had to decide between a life of luxury and
S E F E R S H E M O T 229
security within the royal palace and a sense of commitment to his
people rind to Judaism so, too, the decision of our brethren in Russia
had to be made.
Sin2 inJDavi - wan nK 7-1
They smote t hat which was foreign within themselves and rejected
t hat which was alien and determined to courageously assert them-
selves as Jews. There was no alternative in ancient Egypt, and
there is no alternative for the Jewa of the Soviet Union today.
I became aware of a poignant incident which recently took
place in Jerusalem. A lonely, solitary figure of a man was walking
about amidst the graves on the s l o w of the Mount of Olives. When-
ever anyone came to visit the many graves, he kept inquiring
whether there wae a funeral about to take place. Finally, someone
armked this tragic soul, "Why do you ask about a funeral?" And
the man related how he had just come from the Soviet Union and
that, before he left, a relative had given him a small vial (which
he then exhibited). "In this vial, I have placed a small piece of my
finger. I want you to bury it on the Mount of Olives when you get
to Israel, for I know t hat I will never be permitted to leave this
country, but I want part of my body to be interred in the soil of
the Holy Land."
My friends, we are witnessing a new story of
a v i ~ ~ n n w,
of the Exodus to the Promised Land. The names of the refugees
have changed, but the story is the same. And the courageous de-
cision by the Russian Jew has been proclaimed: me r t yourself,
and remove t hat which is foreign to Judaism from within you. Then
only, can you be true to youreelf as a pereon and as a Jew.
You and I, who are blessed t o live under Freedom, muat help
our brethren from Russia and then we will be privileged to witness
the fulfillment of God's pledge
vnn~5i 9n5n31 vn5uni vnnwni
And may the concluding bleseing
ain3n5 nnin nn3 ' 7 ~ nn VnnwJ iwn n n n 5n a3nn vnn2ni
.'t ~ J N ami t 3 a35 ilnin VnnJi J P P ~ ~ I P ~ Y ~ S
be eoon realized for all Jews. May the world witness the realization
230 PORTION OF THE WEEK
of a complete peace with the coming of the Meseiah, speedily and
in our day-
.1DU jJ*t3*3 illilt33
Nathan I . Webs
WITH OUR YOUNG AND WITH OUR OLD
We read in the Biblical portion of Bo, "And Moses and Aaron
were brought again unto Pharoah, and he said unto them, 'Go,
serve the Lord your G-d, but who are they that shall go?' And
Moees said, 'We will go with our young and with our old, with our
sons and with our daughters . . . for we must hold a feast unto
the Lord' . . ." (Ex. 10:8-9). The Baal Haturim states:
13 53 I * W P ~ onK nn nun5 n y i ~ ~ D K ?0*351ilil *n1 *D . . . o * i ~ i l 5 ~ 3
ym . . . i mn 3 I nto* - 0513 *3 y i ~ 5 b33*5 o * i n b onK *31 . . . n355
ilWD 13*Wil . . . 112 131 353 K'lDD'23 - 0'351ilil *)31 *D . . . 3531 YW'lilW
5Y K51 D*lWY 13D nlRD 5Y K5 . . . m?3 8lt3J K3 *3 153 1J*JPt31 1J*lYJ3
- o*ww pn in*
"Pharoah said unto Moses: 'Why are you so anxious that the Is-
raelites leave Egypt? Who are they that will desire to enter the
Land of Canaan, a.1 they will all expire in the desert except Joshua
and Caleb?' And MM answered: 'We will go with our young and
with our old.' The decree of the Almighty did not apply to those
who were b s than - twenty years of age . . . and t o those t hat
were oMer than eixty years of age . . ."
Our present generation of youth must never permit itself to
become victims of "the generation gap." We are fully aware of the
recent interest in religion manifested by some college young men
and women. We often read glowing reports of increased religious
activities on the college campuaee throughout the nation. However,
the number i s so few and the interest ahown is so superficial that
i t ultimately reduca itself to the level of mere intellectual curi-
osity. Our college youth are confused, disappointed, and disillu-
sioned with our world wtuation. Thank G-d, the Vietnam conflict
S E F E R S H E M O T 231
is over. Nevertheless, our youth are still groping for some moral
and ethical ways of life. Many of our youth today would embrace
a genuine Torah-traditional Judaism, if only in their early years
they had received an adequate Jewish education and had been given
an intellectual understanding and appreciation of our Torah, cul-
ture, heritage and history. Who can deny that many parents spend
fortunes on their child's secular education, comforts, luxuries, sum-
mer camps and vacations? However, when it comes to the religious
education of their children, they find i t too expensive, unnecessary
and inconvenient. Many parents also imbue their children with the
overwhelming importance of being a hanci al success, while depre-
cating Jewish scholarship and spiritual values.
It is wise to study the psychology of our youth in their forma-
tive years. Their life may be divided into three cycles-physical,
spiritual and moral growth, which I call the Shachrith, Minchah
and Maariv, years of their existence.
A person in reciting a poem about his parents said, "At seven:
My parents are the smartest in the world; they know everything.
At seventeen: My parents don't know aa much aa I thought they
did. At twenty-one: My parents don't know anything compared to
me; they juet don't understand the younger generation. At twenty-
five: My parents knew much more than I thought they did. They
were really quite worldly-wise. At fifty: My parents were always
right and everything they did for me waa for my benefit."
Rabbi Samson Raphael Hi mh interprets the admonition that
each Jew will be confronted by the Heavenly tribunal, "Ke-vatoh
itirn Za-Torah?" aa meaning, "Have you set the times to the Torah,
or have you, Heaven forbid, set the Torah to the times?" Let us
learn the moral leaeon of the Torah portion this week. Pharaoh
asked: "But who are they t hat shall go?" And Moses said, "We
shall go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with
our daughters . . . for we must hold a feast unto the Lord."
Jules Lipachutz
232 PORTION OF THE WEEK
nSwa
THERE IS HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
After hundreds of yeara of slavery in Egypt, the Jews witness
the awesome power of the Almighty as they pass through the Red
Sea. In recognition of the great miracle the children of Israel ex-
perience a t the Red Sea, Moses leads the Israelites in a magnificent
song of praise and thanksgiving . . .
?mwv v n r n w ~ ivvv tn
Our Sages make a strange comment on these few worde.
1n3n "ivvv" n?n inn3 nS i v n "nwn i9v9 tn" i9nn 'i i D n
mrnn I D w n D n nvnn?
"Rabbi Meir mid the Torah states 'then Moses roin sing' it does
not say 'then Moses sang.' FZom this we learn t hat the belief in
the resurrection of the dead is revealed in the Torah."
This is indeed a strange comment. FZom the simple fact t hat
the sentence is written in the future, "then Moaes will sing," in-
stead of in the past tense, "then Moses sang," from thia we see
t hat the resurrection of the dead has a Biblical basis? Is it pos-
sible t hat simply from a change in tense we learn the important
concept of
nvnDn nvnn?
In answer t o this puzzle, I would say t hat possibly the con-
cept of
w n D n nvnn
is derived not only from the words of the
nl'v
but also from the circumstances surrounding the
ill'V.
Several generations had paseed since the Jews had been en-
slaved in Egypt. The generation now atanding a t the Red Sea had
seen the ten plagues and had participated in the Exodus. They
naturally could rejoice now. But what of those generations t hat
preceded them? The previous generations had felt the cruel whip
of the taskmaster and the bitterness of slavery; they uaw t he
S E F E R S H E M O T
starvation of their families and the killing of their first-born sons.
But these generations never saw the
3PlW',
while the present generation, who suffered less, lived t o see the
nPlw'.
Is this fai r? Is this justice?
DDVD ;IVYv US Y l K i l 53 DDlWil?
Aren't the previous generations entitled t o enjoy the
nYlw'
and sing the
i n ' W
t o Gd ?
i l i i ni l In a*nnn nynn5 lu3n.
Thus we must say that some day those generations which suffered
so much will experience an enjoy the redemption. That some day
will be the time of
n'nnn n*nn.
This answer helps us understand, t o some degree, a perplexing
theological question of contemporary times. Reference i s often
made t o the fact that out of the flames of Auschwitz came the
re-birth of the State of Israel. But our 6 million brothers and
Bisters who were murdered during the holocaust, who gave their
lives
awn wr'rp SY,
they suffered so much and they were never granted t he opportunity
t o live t o see
Suiw+ nj+'rn.
How could a
jilni ai ni SK
allow this to happen? The answer must be that some day those
dry bones of the Holocaust will rise again. Their existence has not
come t o a total end. Someday they too will be able t o rejoice over
the re-birth of the State of Israel. When that day of
n'nnil n'nn
comes we will all know that we are a t the climax of the
nnSw nSrw
as the Jews of all generations will gather together and sing
nu2 nR3 93 'nS i n' WU.
Mitchell WohZberg
PORTION OF THE WEEK
BROTHERHOOD
In this age of ecumenism we talk a great deal about dialogues
and brotherhood. We t ry to accomplish the goal of relating to one
another, which in the end will result in better understanding be-
tween peoples.
You may recall t hat the idea of Brotherhood Week was promul-
gated by an incident t hat happened in 1944 when four Chaplains-
Fox, Goode, Poling, and Washington-gave their life jackets t o other
soldiers who had no jackets of their own. The last account of these
four men was t hat they were standing on the sinking deck linked
arm in arm in prayer as they grasped in the jaws of death. A poet
once wrote of these men:
"But these four
Fox, Goode, Poling, and Washington
Whose special service and sacrifice
We remember now, together
Become more than each
Could ever be apart
Somehow the sum total
Of their loving faithful gift
Is greater than the part
That each did play."
We are told t hat the Ten Commandments mentioned in today's
portion were inscribed in two separate tablets of stone - the
5rst five commandments dealing primarily with those laws between
man and Ed, and the second set of commandment# dealing with
the laws between man and his fellow man. Each of these command-
ment# is a complement to the other. For example, we read "I am
the Lord thy Ed" - the first commandment. Directly acroee from
i t is, "Thou shall not murder!' This is to illustrate t hat one who
does not accept G-d and believe in the Almighty cannot fully re-
spect man, who is created in His image and, aa a result, can be-
come a murderer. The second commandment i r "Thou shall make
S E F E R S H E M O T 235
no graven images." Directly across from this is "Thou shall not
commit adultery." This is to warn us that he who makes graven
images and shows unfaithfulness to G-d can certainly not practice
fidelity to his mate and life's partner in marriage. The same is true
with the next commandment side by side. "Thou shall not take
the name of G-d in vain, and "Thou shall not steal." One who can-
not be trusted to give a valid and honorable oath, and have respect
for his creator will have a propensity for thievery. We see from
these examples that one who loves his fellow man is one who first
and foremost must have a devout love for G-d.
We are often inclined to forget the basis upon which our great
tradition and heritage were founded. We seem to conveniently blind
ourselves t o the fact that every human being here in America, in
the proverbial melting pot, contributed to making this great country
the golden land of freedom. There is a story told about a bigot by
the name of Sidney Snigglegraes. He hated everyone so badly that
he wanted to remove them from the land of America. One day he
had the opportunity to accomplish this as an Alladin's lamp fell
into his hands. Sidney realized when he rubbed it a Genie would
appear and grant his wish. He did thus and the Genie appeared
and asked him what would be his request. Snigglegraas anewered,
"I want all foreigners out of America." The Genie replied, "I can
accomplish thia, but you must remember that they will take every-
thing that they brought with them." Sidney Snigglegrasa retorted,
"Let them take everything, bag and baggage. Who needs it?" Im-
mediately a huge harbor appeared and in the harbor there were
huge s hi p. People began to leave, taking everything t hat they
brought with them. Suddenly Sidney looked around and realized
that he was standing in the midst of a barren waste land. Having
become terrified over what he had done, he began to scream, "Genie!
Genie! bring back everyone and everything. I want them to stay."
But alas it was too late, for the Genie, who was a foreigner, was
on one of the s h i p on his way back to Baghdad.
Brotherhood i s more than just something to talk about. I t is
not a week in the year that should have come about only because
four men faced their fate with courage and offered homage to the
236 PORTION OF THE WEEK
Almighty with prayer; but rather, i t should be an integral part of
our life styles, because we must be cognizant of the inner feelings
that they had for one another and their fellow soldiers.
Let us truly personify the words of Stephen Vincent Benet:
"Grant us brotherhood not only for thia day,
but for all my years.
A brotherhood not of words,
but of acts and deeds.
We are all children of Earth.
Grant us t hat simple knowledge,
if our brothers are oppressed we are oppressed.
If they hunger,
we hunger.
If their freedom is taken away our freedom is not secure."
This is truly the love of G-d - This is Brotherhood!
Arthur L. Fine
O'nBwfa
THESE ARE THE ORDINANCES
The Sidrah of
P'UBWD
contains many of the ethical and moral laws that in recent timea
have been disregarded not only by the citizens of our country but
also by the leaden, of our nation.
The many facets of the Watergate scandal clearly indicate that
our government's leaders for too long have been unwilling to live
by high moral and ethical standards. The experience has been dis-
illusioning and shattering. I t has reached a point where the cor-
ruption is so widespread, reaching so high-up, that most people
can not keep up with the dieclosures and can't understand their
ramifications.'~ur Sages teach "If all the seas were ink, reeds pens,
the heavens parchment, and all men writers, they would not suffice
to write down all the intricacies and machinationa of govern-
S E F E R S H E M O T
ments" (Shabbas l l a ) . Yes, we can not fully understand what is
going on in government but we know enough to realize that the
ethical practices preached in
D'DPWD
are not being practiced in Washington.
Abraham Lincoln was once reassured by a group of visitors
who told him "G-d is on your side!" Lincoln replied "That's not
what concerns me. What concerns me is: am I on G-d's side." For
too long, too many political leaders have claimed to be on G-d's
side, but is G-d on their side? Phrases such as "one nation under
G-d" and "In G d we trust" have become meaningless in the pre-
sent day political climate.
I t is interesting to note a sentence in the book of Nehemiah
(8 :2-3) which reads
. . . Silpil Y J P ~ mi n i l nN l i l m N Y ~ Y ~1311"
11Nn ID DlDil 1YV ~ ~ 3 5 1VN 3 l mi l 1 ~ ~ 5 13 NlPll
".illln?l 150 5N DYil 53 lJ1N1 . . . Dllil nlYRD 1 Y
"And Ezra the priest brought the Law before everyone. And he
read therein before the broad place that was before the water
gate from early morning until midday, and the ears of all t he
people were attentive unto the Law."
In days of old, people gathered a t the water gate to listen to
G-d's law. Today people gather at the Watergate to listen in on
telephone conversations. If the leaders of our nation had listened
to G-d's law they would know the numerous laws in today's sidrah
which, if followed, would have made the crisis of government mor-
ality that we face today an impossibility.
The fact ia that the word of G-d has not been heard in the
White H o w no matter how often Billy Graham has spoken there.
Instead of the Sunday morning services where preachers have come
to the White House to praise our nation and President, it would
have been infinitely more valuable if one of those preachers had
simply opened his Bible to the sidrah of
DlDDV)9
and read the following: "Thou shalt not utter a false report. Put
not thy hand with the wicked to be an uprighteous witness"; "Thou
238 PORTION OF THE WEEK
shalt not follow a multitude t o do evil"; "Keep Thee far from a
false matter"; and "Thou shalt take no gift, for a gift blindeth
them t hat have sight and perverteth the words of the righteous."
These are the words our leaders must hear today.
And most important let our leaders remember
" P ~ ~ v D Z NW' 85 * 3" ,
no one, not even the President or an angel can pardon their in-
iquities. Pardon can only come from the Almighty. And pardon will
only come when the leaders of our nation will declare unto G d
y n w> t n a y > .
Mitchell Wohlberg
araiin
SERVING G-D WITH GOLD
One of the members of our congregation showed me an inter-
esting cartoon that appeared in the New Yorker. I t depicted a
man pointing to a magnificent cathedral and commenting to his
wife, "this is true glory to G-d." The point that the cartoonist
W~LS trying to convey is quite obvious, especially to the idealists
of our day. Couldn't the hundreds of thousands of dollars or even
millions t hat are needed to build magnificent houses of worship
be spent more wisely? If a house is to be built to worship the
Almighty, let it be very modest, without the frills. And let us use
the extra money to motivate more people to come t a the synagogue
on a regular basis.
Is G-d glorified by a beautiful building or by beautiful deeds
of people, showing love to one another? The argument is a logical
one. Yet it i s not effective. People who will give vast sums to build
beautiful synagogues and educational facilities, are not convinced
to spend large sums on new techniques and new programs of edu-
cation. Why not? The religious Jew can point t o t he Torah and
say, the good book itself teaches us t hat we should be generous
when we build a sanctuary in honor of G-d.
S E F E R S H E M O T 239
In todays Sidrah we read t hat the holy ark itself had two
layers of gold with a.wooden layed in-between. The altar was cov-
ered with gold. Various parts of the ancient tabernacle built in
the days of Moses were made of silver. The Torah shows us the
way. If we build a house to G-d, today, it should also be of the
finest materials.
But what kind of religion is i t t hat demands ornaments and
beautiful decorations? Is ours a faith that is concerned only with
externals: how the synagogue looks; how beautiful the sanctuary
and the ark are; and how magnificent the menorah and the decora-
tions are in G-d's house!
The rabbis teach us t hat it is not only externals t hat are
important. In fact if we would analyze the specifications of the
holy vessels t hat went into the sanctuary of old, we learn several
important lessons.
For example, the rabbis teach us the reason for the structure
of the holy ark. Three boxes were made. One was of gold. Inside
was a second box of acacia wood and then an inner box of gold.
Inside was placed the Ten Commandments. The outer surface and
the inner surface of the ark was covered with pure gold to teach
us t hat people must endeavor to be like their ark. Not only should
we show a kind, honeet, good exterior but inside-in our heart-
we should feel the importance of being kind, honest and good to
others. The sages of Israel teach us t hat we can learn a similar
ethical lesson, about each of the vessels of the holy tabernacle.
Each part of the tabernacle was purposely fashioned in such a
way as to teach us ethical lessons and ideas. I think the Torah
also wanta us to learn a practical lesson. If people want to con-
sider themselves religious they should be prepared to give of their
material means, silver and gold, to G-d's houae.
Today's Torah portion goes into great detail concerning the
building of the tabernacle in the desert. The specifications were
given by G d Himself to Moses and the people of Israel. As Jews
we must be willing t o offer our material means in the worship
of G-d. This, by the way is the rabbinic interpretation of the verse
240 PORTION OF THE WEEX
in the Shema that says -
t'lun .. . 522 ~ * ? 5 u '3 nu n2ilu1.
Loving G-d with all my might means to show G d my love by
giving willingly of my material means t o live as a Jew. In prac-
tical terms this implies not gilding the synagogue with gold and
silver but rather being prepared t o keep the dietary laws even
though eating kosher food is more expensive than eating trefa.
I t also means a willingness to recognize certain days of the year
a s holy, even if it results in an economic loss. Rosh Haahanah and
Yom Kippur must be observed in the synagogue and in the home
as should Pesach, Shevuot, and Sukkot. Serving G-d with gold and
silver also implies a willingness t o make Shabbat a day of rest
and a determination to give charity so that people in need will
benefit.
Aaron Borow
wwn 93
GUILTY FOR DOING NOTHING
The incident of the Golden Calf is one of the best-known and
most tragic events in the Torah. However, a careful study of the
events that followed the making of the Golden Calf present us
with a seeming contradiction.
After more than 200 years of slavery, the children of Israel
are allowed to leave Egypt. They witness the miracle of the split-
ting of the Red Sea, they receive G-d's law on Mt. Sinai and now
they are on their way to the Promised Land. All's going well.
Suddenly all this changes. The Israelites think that Moses is
late. in returning from Mt. Sinai and they then create a golden
calf of idolatry.
G-d decides to destroy his people. But Moses, in some of the
gtrongest words found in the Bible, appeals t o G-d to forgive his
children for their iniquity and G-d finally relents
~ D P > nrwP> 33-1 'lwu ;lyi;l >y ' 8 ~ R J V
"And the Lord repented of the evil which He aaid He would do
S E F E R S H E M O T 241
unto His people." G-d forgives the children of Israel.
But then Moses returns from Mt. Sinai and he tells the people
that G-d has decreed t hat those who participated in the idol-wor-
ship with the golden calf must be put to death. 3,000 men are then
killed for their sin.
This is quite difficult to understand. G-d had just said t hat
He forgave the people for their sin; now Moses says the people
must be punished by death, for this is the will of G-d. Why punish
the people if they have been forgiven? Indeed, who did G-d actual-
ly forgive?
There is an answer to this apparent contradiction which is
relevant for modern society. Maybe G-d never did forgive those
3,000 people who actively built and worshipped the Golden Calf.
There was no possible forgiveness for their grave sin. They had
t o be put to death. The people who G-d forgave were the rest of
the children of Israel who hadn't participated in the Golden Calf.
Why did they need forgiveness? Because while this whole incident
of the Golden Calf took place, these good, innocent people stood by
and did nothing. They never raised their voices in protest. n e y
were silent; silent accomplices. The Torah tells us t hat 603,550
Jews left Egypt. 3,000 built the Golden Calf. What did the other
600,000 people do to stop the 3,000? They did nothing! They could
have put an immediate end to this folly. The good people outnum-
bered the bad 660,000 to 3,000 a 200 to 1 ratio; they could have
smashed the Golden Calf, but, instead, they meekly chose to remain
silent. Under such circumstances, when good people sit quietly by
while bad people indulge in evil, the good people also are sinners
by their silence.
The 3,000 ring-leaders had t o be punished for their evil ways
but the 600,000 quiet people had to be forgiven for their silence,
for this too wae a sin.
Today, thousands of years after the incident of the Golden
Calf, times have changed, but human nature has not; we still find
many people guilty of the sin of "silence." And all too often, we
Jews are guilty of this transgreseion. For many years the Jewish
242 PORTION OF THE WEEK
community remained silent about the plight of Soviet Jewry and
even now, many Jews still have not involved themselves in the
battle for freedom for our three million Soviet brethren.
How many of us, viewing the decay of the moral fibre of our
society, sit back and remain silent.
We're against pornography but do nothing about it. We decry
poverty but do nothing, for fear our taxes will increase. We're
against mixed-marriages, unlimited abortion, co-ed college dormi-
tories, early dating for our children, violence on television . . . but
we don't raise our voice in protest because we don't want to seem
old-fashioned. With all these evils taking place, if we don't raise
our voices in protest, then we are guilty of being "silent accom-
plcs." As a famous philosopher wrote: "All that is necessary for
evil t o triumph, is for good men to do nothing."
G-d forgave 600,000 Jews for their silence at the Golden Calf
but we cannot depend on G-d's forgiveness. For one thing is cer-
tain; Judaism does not allow us the luxury of "silence." In the
words of our Sages "If one's community is in trouble, a man ahould
not say 'I'll go to my house and eat and drink and peace will be
with me, 0 my soul.' A man must share in the troubles of his
community, as Moses did. He who shares in the troubles, is worthy
to see its consolation."
My friends, our community and country are in trouble, Only by
raising our voices in protest will we be worthy to see its consola-
tion.
Mitchell Wohlberg
5np91
DO YOU HAVE A LOVING RELATIONSHIP?
I N ~ Y ' IWN n ~ 3 ~ i l nt~rnit93 nwnl 133 n ~ 1 nwnJ 11'3il nn WPV
(n:n7 nlnrn] 1 ~ 1 ~ 5 i l ~ nna
Everyone knows that on the seder plate we must have mme
bitter h e r b to symbolize the bitter times the Jewiah people had
S E F E R S H E M O T 243
when they were slaves in Egypt. Most of us us horseradish. Some
Rabbis disagree. They say that we should use is not horseradish
but the hearts of romaine lettuce. Horseradish has a tangy sharp-
ness to i t and burns. It makes the eyes run, but it really isn't the
worst type of bitterness. In fact, it's even a little exciting a t k t .
The true bitterneee is the bitterness found in romaine lettuce. The
fiat, insipid, dull, zestless taste of romaine lettuce--that's real bitter-
ness.
It's interesting to note that in this week's Torah portion, Va-
yakel, we learn how the laver for the Tabernacle, which every
pirest had to wash in before serving in the Tabernacle, was made
of the copper mirrors which the women of Israel had donated freely.
The Rabbis say that originally Moshe did not want to accept the
women's mirrors to be used for such a holy utensil. After all, they
were objects of women's vanity. But God told him no. You must
take them because i t was only because of their wives' loving, caring
relationship that the lives of the men of Israel did not become
completely hopelese and bitter.
Unfortunately there are too many people who lead tasteless,
insipid lives. They experience real bitterness. Instead of trying to
cultivate a loving, caring relationship with others which would end
their bitterness, they take horseradish. They opt for exciting thrills.
Unfortunately, all they have done i s exchanged one form of bitter-
neee for another. Perhapa that' s why most of us think t hat horse-
radish ia the worst type of bitterneee. It gives hope where there is
no hope and ends inevitably in worse despair.
Joseph Radinaky
qnpb
WHAT DO WE REMEMBER?
The New Ymk Times carried the other day an article con-
cerning the annual meeting of the rrurvivors of the blizzard of
1888. It wae their last: meeting since only one or two members are
left, and they are in their 90's. Every year that group would meet
244 PORTION OF THE WEEK
to reminime about the blizzard and to regale each other with the
immense discomforts that it caused.
The firat and second World Wara re-wrote the map of the uni-
verse. Radical revolutions transformed our society. Science haa
made man leap into the air and land on the moon but the survivor-
of the blizzard of 1888 had as their point of reference only the
blizzard of 1888.
You may think that it is strange behavior. Yet aren't many
of ua guilty of such concentration on blizzard8 and other tragedies
without giving thought to the opportunities open to ua by positive
and solid achievements?
The Book of Exodus that we complete today in a way is a
manual for proper blending of the paat with the future and pro-
vides us points of reference to remember. Sltemos begins with a
temble tragedy-that of the inhuman enslavement and indescrib-
able degradatio& of the Israelites in Egypt. But, again, it ia not
the tragedy of bondage but the pageant of redemption that is com-
memorated in the Seder. Further, we read about the Ten Com-
mandments and the Golden Calf but it is the Second Ten Command-
mente that become the result of the attributes of mercy that Mo-
~ e s describes in God. The Book ends with a consolidated statement
of the building of the sanctuary.
In our life, too, we have a choice to make. Shall we live with
the memories of blizmda and remember midortunes only? Or
shall we be inspired by the vieions of aanctuarie~~, of transforming
a wildernem into a highway leading vertically to God and hori5
ontally to the Promised Land?
Our recent history a h hinges on these two axis: the holo-
caust, with ite inhumane destruction and the emergence of the
State of Israel. Surely we cannot forget the martyra of the holo-
cauet. But it is more important to share the achievement with the
heroea who established the State. When a people have their atten-
tion riveted only on tragedy, there comes a time when the last sur-
vivore of that soul-searing experience have departed from this
world and with them there likewise vanishes the vivid recollection
S E F E R S H E M O T 245
of personal involvement. But when a people think of growth, then
every year offers new dimensions of involvement and creativity.
Even those who were born after the establishment of the State
are surely inspired by its achievements and a visit to Israel is an
experience long remembered and very often a call to a new way
of life.
Isn't the remembrance of the blizzard but a criticism of those
Jews whose committment expresses itself in the Y's of Yizkor and
Yahrzeit but not in the Y of true Yiddishkeit? Each one of us
must carry with us a portable sanctuary that will guide us to op-
portunities and will impart to us a glimpse of the distant promised
land or an intimation of the great potential that is inherent with-
in us.
Blizzards may come and blizzards will disappear. Tragedy
strikes and vanishes. But these are only temporary roadblocks in
our progress. Life i8 guided by the builders and the keepers of
the sanctuary. In our life today, when we are exposed to so many
gales of permiwiveness and buffeted by the strong winds of strange
ideologies, we should bear in mind that they are not the harbingers
of history. Serious concentration, persistent commitment, and a
vision of a good life - these are the values to be cherished, for
they help us to build and maintain our own sanctuary.
Joseph I . Singer
THE ROLE OF THE SYNAGOGUE
On three different occasions do we read the call to Moses pre-
ceded by the Hebrew word Vayikra, he called. The first time takes
places in the desert when the Almighty called Moses from amidst
the burning bush. It was a personal experience providing the mo-
tivation for the future career of Moses. In this profoundly personal
event, God called Moses but told him not to approach nearer.
Another time when Moses heard the call of God
ilwn 5 u 9 r m a w ~ i 58 awn 58 ' 78 8 i ? v
"And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mount; and Moses
went up" (Exodus 19:20) - Maamad har Sinai. While i t was
Moses who was called yet the people heard all the sounds, for the
revelation was in the presence of all the people.
A third Vayikra we read in today's Sidrah when God called
to Moses out of the tent of meeting. Rashi says
l yVt 3l W ~5 581~7 53\ 1 9 5 ~ 5 Y73Dl 7518 5133
"The voice reached only Moses but the other people did not hear
it."
The tent of meeting is equidistant between the people and a
spiritual hermit when the vision appears only to an individual and
he is transformed. On the other hand, we have macxd lurr Sinai,
where many people congregate but only one hears the voice.
The synagogue is the abode of the individual as well as the
home for the congregation. Too much individuality leads t o re-
ligious anarchy; not enough individual freedom leads to the status
quo. While i t is the tzibur, the congregation that creates a setting
for Kedwah, the individual must feel a personal experience.
As we worship in the synagogue we should act as if we alone
S E F E R V A Y I K R A
hear the voices of God. The presence of others should not inter-
pose a barrier between us and our God.
The Voyikro from the burning bush was a flash of one event;
the granting of the tablets of the law on Mt. Sinai was a unique
encounter never to be repeated.
The worship in the synagogue is a constant ongoing process.
In order to make it meaningful we alone should hear the voice of
God but yet we must identify ourselves with the congregation.
How suggestive to us are the opening words of todays Sidrah
7 n ~ S w n Si l ~n 1 9 5 ~ "I N 13'191 ilvn S N "I N N1P91
"And the Lord called unto Moses, and spoke unto him out of the
tent of the meeting."
When God calls to us alone then we can hear Him when He
speaks. But if worship is only a group experience and the individu-
al a cipher then we do not hear the call nor listen to the Almighty.
Joseph I . Singer
BRIDGES OR BARRIERS
History is often seen as a sad saga of strife, contention and
human conflict. Created by a Heavenly Father, men consistently
fail to fulfill the prophetic vision of universal brotherhood. Indi-
viduals, groups and classes devote endless time and herculean ef-
forts erecting barriers of suspicion and hate. Bridges of trust and
love could have brought mankind together to eradicate the seeds
of human misery baaed on political, economic and social differ-
ences- those artificial gremlins responsible for so much carnage
and unhappiness.
War is not inevitable. Mankind can survive without national
chauvinism, religious fanaticism and the many savage devices that
separate human beings in "enemy camps." The world does not
need "pros" and "cons," "ins" and "outs," "haves" and "have nots,"
248 PORTION OF THE WEEK
"good guys' and "bad guys" prepared t o tear each other apart
a t a given signal.
Surprisingly, many influential voices have not concurred in
this sanguine appraisal. Couched in obstruse sophisticated termin-
ology about historical, social and economic dialectics, philosophers
with the stature of a Hegel, a Nietzsche and a Marx speculated
about utopias built on bloody foundations.
. . Torah Judaism categorically rejects their cynical doctrines
and their "logical" solutions to human problems. The Torah view
must, likewise, eschew the intrusion of alien notions dividing Jews
with barriers of denominationalism and "levels" of religious ob-
servance or non-observance.
N18 ~ N ~ v ~ N D ~ ' ~ v ~ " V N 5 ~ 1 ~ "
Deviations from Torah norms cannot erase a son or daughter of
Israel from the Jewish roster.
The Sidrah assigned t o this Shubbat observes:
V~ K: '9nn l i n ~ 933 535 n 3 i n l 1 ~v 3 85153 n n m 531"
(" ,'I ,N13'\) "l'nN3
And Rashi comments:
N D ~ nnm l t - mini ; n3- r ~ n n a l t - 1bv3 n5153"
" ~ ~ N J P n n m l
The free-will offering of the "pious" Jew aa well aa the sin-offering
of the "sinner" muat be received by the Kohen with equal com-
m i o n and consideration. Judaism commands the priest t o accept
saint and sinner
19nN3
- as his brothers. As for the ideological gulfs between Jews and
Jews, we must respond with bridges of Jewish brotherhood, love
and mutual respect - and faith in the intrinsic good of our fellow
Hopefully, the world will see . . . and learn . . .
S E F E R V A Y I K R A
''Dl
DRAW NEAR
When death strikes, especially suddenly and unexpectedly we
are at a loss what to do and how to master our emotions. Some
seem to fall apart under this heavy burden while others appear
on the surface to be calm and collected.
In today's Sidrah we read about the sudden tragic death of
Nadav and Abihu which shattered the festivities of the dedication
of the sanctuary. In this agonizing moment Moses alone was not
disoriented by the grief. He summoned Mishoel and Elzapham, the
first cousins of the two dead and told them,
3 3 ~ ~ 5 yInD 5~ Wl33 ?;b nHD D3?nH nH IHW I27b
"Draw near, carry your brethren from before the sanctuary and
out of the camp" (Lev. 10:4).
The word kirvu, draw near, is highly suggestive of what should
be our attitude to death. Every word in the Torah has one cantil-
lation note, taan hcmegina. As a rule that note of the melody con-
veys a meaning either concerning the word itself or in the context
in which i t is to be found. Kirvu is unusual in that it has' two
melody notee: a telkha gedolo and gershayim. I don't know of any
instance where a word has two cantillation marks. Telishu gedolu
means a great tearing. Certainly when a dear one is snatched away
from ua a void has been created in our lives. In vain we cry that
a telisha gedola has befallen us, and we become disconsolate.
We cannot, however, remain cast in the depth of sorrow. Na-
dav and Abihu could have not been left to lie in the sanctuary as
the family was weeping in grief.
The very same word kirvu that begins with the note of despair
ends with a gershuyim, which means banish! It is an affirmative
note with. vibrant sounds of positive action. Availut and nichum
availinr, mourning and condolence, are twin expressions of the
agonizing predicament. Qne can draw nearer only when he knows
how to chant both notes.
It is further important to bear in mind that the telisha gedola
250 PORTION OF THE WEEK
has a mini note, telisha ketano, a small tearing, while the gershrr-
yim has a smaller note, geresh. Even in the case of a national
telisha gedola, such as the holocaust, i t should be followed, as i t is
in our times, by a major gershayim, the establishment of the State
of Israel: Two notes in one word are but the mirror of a life t hat
is a tension and a conflict of moods. But we must hear the ringing
voice of a commitment, kirvu-draw near.
Joseph I. Singer
p'.lTn
A HOUSE THAT IS A HOME
In today's portion, the Torah talks about a special kind of
leprosy which apparently only we, the Jewish people, suffer from,
and then only in Israel. It never occurred outside of Ierael even
in a Jewish home.
nmu $133 ' nnx a t n ~ 5 n>? ]nil '3% i w ~ 1 ~ ~ 3 P ~ H S N iH>n 93
"When ye are come into the land of Canaan, which I give to you
for a possession, and I put the plague of leprosy in the house of the
land of your possession."
The Rabbis comment:
? N~ w' ? N'i1 it2119 V l W >
- i t is good news for the people of Israel if a house is stricken
with leprosy. Nachmanides remarks t hat i t is odd for a house made
of bricks and mortar to act as if i t were alive. It would be moat
unusual for a house t o become sick just like a human being. Such
an illness borders on the miraculous.
This is the type of miracle t hat one would be inclined to do
without. We could manage without the problem of h o u w as well
as men becoming ill.
Why does the Torah tell us t hat a houae may be Micted with
leprosy? It ia to tell us what it really means to be a Jew who lives
a Torah life. A Jewish home i s different from other homes: it has
some life and spirit to it. When the people who live in these homes
are sinful, the very brick8 of the home reflect t hat ainfulneea. The
S E F E R V A Y I K R A 251
Rabbis tell us that leprosy is the sign of evil and sin; therefore,
it is natural that the house would manifest leprosy as a sign of
the inhabitants evil.
Now we can understand why the Rabbis say
Sma-S n-a a m niia2,
it is good news when a house is stricken with leprosy. If one can
notice the disease before it spreads, if the walls of the house re-
flect what is happening in society it is good news. If one notices
the disease he has a chance t o cure it. When the disease goes un-
noticed, the real trouble occurs.
It was a miracle that the houses were stricken with leprosy.
When the people take heed of the stricken bricks and as a result
try to improve their ways and rectify their wrongs, they do not
have to suffer. When bricks can be stricken, people do not have to
be. When stones possess a sense of feeling, surely the people them-
selves are feeling and understanding. The leprosy of the house ia
symptomatic of the illness of the people who live in it; thus, when
a man notices the illness in the house, he will move to correct and
cure the dieease of both the house and himself.
Where can one poesees such a house with walls that have feel-
ing and reflect the state of society? Only in Israel! Outside of
Israel we are happy if a man himself can notice his wrongs; we do
not expect help from the bricks and stones.
The establishment of the State of Israel is the
n5iwt nn5nnn,
the beginning of redemption, the fulfillment of ancient prophesies.
I t marks the beginning of the realization of the dream of ages that
has sustained our people throughout their Buffering. For the two
thousand years of GuZtst we never gave up the hope of Shivat
Zion, the return to Zion. Now it is no longer a dream; we see Kib-
butz Golioth, the gathering of exiles. People from all over the world
are returning to Zion, from America aa well as from the Soviet
Union.
It was difficult t o visualize Israel's ability to attact people to
leave the comforts of the United States for Israel, yet Americans
252 PORTION OF THE WEEK
do go t o Israel. We hope t hat Aliyah will always be a positive force
based on positive reasons. We want Aliyah because we want to live
in Israel, not because of persecution or because we were forced to
leave certain countries. However, we must be thankful to t he Al-
mighty for helping our brethren leave Russia to go to Israel. We
see a true Kibbutz Golioth.
We see some difficulties, but we may truly say
NV n3it9 ni i w3,
i t is good news. Let us hope t hat we will be able to remedy the
difficulties and build a positive Jewish life in Israel.
Zvi Magence
YOUR GREAT POTENTIAL
The Talmud in tractate Niddah (30b) describes the embryo
while i t is still in the mother's womb. Among other things it tells
us, "It is a h taught all the Torah from beginning to end. As soon
as i t enters the atmosphere of the world an angel approaches,
slaps i t on ita mouth and causes i t t o forget all the Torah com-
pletely." I still remember when I was a child t hat my grand-
mother pointed to the cleft in my upper lip, common to all human
beings, and said, "That's where the angel slapped you when you
were born and made you forget all the Torah you had learned."
What is the purpose of this pre-natal Torah education if all
traces of i t are to be obliterated a t birth? The Talmudic descrip-
tion seems to be a rather fantastic revelation of the preoccupa-
tion of the unborn child. We must understand, however, t hat in
two simple, seemingly hyperbolic sentences, the TaZmud enunci-
ate8 a fundamental concept of Judaism concerning the nature of
Man and the world. It negates the doctrine of Original Sin and
emphatically rejecta t he notion t hat Man ia born evil.
At birth the child has a limitless potential for good; i t is a
repository of all the teachings of the Torah. What, then, is the
cause of the degeneration of Man, the source of the evil which
dogs his footatepa from birth until death? It is the atmotsphere of
S E F E R V A Y I K R A 253
the world. As soon aa the child enters the atmosphere of the
world i t is aa though an angel were to slap i t on its mouth and
cause i t to forget all ita Torah completely. It is the pestilential
worldly environment, the cutthroat competition, the materialietic
atmosphere, the false goala, the evil examplea that drag Man down
into the muck and the slime. The mouth that was born t o proclaim
the teachings of the Torah is corrupted into an evil trumpet of
curses, obscenities and blasphemies.
The Talmudic teaching is clear and succinct. To preserve the
wonderful potential for good that every child poaeeseee at birth,
i t is essential to provide the atmosphere and environment where
that potential can take root and flower. The Torah home of ob-
servant parents, the Torah school, the Torah community, all en-
able the growing child to live the life for which G-d endowed ita
soul.
Men study these chapters of the Torah that deal with purity
and impunity, and wonder at the painstaking details, the proscrip-
tions and the prohibitions. The world in which we live bridles at
the regulations with which the Torah surrounds the Jewish hope,
the relatiom of husband and wife and the behavior of the com-
munity in 8icknesa and in health. Freedom in everything is the
great good which modem society proclaime.
Yet it is thin eame vaunted free environment that has corrupt-
ed modem society. Freedom la the catch-word emblazoned on all
the mudstained banners that are borne by the advocates of de-
generacy, pornography, lust and violence. It is this same false free-
dom that haa given the license to the destruction of the family,
the embryo and the pereonality; that haa licensed drum and crime
and pollution-moral and physical.
When one turne from the atmosphere of the world in which
we live to the page8 of the Bible that ordain the sanctity of the
home and the community, it is like turning from the stench of the
corruption of the so-called free world to the fragrant scent of the
hedges of rosee that the Torah has cultivated for us around our
loves and our liven, our words and our deeds. Only in this atmos-
254 PORTION OF THE WEEK
phere does the child have the freedom to realize the potential with
which he was endowed at birth, t o fulfill thp Torah that he was
taught from beginning to end.
Solomon J. Sharfman
tn=
FROM NEGA TO ONEG
How strange t hat the annual celebration of Yom Haatzmaut
concurs with the Torah reading of Tzasriah-Metzorah? This asso-
ciation will be for all time and we refuse to believe t hat this con-
currence is purely accidental. The principle, ' Zeka midi d'lo remiza
b'araysa," suggests a leeeon t o be derived.
There are two major themes in our Torah readings. We read
about plagues inflicted upon people, clothing, and homes. A plague
is the epitome of death. I t is the negation of life; it suggests de-
terioration. Our scriptural readings also deal with "Isha ki saz-
riah," the birth of a child and t hat he is to be acknowledged by
visiting the Temple. A child represents life, the promise for the
future; it is an affirmation of hope. We, thus, have two extremes
in human experience--death and life.
In our day, we have experienced both these extremes. The
holocaust is the most horrible plague ever inflicted. I t engulfed
all of Western civilization, manifest in man's bestiality (&om), his
outer civilization (beged), and in the corruption of the home (ba-
yit). We have also had the privilege to witnesa the birth of a
Jewieh State, representing renewed hope and life. There are those
who wish to forget the holocaust as nightmares of the galut which
should be forgotten in face of Israel's renewed statehood. Many
Israelis preach this "shelilat ha-galut." They see only celebration
and festivity in Yom Haatzmaut. Others cannot rise above the
anguish and the theological implications of the holocaust. They see
negation and no reason for celebration.
The Torah readings, therefore, annually inform us t o keep
both events vivid. Israel must never forget that i t was created out
S E F E R V A Y I K R A 255
of the anguish of the Concentration Camps. Mourners of the holo-
caust cannot philosophize as if an equally metaphysical event of
a reconstructive nature did not immediately follow. The word
"nega" reversed becomes "oneg," signifying what had actually
transpired. In celebrating Yom Hautzmaut, however, we must do
so by acknowledging its religious character, t hat G-d is our bene-
factor, aa did the mother who was required t o visit the Temple.
Indeed, in Israel, a om-Hwhoah is observed before Yom
Hautzmaut, t o commemorate the change of a "nega" to an "oneg."
The ultimate negation was transformed into an ultimate affirma-
tion.
Abraham R. Besdin
ntn 9inH
THREE KEYS
5 ~ 1 DV ?$l ,Dill3N ilt (1 1"B N1J'I) 133 13 l D3 Wl?il 5~ 1 l ; I N N3* nNl 3
I n N Z 1nN 5 3 ~ ilJill WHY PRY? ill i l h ~ > 5?Nl (nu' n'UNl1) Dill3N Y l 1?3il
? 3 v own 3 5 n?r (1.3 nu) s n ~ i 3?y3 5v r nr m t y (1*3 nu) i 3 3 i ? ~ 7 x 3
( ~ " 3 - 1 n ~ u17n) D'3lr) D'IV ''12
A first reading of the text confronts us with a dilemma. In
the normal performance of his duties the Kohen, especially Aaron,
required no special privilege to walk into the Sanctuary precincts.
Why then, in this instance, did the Torah qualify his entrance?
The brilliant and incisive comment of the Midrwh provides
us with the three complex keys required for Aaron and ultimately
for generations yet unborn.
"To the cattle did Abraham run," to perform the outgoing
mitzvah of hachnoaat orkhim. The h t of our forefathers, in liv-
ing through gemilcrt clsasodim, was aware t hat olom chesed yibone.
Disasters are bred through lack of communication. For example,
when man is out of touch with hie neighbors or in an environment
of hostility instead of humility where biting suspicions are present
rather than kindred spirits. A "hot line" to Cairo from Israeli
staff headquarters could have avoided the Libyan plane dieaster
256 PORTION OF THE WEEK
over the Sinai desert. Ze Avrahom, through the Midah of Abra-
ham, in maintaining a direct wire to KoZ Adut Yisroel, was Aaron
able to enter the Kodesh.
Second, the Akedah of Iaaac, also required by the Kohen
Godol aa an example of inspiration before he could ascend t o Ke-
dushah. Martyrdom may breed compassion, sympathy and selfless
aid or, aa the UN has demonstrated once again through the Arab
vote and their African and Asian lackeys which condemned Israel
in this incident and uttered not one word of commis8eration after
the Lod mawacre and the Munich murders, become a tool of po-
litical manipulation. No nation in the world has suffered more inno-
cent victims than the Jew. For good c a w did the Midrash em-
phasize Basvorch, from the entire Akeduh; caught in the brush with
only the voice t o free him.
And inally, the example of Jacob in setting up a repast for
his father. The concern of Rebecca was to strengthen her family,
t o efFect a rapproachment between father and aon, for without the
family as focal point, a shattering of society must inevitably re-
sult. The "flower" children have flowed from disconsolate and dis-
integrated parent offspring relationships.
"Poise yourself before the paeans of this trilogy of life forces,"
cry out the Chazal: Abraham and his gemilot chcmodim, Isaac
and his eelf-effacement, and Jacob with his family devotion. Then,
and only then, may you enter into Kodesh.
Norman J. Strizower
P'mCrlf;
HOLIER THAN THOU
"Ye ahall be holy for I the Lord, your Ed, am Holy."
The concept of
i l Wl t D
holinerrs, aa e x p r d in the Torah, b very different from what
S E F E R V A Y I K R A 257
is generally assumed today. While it is true that the Torah con-
tains a majority of negative commandments - 365 in all - and
only 248 positive ones, the greatest share of the negative com-
mandments is found in the portion dealing with arogos. Witness
the fact that on the holiest day of the year, on Yom Kippur, dur-
ing minchah, we read the portion which deals with prohibited re-
lations. For example, the Torah tells us that we cannot marry
two sisters and claim immunity from sin. I t further goes on to
say that one cannot be a hom~~exual and at the same time pro-
claim himself as being holy. In fact the Talmud teaches us that
hommexuality ia the very depth of sin, regardlees of the concept
of morality society assumes today.
I t ia interesting to note that in the minchah for Yom Kippur
in the High Holiday prayer book translated and annotated by
Philip Birnbaum (p. 885-6), tht author, who is usually meticulous
and accurate, suddenly becomes "holier than thou." Instead of
t d a t i n g the passages, he explains the portion of arayos with
the words, "Maimonides explains . . ." Thus he somehow gives the
impression that the translation is illicit. Nevertheless, the rabbis
teach us that portion is very important, for it impreeees the purity
of the day as well as of the Jewish concept of Yom Kippur. How
hmmge it ie that the author ignores this concept?
I recall an incident I experienced about thirty years ago when
a Talmud claers I was teaching page 9 of tractate Ketubot. A stranger
happened to come into the ShuZ and as he eat in on the discussion,
he appeared to be quite interested. The following day, however, a
member of the class could not refrain from telling me that the
manger left the clam very upset. "In the fifty years that I live
in America," he mid, "I did not hear a rabbi use such 'dirty' ex-
presssfone and worda aa your rabbi did."
Of courrrre, if this incident had occurred during the 1970's it
would hardly be considered "dirty," for unfortunately that is the
language of our day8 even though it is uaed in a different s e w.
PORTION OF THE WEEK
.Itfan
THE ART OF COUNTING
In order to count time we formulate forms t o measure tem-
porality and articulate values that endow the flow of time with
significance. There are times when nations and individuals do not
appear to bestir themselves and other times when they fly a la jet
set. The Sejirat ha-omer-an annual count of forty nine days-is
a study in the value of time.
In today's Sidrah we read
nzvn ninnn a35 a 3 n i ~ ~ i
"and you shall count unto you from tomorrow after the holiday"
(Leviticus 23:15). The springboard of this count is the festival
of freedom. Only free people can count. And the true dimension
of time is realized when it is enhanced by the promptings of free-
dom and ennobled by spiritual values. All days in nature are alike.
One day, however, is consecrated as Shabbat and other days are
marked as of holidays. What distinguishes one day from the other
depends upon the potential of Kedwah and the significance it
offers.
But in the book of Debarim, the Sefirah assumes another
meaning.
nlmv nmv ~ B D S 5nn nnin vnin 5nnn 15 i mn nvw nr t w
"Seven weeke shalt thou number unto thee: from the time the
eickle is b t put to the standing corn shalt thou begin t o number
e ve n weeks" (Deut. 16:9).
In Deuteronomy the reason for the count is the ecnomic well-
being of the farmer who sees the proepecta of a plentiful harvest.
The material abundance results in, euphoria and the count begins
to unite this cause with the spiritual eeaence of Shuvuot.
Judaism is not a religion that secedee from the marketplace.
Many of the agricultural laws have the salutary smell of the cut
grass and the morning dew and lingering mist have not yet depart-
ed from nature-scented fields. On the other hand, i t strongly op-
pose~ an unmitigated economic interpretation. In order t o count
S E F E R V A Y I K R A 259
time properly we must be moved by spiritual visions and prompted
by the summons of freedom.
The way of Judai m is not t o indulge in the count-down but
be mindful of the count-up.
Joseph I. Singer
%tr
CORRECT AND RIGHT
"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never
harm me." Can't they?
It was King Solomon who firmly declared, "Death and Life are
in the power of the tongue." Words can verily harm. We live in
a society where words can inflict much pain and much harm. In
this Madison Avenue age of hard and soft sell, the consumer ao
often becomes nothing more than a victim. Government regulatory
agencies are trying ineffectively to protect him. Ralph Nader and
his crueaders are constantly waging a battle for consumerism and
"truth in advertising" has become a national goal. We will nevq
know how many victims have fallen to words that cannot harm.
It was considered a tremendous victory when the Federal Food
and Drug Administration won a judgment against a drug com-
pany, who for generations claimed that their product cured tired
blood ?
The Torah s t ~ngt he ns the moral fibre of its adherents; the
t i e d blood of deceit must be refreshed with the plasma of truth.
The spirit of the Almighty is the power of the word, suggesta the
Targum. Man muet be held accountable not only for the worda
he utters but for the words he fails t o speak.
In today's Sidrah of Behar, we read the words
I n w nn V ~ H iirn HSI
"You shall not wrong one another." The Oral Tradition says that
"wronging" refers t o
n w i nui w 59 i w t a 1243
12-337 nui w
PORTION OF THE WEEK
or "wronging" with words.
~' 13- 1 nnlin
prohibits us from vexing our neighbor, misleading his better judg-
ment, arid using words, albeit legal and correct, leads him astray.
If today's society ia able to differentiate between legality and
moral decency, the Torah shows us no such dichotemy. There is
no " h e print" in the Torah.
You've heard about the under-estimated eloquence of the cab
driver who when hie fare gave him five dollars (t he meter had read
$4.90) more than frowned. "Look," said the passenger, "the fare
was $4.90 and I gave you a tip of 10 cents. That's correct, isn't
it?" "That sure ia correct," responded the cab driver, "but i t just
ain't right."
Correct and right ie one, says Judaism. The Torah wants right.
It wanta to right the wrongs of deceitful words and i t wanta to
protect the rights of the victims of couched worda a t all times.
With the admonition of
ilin n5r
comes
~ 3 9 3 5 ~ 'il ' IN '3 ~ P S N D nmlr
Twice does Ed place hie name againat the oppressive word. First-
ly, maybe for the stated word. Secondly, for the
25'2 Irm,
words t hat somehow remain couched in the heart but somehow
lurk in the hidden parta of agreements and understanding.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue. How true!
fiw5 7'2 n'vni niD
The Hebrew word used in Proverb is
7'2,
in the hand is the grasp of the tongue. Hands and lips go together.
77'31 l'D2
Handa refer t o action.
' n r ~ n - n ~ an'am
May we rise with heart and aoul, with hand and tongue, t o climb
t hat moral plateau which givee name to this morning's Bid&
Behur Sinai.
Myr i m B. R a k d z
S E F E R V A Y I K R A
wpns
BREAKING BARS
"And I shall break the bars of your yoke, and I will make you
upright" (Leviticus 26 3 3 ) .
I t is with these two assurances that the Divine Blessings
for Israel conclude. As such they indicate no doubt that here we
have reached the very heights of the blessings.
We wonder, however, about two things expressed in this verse.
What significance is the phrase "break the bars of your yoke?"
The blessing would have been sufficient if the bars of the yoke
were "removed." In addition, the Hebrew word komemiuth is in
the plural-a term which the English translation doesn't convey.
Therefore why the use of the singular-"upright" when it should
be expressed in the plural? What does the plural form of the
Divine Blessings indicate t o us?
The Netziv in his commentary on the Torah has a beautiful
interpretation which will enlighten us on the first question. And
from his explanation we may derive something very pertinent to
our life today which will help us understand both blessings men-
tioned as a single unit.
The Netziv points out that the expression-"ram of the yoke"
-is taken from the standpoint of the animal which is subject t o
the will of the master who put the bars of the yoke upon its neck.
The verse suggests t hat the animal, by intuition, does not rejoice
completely when the bars upon it are removed, for it knows that
later in the day or perhaps tomorrow it will have t o bend its head
again under the bars of the yoke. When does it rejoice? When
it sees the master breaking the bars. Then it is aware that it will
no longer be subject to the yoke. In the same way, continues the
Netziv, G-d aasures us that not only will the threat of Exile just
be "removed from upon us but G-d will "break" these bars of
the yoke completely, thus eliminating the threat forever.
262 PORTION OF THE WEEK
These words of the Netziv have a special significance for us
today when the merits of the past generations have helped bring-
ing about such a radically improved status for the Jew in the
world. When in the pset two thousand years have we been masters
of the Land of Israel aa we are today? When has there been such
a universal act of Ki&dwh Haahem aa on the day the Ieraeli army
captured the ancient city of Jerusalem? Indeed, the Divine aeaur-
ance of vo'eshbor mothoth ukhem has especially a meet sound
to our ears these days. It ia obvious that these bars have not yet
been broken completely, for this waits yet to be done at the Ge'u-
2cch shleinurh. Nevertheless, the historic process of the "breaking"
of the bars has begun, and hopefully we shall still see it realized
soon entirely.
There is yet another aspect to this unfolding process of the
above-mentioned assurance. It is dependent upon a twofold impli-
cation in the plural word komemiuth. Our Rabbis (Baba Batra
75a) have interpreted the word on the basis of the term komoh
(stature). The verse thue says that G d will lead us in two stat-
ures, or as Chazal says - "in the two statures befitting the first
man." Besides the physical aspect of man there is also hia spiritual
personality. Thus Israel's perfect blessing ia made dependent upon
his physical strength (as alluded to in the words: And I shall
break the bars of your yoke) and upon his loyalty to his spiritual
legacy which has followed him through the entire length of hia
history.
CharZea B. Chavel
737 P3
WHAT IS YOUR FLAG?
We find an apparent inconsistency in our Eidrah which, how-
ever, upon further reflection can be an important lesson to us.
In the enumeration of the tribes we always find the name of
Joseph preceding Ephraim and Menassah as
. . . P*?BN~ QDI' $335
"of the children of Joseph; of Ephraim; (Numbem 1 :lo). But in
the description of the fisgs of every tribe, the Torah states
PTDN n3nt35 527
"the standard of the tribe Ephraim" (2:18). Why is the name of
Joseph who sired Ephraim omitted?
The contrast presents a clear-cut distinction between being
counted or having a flag. In the case of a count, Joseph unites both
Ephraim and Menassah, each representing different traits and
even contrary personality styles. Ephraim was a born leader while
his brother was content to be a shepherd. Ephraim was impetuous
and never learned the power of restraint. Menaeeah was satisfied
to remain inconspicuous.
Every father of a number of children must recognize and learn
to respect their differences. As B'nai YiYroel, our collective um-
brella may serve as a cover from the zealous religionist to the
militant spiritual nihilist.
NIir SNTV* NDnV *D 5Y 9N ~ N T w *
"A Jew even though he sinned is still a Jew."
But when we require a dear and distinct flsg to be emblematic
of our attitudes and expressive of our attitudes, any combination
of the conflict of centuries is not an enduring synthesis but an ac-
zommodation t hat ie doomed to dissolve. Joseph's name then can-
not be attached t o Ephraim and Men- together for the dii-
ferences are too great to be merged into a forced union.
264 PORTION OF THE WEEK
We should by all means never write ofT a single Jew from
our roster, but a t the same time, clarity is needed t o define our
position. Our banner cannot be a mishmash of every polarity and
a combination t hat unites opposites. Such a flag is meaningless
and is neither a rallying symbol or an identifying mark.
A flag cannot be nebulous. A banner must represent vividly
its symbol.
Alas, the American Jew has everything but a flag. He is a
Jack-of-all-trades, a wheeler-dealer in ideologies.
But such a flag never becomes the symbol of unity. Menassah
and Ephraim must each have their own banner. You must have
deep-seated convictions t hat evoke your image and your ideals.
Our Jewish establishment has made considerable progress in count-
ing the Jew either in the membership roster or the honor roll of
contributors. Alas, we do not have a flag for the majority of
people who flee from one grouping t o another, neither espousing
or declining. Whatever are your convictions stick to them, for t hat
is where the action is.
Joseph I . Singer
nwa
THE BEGINNING AND THE END
Medrat nefesh, that type of committment which is mc u l t t o
translate, has been a prime force in the survival and progress of
our people. We meet the brutal attacks of the enemy with heroic
mesirat fiefesh. We created magnificent worlds of the apirit when
incarcerated in the bleak ghetto walls only because each act , -
prompted and sustained by unending mesirat nefesh.
What made ordinary mortale with their usual wmplement of
failings such champions of mesirat nefesh? What &e the necessary
components of this utmost dedication t o a. deetiny and an ideal?
Raahi in a few telling words presents in a capsule form the
prerequisite of this uniquely Jewish quality.
S E F E R B A M I D B A R
On the verse
1 3 v ~ n nN n ~ ~ n 5 ~ V D n153 0173 7371
"And i t came t o pass on the day that Moses made an end of set-
ting up the sanctuary . . ." (Numbers 7 :I), Rashi comments
955 n m 3 2rn3n in5ni p v ~n nN rvv 35 a3n 531 3 ~ 9 5 n ~ 1 5 x 5 ~ 3
nriin5 i n3 i n ~ i ; l v ID:, i ~ ~ i i x 53 n7nn n i ~ i 5 ~ V D J ~ D D V
. n n ~ nYJ3n3 n v ~ ~ 5 1 3 3 ~ 5 ~ 3 ;1v1~5
"Bizalel and Ohaliab and every wise-hearted man made the sanc-
tuary and yet the Torah attributes it t o Moses because Moses was
zealously dedicated to building in accordance with the specifications
as he was shown a t the Mount and which he taught the workers
so that they did not make one mistake." Then Rashi adds:
1DNJV ~ " ~ 3 3 1733 5~ 1VDJ 1DDV YD? 1113 1JYYD 131
121 '35 Y ~ V J i v ~ ln13v 53 nN ~n5 ' Y N W T (179 ol>r\n)
111 7n93 n ~ i (I*. *ti 012>n) ~ D N J V ~ D V 5v N ~ S J 737~5
"We likewise find in reference to David because he dedicated him-
self for the building of the Temple as it is said: Lord remember
unto David all his affiliations. How he swore unto the Lord; there-
fore it was called on his name as i t is written 'I have seen your
house David.' "
How instructive is Rashi's delineation of mesirat nefesh in one
pithy sentence. The first quality of mesirat nefesh is the ability
to project, t o plan and to envision. David as a dynasty establisher
and empire builder wm pre-occupied with temporal and mundane
matters. Yet he snatched time and thought from his onerous and
exacting responsibilities t o envision a temple to be the religious
center of all the people and the gateway to heaven.
We lack even an iota of mesirat nefesh. Our thoughts range
with dollars and cents, with stocks and real estate that we hardly
even think of spiritual matters. Amidst the practical there is no
place for the ethereal. It requires a sense of committment to snatch
time away for the soul and for thinking about the future amidst
the gravitational pulls of the present.
We are prone t o delegate responsibility t o others and t o con-
tent ourselves with token participation. Rashi therefore reminds
us that even though Moses could have relied upon Bizalel and
266 PORTION OF THE m E K
Ohaliab and the wise hearted men, yet he supervised every detail
himself.
Mesirat nefesh means not to fool ourselves by depending upon
others. Both Moses and David teach us that the Houae of God must
be built by us.
We should think and plan ourselves; to leave our spiritual for-
tune t o others will only lead to disaster.
Joseph I . Singer
tn+p=
PROLONGING LIFE
The index of our moral and spiritual climate is the treatment
and respect accorded to the elders. When a society is only econom-
ics-oriented, then a senior citizen losea his productivity and may
even become a liability as a pensioner. On the other hand, in a
religioue milieu the old is greatly reepe~ted and hie advice, distilled
from experience, is listened to with great attention.
The zekerrim, the elders, were from the dawn of our people,
from the days of our patriarchs, elevated as leaders and revered
as teachers and as arbiters of the social structure. The attitude of
Judaism is foreahadowed by the Torah's account of the function
of the Levites. They would begin to officiate a t the age of twenty
years and when they would reach fifty then
71V 73V' t&1 i l 73Y; I H3YD 31W' . . .
"They &hall return from the service of the work, and shall m e
no more" (Numbers 8:25). The Torah certainly prescribed a much
earlier retirement age than the government and the private sector
practice now.
What then ehould a Levite do after he became Wty years?
Should he be exposed to all the failinga and disillusions of the re-
tired of today whose enjoyment of sunny Florida ia marred by
. the lengthening shadow of frustration and the affliction of idleness?
To have all the time on your hands and not be able to live them
S E F E R B A M I D B A R 267
meaningfully is the agonizing experience of the fretting army of
the retired.
Even when a Levite reached the age that he waa no longer
allowed to perform his duties, the Torah says,
n i n m i ~ w 5 S ~ N J 'lw n~ niv'l
O ~ D V D D o*'lSS aavn a>> nS ;nm
"but he shall minister with their brethren in the tent of meeting,
to keep the charge, but they ahould not do manner of service . . ."
(Numbers 8:26).
The retired man is relieved of exacting manual work. How-
ever, his services are useful in other areas. Who can be better
qualitled than a senior citizen to engage in Lishmore mishmeres,
to keep the charge, to be looked up in the role of the keeper of
traditions. Rashi even defined the nature of the work of such re-
tired Levites as,
n'lS~v 1 1 ~ 0 5 1 i*wS o*i va n 5 ~ 3
"to be in charge of closing the gates, to sing and to help load the
wagons."
In our directionless age we are urgently in need of those trust-
ed veterans who know how to close the gates to the unwelcome
intruder in the sacred precincts. Amidst the cacaphony of the dis-
cordant notes of a bewildered age we ahould be uplifted by the
song of the temple that the senior citizen can sing. Surely, when
the wheels of our organizations are slow to move and the volun-
teers are hard to cultivate, can the growing legion of the golden
years help in the promotion of better communities and the dissem-
ination of culture.
Joseph I. Singer
n9w
IS MAN THE MEASURE OF ALL THINGS?
The meraglim, the scouting expedition diepatched by Moses to
surve$ the land of Canaan described in exaggerated form the in-
habitants of the land as Wi g anahe midot (Numbere 13:32). Ra-
268 PORTION OF THE WEEK
shi interprets this to mean
ni n nn5 nn5 7 ~ 1 1 1 ~ 1 x 1 n"hi1
"large and tall and it is necessary to give them their due measure."
Midot in Hebrew is measure and in this context i t means t hat they
were men of great stature. The commentary of the Baalui hatosfot
explains it to mean as
mn2 pnrvr ;no> 17531~ n n n 9v3~ nil
"They are healthy men of measure who eat in the proper amount
and drink the proper measure."
How suggestive to our times is this twofold definition of anshe
midot? Our age worships bigness and we attribute excellency to
magnitude. It takes a Watergate scandal to realize t hat the imag-
ined greatness assigned to what appeared to us to be great is but
an illusion. We thought t hat they are gedaZim ugevohim, "large
and tall," but we soon realize that they are pigmies.
Judaism seems to side with the other interpretation. The true
measure of a man is not his size but his power of discipline and
his capacity to curb his desires. To be anshe midot, we must eat
in the proper measure and drink the right volume.
This criterion was enunciated a long time ago before our fav-
orite pastime was to count calories and before weight watching at-
tained the passionate loyalty of a religion.
The big man wants everything to fit him; the great man fits
himself to the norms and laws t hat guide him. Whether we meas-
ure life by bigness or greatness will determine our very style of
living.
Joseph I. Singer
-
"??
A HOUSE OR A HOUSEHOLD
The Torah describes the punishment meted out to Korach and
his band of malcontents ae
. . . n n w nu1 nnu u5>n1 nyo nu n U i 1 nnonr
"And the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up, and
S E F E R B A M I D B A R 269
their houses . . ." (Numbers 16:32). Where did the Israelites pos-
s es ~ houses in their forty years journey in the wilderness? Why
then does not the Torah call their habitations as tents such as they
were ?
Perhaps the Torah wants to define psychologically the mood of
Korach and his followers who felt a sense of great security in
their tents t o the extent of calling them permanent homes. They
did not realize the fragility of life and the utter impossibility of
calling a temporary tent an enduring castle secure against the un-
certainty of events and insulated from the welfare of others. Their
misconception of the nature of their abodes contributed t o their
downfall.
Do we not in our age commit the same unpardonable error?
We beautify our homes, but neglect t o enhance our community.
As a result the walls of our h-use cannot prevent the spiritual
squalor of the street and the moral decline of society from affect-
ing adversely our homes.
Ibn Ezra interprets bataihem t o be a
ODD) PI'1933) 0 8 9 ~ 3 5 553 ow
"a general designation for their wives, children and infants." Ibn
Ezra interprets bataihem as meaning household. Modern man is
oblivious of a key meaning of a house. He may spend thousands of
dollars t o make his basement a social haven but balks in investing
small amounts in the religious education of his children. Hewillpaint
at regular intervals the outside of his house but is not concerned
with the interior moral and spiritual furnishing of his family. Alas,
too many of us preserve a house but lose a household.
Joseph I. Singer
n?n
ETERNAL RECURRENCE
A much quoted Ra&i ia
nn 15-in15 nnl i g '310 nwia5 nlin nn9n n3noJ nn5
n i ~3 n P ' P ~ ~ Y nn'n r l ~ piD3n n ) n i p
"Why is t he passing of Miriam juxtapoeed t o the portion of the
PORTION OF THE WEEK
Torah dealing with the Parah aduwh? To teach us that just aa
sacrifices atone so is the demise of the righteous a source of atone-
ment" (Numbers 20:l).
To justify this reasoning we should expect that the death of
Miriam ahould have recorded in the previous book of Leviticus
which deals primarily with Korbanot. Why then do we have to in-
fer this meaning from the arah crdumt~h?
It seems that the saving power of the death of the righteous
can only be learned from the laws pertaining t o the red heifer.
The sacrifices described in great detail in Leviticus deal with sac-
rifices of an occaeion. After the occasion, if the sacrifice was not
consumed i t became prohibited as nosar. But the sacrifice of the
Parah adurnah was for a long time. The ashes of the Parah adurn-
ah mixed with water cleansed for considerable periods of time.
The death of a great man can have an atoning affect only if
his teachings survive after his passing as did the ashes of this
sacrifice. But if physical death is followed immediately by apir-
itual extinction, then the death remains a pereonal tragedy and not
a collective traumatic experience.
The t i e has come to translate the leeeon of the holocaust.
The death of our martyrs can only have meaning if their visions
and creative impulses remain alive. They perished by the enemy in
the last generation; our duty is to keep alive their achievements
for all generations.
Joseph I. Singer
~h
WHERE IS THE CENTER?
The fateful meeting of Balaam and Ba l d b related as follows:
5~ i w# ~ NI D i v 5# InmoS rtuci np53 #3 $3 953 mw*~
51x8 8 ~ 0 3 iwrt l t ~ i w 5132
"And when Balak heard that Balesm wau d n g , he went out to
meet him unto Ir-Moab, which io on the border of Amon, whhh
b the utmoat part oi the border" ( N u m b 22 236). Rarhi explain8
S E F E R B A M I D B A R
that Ir-Moab was
j5V il2lVllil 1 9 Y j5V lr5j~l1t3t2
"A metropolis, the most important city in his kingdom."
It would seem t o border on the absurd t o have the capitol city
near the border of a possible hostile enemy and it bespeaks lack of
foresight t o have a metropolis a t the edge of the frontier. No
doubt, Balak and his country must have suffered military defeats
resulting in loss of territory that reduced a metropolis t o a de-
fenseless pasition on a border.
It is tragic t o lose a war but it is a greater defeat t o be re-
duced t o a peripheral position and the need t o abandon the center.
We in America, are also experiencing the deterioration of our
metropolitan areas. The spreading blight of the cities, the erosion
of Jewish areas, and the closing of hallowed institutions that pro-
vided meaning and direction to the people are increasing through-
out the country.
If Judaism is only a1 gvul , on the border of suburbia i t be-
comes parochial and provincial. They say that Los Angeles is a
union of many towns looking for a city. The Ketzai hagvul , the
utmost part of the border can never replace the center.
It behooves us t o re-evaluate our demographic $situation and
t o hold and protect a r e a of Jewish life that must bn the heart of
Judaism. If we lose the center how long can we keep the rim of
the border ?
Joseph I . Singer
DnPb
REMEMBER JOCHEVED
Maligning Judaism about the inferior role it assigns t o woman
has been a favorite of those who are ignorant about Judaism or
are o b d by irrational hate. The eminent role assigned t o wom-
an is not t o be looked for in passages of praise but in the matter-
of-fact chronicling of events. In the prosaic phrase is t o be found
272 PORTION OF 'M3E WEEK
the exalted evaluation of the Jewish woman.
In today's Sidrah is found the census of the Bo-ai haaretz,
of those we counted of the inheritors of the land and the tribes and
families are traced in their geneaology.
In the listing of the families, we read:
~ 9 1 ~ ~ 3 -155 n n w m59 i w ~ 9r5 n3 i>>r9 nynu nwn D W ~
Dnnn D9in nn1 nwn nn1 ] i nn nn ~- 1 n u 5 15171
"And the name of Amram's wife was Jocheved, the daughter of
Levi, who born to Levi in Egypt; and she bore unto Amram,
Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their sister" (Numbers 26 : 59) .
Jocheved, born in Egypt and suffering all the indignities of
enslavement became the mother and the mentor of three children
who were destined t o be the leaders in the procesa of geulah, re-
demption. The role of Amrarn in the rearing of his children ig not
recorded and was probably minimal. Jocheved and Miriam accom-
panied Moses even when lived in the palace of Pharaoh. They must
have nurtured him with memories of the past of his people and
imbued him with the zeal to remember his kin.
Judaism is fully aware of the position of the women in the
moulding of the character and personality of the child. In t hat
area she is much superior to her husband. Jocheved and not Am-
ram is credited with the emergence of three remarkable children.
Who better than the woman is sensitive to the needs and problems
of her offspring and can inspire them to dreams and to dare for
a better tomorrow!
Joseph I. Singer
n w
THE POST WAR CHALLENGE
We consider war in terms of the victors and the defeated. Ju-
daism is concerned with the sin of war t hat infects the conqueror
more than the vanquished. We calculate t he toll of war by the
number of casualties - killed, wounded, orphaned and widowed.
Judaism likewise stresses the deep wounds afflicted on the soul of
S E F E R B A M I D B A R 273
the combatants and the shattering of morality and ideals. In time
of war Mars peddles his wares not only on the battlefield but also
on the homef ront .
We can therefore understand why the Torah describes in great
detail the war against the Midianites. But the chronicle of this war
is concerned primarily with the post-war actions. From the geulai
midian, the cleansing of the dishes of the booty, most of the laws
dealing with koshering vessels are derived. Furthermore the Torah
writes:
' i~ 7 3 ~ 5 i J*ni waJ 5~ 1525 . . . ' i ~ 1m? n N m? 3 i
"And we brought the Lord's offering . . . to make atonement for
our souls before the Lord" (Numbers 31 : 50) . Although the war
was sanctioned by the Almighty yet, the Israelites had to make
atonement for it. The Talmud (Sabbath 64a) makes the following
observation :
1 3 ~ 1 ~ NS m w ~i mn li*n IJNY* mr > y r i l n PN
"If we were not guilty of a sin, we were nonetheless not absolved
from thoughts of sins."
Our military misadventure has ended in Viet Nam but our
cleansing process has not begun. Is the Watergate scandal an
atonement for the war and a spiritual catharsis? Only now are we
beginning to realize t hat in the name of national security many
rights were subverted and our standards of morality greatly de-
clined.
The end of a war calls for the rehabilitation of a war-ravaged
country but equally important is t o rehabilitate humanity, and to
be mobilized for an all-out war against the Hirhurai avairo, the
thoughts of sins that have corrupted so many. The frustration and
the disillusionment of the youth, the cynicism of the men in power,
the material worship of the masses and the ideologies of escapism
from life require a profound cleansing of body and soul. The victor
must bring an offering.
Joseph I. Singer
274 PORTION OF THE WEEK
'flD13
THE INDIVIDUAL IN SEARCH OF THE
COMMUNITY
The existence and growth of the State of Israel stimulates
people to make comparisons between ourselves and the Israelis.
Of course the perspective and the scale of values determine the
relative merits and demerits between these two moat powerful com-
munitiea. When indulging in comparisons it must be borne in mind
that the Jew in America is but an individual and his community
affiliation is both nebulous and nominal. The individual ie there-
fore more alive and alert than the organized group. In Israel, on
the other hand, the power of strength resides in the collective, the
state, the party, or the city.
This fundamental difference ia the basic factor in underetand-
ing and appreciating the radical difference between us and the
Israelis. This distinction was already foreshadowed by the Torah
in the verse,
723 a~ot nni3n 17735 723in?a 723 noo inv5 93
nn5n2 inv5 aa2o mo vvni nnim n735 7 t . m
"For the tribe of the children of Reuben according to their fathers'
houeee and the tribe of the children of Gad according t o their
fathers' houeee, have received their inheritance" (Numbem 34 :14).
We note that bait avotam, their father's house, is specMcally
mentioned in relation to the tribe of Reuben and Gad but is omit-
ted in reference to the half tribe of Menassah. Why thia omission
since they all settled across the Jordan.
We surmise the answer as followe: The full tribe of Reuben
and Gad colonized the pasture land and with their family Btructure
intact. But the family leaders of Menassah settled in Canaan with
half the tribe consisting of individuals. They were not as closely
knit families aa was the other two tribes. Hence, bait avo-
tern ia omitted. The instability of thia half tribe of Menaaeah waa
due to lack of coheaiveneea of individuals.
The Jew ha8 been the Wanderer of the World. No new country
S E F E R B A M I D B A R 275
terrified him and a mere invitation to enter sufficed to enlist his
ingenuity and diligence to his adopted land. But the pattern of
migration wris always with the family as a base.
The United States attracted more daring individuals who came
as individuals and only later brought over the parents and fam-
ilies. Hence the old father, a symbol of reverence in all European
societies, became the "old man" a receiver, rather than a giver.
Even later, the fragmentation of the family and the flux of mo-
bility robbed the American Jew of the holding power of the fam-
ily. We are still individuals.
Let us learn from the past. I t was difficult for the families of
Reuben and Gad to survive in inhospitable Transjordan, and the
individuals of Menassah soon disappeared. Though we cherish our
individualism it is necessary to formulate a technique of survival.
And the way to succeed is through the staying power of the family.
Joseph I . Singer
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-aJaq? ' mq uo!~sanb aq& ' ~tta!uns q s w y alqsia JOJ pavns ssaI ~ s 3
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-838 uaqA ,,a~od uta~o.),, aqJ 30 mwoq aq7 3s 31=m!q spug J U ~ I ~
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uomqoy ' my o ~ g aqJ OJ ~3adsa~ ~ J ! A 7sg qsaEfEfns !sqaap~opi w
-JaJv aqJ ' qm.cpl.~ pauolJuamaJoJs a g uo Juammo3 3i7dK.13 B UI
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NbCL! NmN 4~l.1' ddrl!L NUL NrCl! l!rUl! $llCl!' rLQrl!L NQL NrCl! r4CU
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WICL! wmw GCLI a u c a t uawca LLI CC~
S E F E R D E V A R I M
has ostensibly evidenced some notable results for other minority
groups? Should the Jew use whatever political clout at his com-
mand t o safeguqrd his tenuous position, including the application
of "mass and material pressures" on representatives in govern-
ment ?
It would appear that our answer lies embedded in the Midrash.
So long as Jqws reside in congested Jewish enclaves they are
reachable. Regardless of spiritual predilections and degree of re-
ligious observance, a Rabbi may, like Elijah of old, rebuke and
criticize erraryt behavior and hopefully experience some satisfactory
results from his efforts. However, once the Jew is diaperad, once
a multitude ip fragmentized and fractionized into "handfuls" hard-
ly reminiscent of groups, then a Rabbi can merely echo the plaint
of Jeremiah "eichah yoshvoh bodod," how awful it is t o be alone,
t o have no outlet for one's instinctual concerns.
To be sure, the political arena a t times approximates a ceas-
pool of mgl-al degeneracy. Simple contact may tarnish a Rabbi's
halo, jeopardize his moral stance and credibility. However, from
where I/stand, it is by far better t o dirty one's hands than permit
Jewry to sink into a whirlpool whence extrication is a practical
impoaeibility. Chazal criticize the chosid shoteh who will not save
a woman who is drowning because it calls for physical contact.
Similarly, the Rabbi who refuses to save Am Yhoel becauee it
calls for contact with Bome unsavory characters had best reexam-
ine his questionable position.
Henry Hoschander
pnnm
THE FIVE COMMANDMENTS
Since time immemorial ethical humanists have questioned the
"hoopla" attendant t o the Aseret Hadibrot. All societies have varie-
gated rulea governing inter-human deportment which, if not equal,
certainly approximate those enunciated by G-d on High. Why the
tumultuous Klos Uwokim reminibcent of a Madison Avenue public
278 PORTION OF THE WEEK
relations campaign when simple social evolution would have at-
tained similar results?
The Hatorah V'Hoolom suggests an interesting anecdote aa a
rejoinder. It appeara that Nicolai I, the Czar of Russia, had inad-
vertently entered a swollen, raging river and waa in danger of
drowning. None of hie servant6 dared come to his rescue. Along
came a farmer attracted by the crie.6, and, disregarding hie own
safety, jumped in and saved the Czar's life. After much pleading,
the farmer consented to accept a reward. "I have an old home
pulling a wagon Nled with lumber," he said. "At best, my horse
ie good for an eight mile haul. But the market is ten miles away.
Each of the miles is clearly indicated by a pillar. If the king would
be gracious enough to remove two of the pillars my problem would
be solved."
Whilst obviously s der i ng from over-simplification, thie haa
essentially been society's approach to the dilemma of law and or-
der. Punishment is meted out to the criminal in direct proportion
to the severity of the crime with little or no effort expended in
seeking out root cauees for the errant behavior. The high rate of
reecidivism indicates the bankruptcy of an approach which places
a premium on punishment to the almost total exclusion of attitud-
in81 metamorphds. The Aswet Hadibrot operate from a complete-
ly divergent vantage point. The firet af the five commandments,
the beis o d m lumokom, represent the safeguard for the juxtaposed
latter five.
Onochi Haahem . . . Lo Timoch. The G-d who has decreed:
"Man is created in My image. Respect for him is respect for Me.
~lle"dbcing of his life is, L'kcrudil, destroying a part of Me. Frat-
ricide is, dmultaneouely, partial deicide.
Lo T w h Lecho Pael . . . Lo Tignou. A thief rationalires
his criminality in one, or both, of. two wayr: a. he ir socially ru-
perlor and beyond the ken of common law, and he is simply
otmeaaed by a desire for material good. Lo T w e h Lacha Peedl
ruggertr that man dare neither worship h h d f , Ler:ho, nor wor-
ship a golden calf, the rymbol of material idolbation.
S E F E R D E V A R I M 279
Lo Tiso . . . Lo Tinof. Both the terms Meilah and Kodesh are
Biblically employed with reference to the relationships extant be-
tween Israel and G-d and between man and woman. Infidelity in
marriage is synonymous with profanation of the sacred. The ties
of marriage transcend simple consent of two willing partners. The
bond is one of Kedwhah and its capricious unilateral dissolution
truly merits the stringent punishment attendant thereto.
Zechor Et Yom Hashabbat . . . Lo Saaneh B'reacho Eid Sho-
ker. False testimony is manifest in word and deed. Since Shabhat
constitutes an eternal os, the irrefutable sign of Divine creation in
six days, ita desecration is an overt rejection of this verity. Con-
comitantly, Shabbat observance, a public testimonial honoring
man's most steadfast friend, Gd, aids immeasurably in strengthen-
ing the discipline of truth in areaa of human concern.
Kabeid Es Ovicho . . . Lo Sachmod. Rabbi Leo Jung once re-
marked: "The home is the laboratory of civilization. In it are bred
its builders and destroyers.'' Indeed, the home constitutes a viable
microcosm of society. Inner peace, and peace in the home hel p
vitiate frustration, the seed whence springs uncontrollable jeal-
ousy.
. Wherein doea Judaism differ? It differs in that it aims at the
spiritual and moral construction of man, rather than the construc-
tion of systems keeping antithetical natures apart.
Henry Hoschander
' SV
PUBLIC WRONG AND PRIVATE TRAGEDY
Little do we realize the ramifications of public scandalous be-
havior. We indict society but do not stop to reflect how it tragic-
ally affects the individual-crippling or even killing him. Any mili-
tary miaadventure exacts a heavy toll on life. A misjudgment by a
corporation executive may cause untold mk r y of unemployment
and its attendant evils.
280 PORTION OF THE WEEK
The far fetched sorry by-products of public misbehavior is
alluded t o in today's Sidrah.
Moses relates the difficult task that he had t o propitiate God
not t o destroy the Israelites after the frenzy of the Golden Calf.
He says
Nl73 llV3 r77N l t ' 3 D2 55~nN1
"And I prayed for Aaron also the same time" (Deut. 9 :20). Rashi
elaborates,
P ~ ~ V i ~ ~ v 2 i nq2v inn1 nunn la35 7nSan ;157vini
"And my prayer helped t o atone for half, two of his children died
and two survived."
This comment throws a new light upon the tragic death of
Nadav and Avihu. Talmudic sources cite various violations by these
two sons t hat were the cause of their death. But according t o Ra-
shi's explanation, Nadav and Avihu were innocent victims of the
Israelites addiction and worship of the Golden Calf. If not for the
intercession of Moses all four sons of Aaron would have perished.
The ills of wi e t y are visited upon the children. When an age
is spiritually impoverished then the prime sufferers are the youth.
The dropout s of life, the growing army of the dope addicts, the
mighty legions of the frustrated and disillusioned are but the hope-
l e a victims of society's surge for the Golden Calf.
Joseph I. Singer
nit7
RECONCILIATION
I S ynwn NS 3" 5m . . . '131 ~ 7 3 2 131P3 PIP' 72 (1-1"- 0-111)
' i n nbl n 73 ,nlK niwyS n5mn n n 3 n 15 ; ni l nn 7 2 ~ i nNn PKI
.n3n K P~?PI $N
The age of "miraclee," at least perceptible phenomena univer-
sally acknowledged as such, ia over. The prophet and dreamer, real
and pseudo, is for all intent and purposes, muted. And yet, Jewry
ie confronted by a spectrum of challenges, some new, some old,
S E F E R D E V A R I M 281
far more inaiduous and debilitating than the voice of a single
prophet. Science and seientiem continue to vie for affirmation and
commitment. Evolution, random and haphazard, is far from a dead
issue. Extra-terrestrial conquests, present and future, pose new
difficulties seeking solutions. The striking advances in the field of
medicine, organ tranaplanta, artificial insemination and "real"
progress in the reproduction of cellular life itself, exacerbate an
already critical area of human concern. Additionally, while science
may be remote to some, and medicine of immediate concern only
to those languishing in pain and suffering, the philosophic paradox
of rosho v'tw lo, t z a i k v'rah lo, and the ostensible lack of Dim
vine concern for the six million wantonly and brutally slain, im-%
pinges upon the sensitivities and the "faith quality" of even the
m a t loyal and committed.
Historically, reconciliation constituted the prime solution. A
rationale, no matter how far-fetched, was always conjured to the
fore and a detante between G-d and questioning man waa estab-
lished. A simple reading of Raehi reveals the bankruptcy of logical
adjustment in the realm of theological speculation. Rather than
justify G d and His Torah on dubious grounds, suggests Raehi,
simply accept natural and philosophic challenges as "testa" cor-
roborating our faith in the eternity and verity of both. In eeaence,
Raehi queries, whether fallible man has the right to jettison the
bag and baggage of hie faith identity because of external chal-
lenges beyond the ken of his limited comprehension. None of us
were present, but it is highly unlikely that Jacob experienced no
pangs of doubt and disillusionment a t his having to flee home and
hearth while Esau, the prototype of evil, remained safe and se-
cure. And yet, no word of protest escapes his lips. He lies down
and dreams, and awakens with the immortal truism ochein Hcrshem
bamokom hazeh, v'onochi lo yodoti. He was cognizant of G-d's
immanence even in the wasteland of Luz. His apparent surprise
stemmed from the fact t hat the utter loneliness of Luz had vouch-
safed for him a glimpae of the Divine not granted him throughout
the years of intellectual quest in the tenta of Shem and Eber. His
faith upheld him in momenta of doubt. He had wrestled with
doubt and walked away unscathed, spiritually elevated.
PORTION OF THE WEEK
Our efforts at reaching our young and gifted via the avenue
of the intellect has had questionable results. The reinstatement of
faith as the prime Jewish value may succeed where all else has
failed.
Henry Hoschauder
O W8 1
DEFENDANT, JUDGE AND JURY
"13'1 15 Inn ~ ~ ' 1 t r r ovts~'1a
In addressing a multitude, why the use of the singular, Lecho?
A possible an8wer calls for an admittedly over-aimplaed, cryptic
resume of a Freudian psychoanalytical concept of the individual.
Freud suggest# that man embodies three vital forces in a constant
mtate of tension: 1. The ID is man's wild, unrepreseed and un-
shackled will. 2. The SUPEREGO, the result of both hereditary
as well se environmental factore, conetiturn an inexorable and
rigid c e wr . 3. The EGO is the practical, manifeat relations be-
tween man and the world around him. In essence, Freud, parallel-
ing our above-stated posuk, indicate8 that man conatitutee a mi-
cro-coesnic legal system unto himself and can only operate effective-
ly within his social milieu to the extent that his "censor" is opera-
tional. Freud aimply functions ae an analytic historian, identifying
hte presence of a wild force partially controlled by a conscience.
He neither paeees a moral judgment nor does he prescribe what,
if anything, said conscience ought censor. Our Torah is not thun
inhibited. In clear and concise terms it suggests a aeries of value
concepts precisely designed to deter anti-social patterm of be-
havior.
First, "Lo Sateh miahpot-with emphasis on Lo Sateh-the
injunction reads, "do not bend the law." Few men wilfully commit
grievous sins. The enterprising merchant does not steal; he simply
overcharges. We do not lie; white lies are no lies. We do not kill;
we simply shut our eyea to devastating injustices. h a conscience
guilt-stricken by much minor infractione? Lo Sateh miahpot-to
thine own self be true.
S E F E R D E V A R I M 283
I t has justly been observed that man perceives a splinter in
the eyes of a neighbor but fails t o see a beam in his own eyes. The
faults of others are readily discernible and subject to criticism;
Our own are either unrecognized or easily justified. Along comes
the Torah and demands: "Lo sakir pmim," be as critical of your-
self as you are of others. Even as you judge yourself favorably,
Heveh don es kol h'adom 2'kaf zechus. But, warns the Torah,
though you judge others by the same standards with which you
judge yourself, "Lo sikach shochad," let not said judgment rest
on personal experience and predilections. Shochad, indicate Chazal,
comes from sh'hoo chad, an emphatic declaration that G-d alone
establishes standards and rejects the intrusion of man in this sac-
rosanct realm. Even as idolatry violates the indivisible oneness of
G-d, 80, too, do variegated standards of the "double or experien-
tial" category fly in the face of His oneness. Only an absolute
standard, imposed by Torah, not subject to the whims and caprice
of a vacillating human temper, holds assurance of harmony and
equanimity among men. And, finally, the Torah rejects the prem-
ise that Hamatoroh mekadeshes es h'erntzoim, the end justifies and
sanctifies the means. There is nothing further from the truth. The
charitable communal leader who steals is still a thief and the parent
who neglecta a child t o earn sufficiently to give them "the best
of everything" is still a sorry replica of a parent. Tzedek, tzedek
tiralof, even a8 the goal, the means of achieving it must be beyond
reproach. Otherwise, the goal itself is tainted.
The goal of inner and outer harmony merits the adoption of
the aforementioned means.
Henry Hoschander
mn !1,
HOW TO ASSIMILATE
Since the awe-inopiring spectacle of theosophany with ita
elXmal stamp .of Iarael's uniquenttlle, the problem of aeeimilation
haa rarely, if ever, failed to rear ita ugly head. In recent yearn
the dilemma har been intaardded by the intellectual expotaure of our
284 PORTION OF THE WEEK
young to the especially corrosive influence of the philosophies of
secularism and scientism. As a consequence, contemporsry Torah
Jewry hae begun to seriously question the advisability of college
attendance with its concomitant expoeure to alien Weltanschaa-
ungs and "ways of life." To arbitrarily ban such "exposure" is ob-
viously a gesture in futility. Few profeseione, if any, are open to
the non-degree applicant. Our problem, therefore, is to map out
a poasible strategy which may ameliorate if not obviate the un-
desirable effects of face-to-face confrontation.
By the use of rather liberal homiletic license, the laws pertain-
ing to the Eiahes Yefas Toar may offer a salutory approach. The
Torah declares: "Ki tetzeh krmilchomo a1 oyvecho," when you
enter the arena of an alien way of life and thought, fully cog-
nizant of its innate dangers, and you discover a new concept or
principle which is superficially pleasing, "V'heiveiso el toch bei-
secho," bring it into your home. Examine it in the light of your
Torah and tradition. How? First strip it of its external beauty
by a comprehensive, critical self-interrogation. Ie it consonant with
my faith? If affirmative, clasp it to your bosom. Some of Judaism's
finest practices are sourced in cultural patterm of others. If, as
is frequently the case, the ideal or practice clashes with your
hashkofoh, inquire after its fascination for you. Why am I so
anxious to identify with i t ? Is it because an admired profemor
assures me of i t s authenticity and worth? Is it because my "old
way of life" is overly taxing while the "new" calla for little sacri-
fice? Is it because of its mass appeal, the "in thing" for the mo-
ment? If honest introspection sugge~t s any of the above as causal
factors, the very foundation is faulty. Authentic J udai m cannot
be measured by the yardstick of maw appeal or the difficulties it
impoees upon its adherents. If, however, the principle survives the
exacting spiritual "gauntlet," one additional piece of information
must be ascertained. Doee the projected "new" augment the "old?"
Does i t explain the univeree in bolder relief? Does it strengthen
the bond between man ? An aftirmative response suggest. its worthi-
nese to enter the msinetream of Judaism; a negative responm leug-
g& rejection. However, im lo chofatato bo, if you find the ideal
inimitable with the tenets of our faith, veslrikrohto I ' ~f s ho, reject
S E F E R D E V A R I M 285
with grace and equanimity. The beliefs and practices of others,
though unable t o meet your standards, are yet worthy of your
respect. After all, before rejection, it was "love a t first sight."
All of this, the discriminatory scrutiny and its aftermath, ob-
viously requires a good knowledge of the quintessentials of ya-
hadut. The aforementioned method is not intended as a guarantee.
It may, however, help blunt the edges of the sharp conflict between
the "new" and the "old."
Henry Hoschander
nisn 'a
SERVICE WITH JOY
The Tochechah, an enumeration of the horrible consequences
attendant t o spiritual waywardness, concludes with a .curious,
enigmatic interpolation.
(lnn:nn3 037n) '131 nnnm awn nH rn3v HS i v ~ nnn
Are there no graver crimes than the "absence of joy"? Why such
harsh, ostensibly undeserved punishment ?
Permit me t o share with you three possible solutions.
Firstly, "fox-hole religion" is not a contemporary phenomenon.
Since time immemorial, impending disaster has invariably brought
a "protectve G-d" into clear focus. I recently visited a seriously
ill patient in the hospital. During our conversation he marveled
a t the esprit de corps, the oneness of patients and their deep con-
cern for one another. Since I did not want to dampen his enthusi-
asm my intended question remained unspoken. What happens t o
these same individuals when good health replaces suffering? What,
indeed, happens t o so many lofty intentions in times of tribulation
when "the knife no longer threatens our throats"? There is ob-
vious value in loving G-d in times of adversity. But if it is not
carried over into times of plenty, it, too, becomes abhorrent.
Secondly, the Otzar Hachayim offers an unusually interesting
interpretation.
am nww 5v H> n m pi l n ('B ~n\-)
286 PORTION OF THE WEEK
What possible connection is there between siw c h i m and joy?
In his answer he suggests a truism which cannot be refuted. The
Jew who grudgingly observes mitzvot out of fear, or social pres-
sures, or parental coercion, who is hopelemly frustrated in his
efforts to live a life wholly free of external and internal d i g i o ~
encumbrances, sooner or later falls victim to inner strife and tur-
moil which frequently manifests itself in overt conflict with others.
Examples of such reaction are legion. Suffice i t to my, only one
who accepta mitzvot with subservient grace and inner peace, com-
fortable and secure in the validity of his actions, can truly live
a t peace with his fellow man. The absence of "joy" ie a certain
sign of impending strife.
Finally, there are numerous ways in which mitzvot, primarily
mitzvot maasiyot, may be observed. Practically speaking there is
little overt dmerence between "putting on Tewin" grudgingly or
even half-heartedly and "putting on TejUlin" with a full heart. The
overt dserence is profound and incisive. One helps ensure kiyum,
continuity; the other ensures extinction. How often have Rabbis
been bombarded with parental plaints: "My home is no different
from my parent's home. I keep kosher and observe the Shabbat,
etc. And yet, my children are far removed from Yiddishkeit.
Why?" The answer is really quite simple. It is not the practice of
the Shabbat which has undergone transformation from one genera-
tion to the next, i t is rather the attitude towards it. Iudu ea Ha-
shem b'simcho was the standard and practice of the previous gen-
eration; "an obkummenish," a burdensome yoke, more aptly de-
mribee the prevailing mood in even practicing Jewieh homea. The
young possess unique and sensitive antennas quite able to separate
deed from feeling. Love and joy are readily assimilated; grudging
duty, rarely is. The absence of joy may not in and of itself con-
stitute a grave iniquity; ita deleterious effect does.
S E F E K D E V A R I M
Nan *: ,
THE ART OF GIVING
The opening section of this week's portion addresses itself t o
an interesting group of laws, namely those dealing with the agri-
cultural gifts. The Torah states that upon arriving in Israel and
harveating the first crop of fruits, one should immediately bring
some of them t o Jerusalem. The Talmud refers t o these a s
037' na nn,
the offering of one's toil.
The Torah then states that one should make a whole declaration
upon bringing t hew t o the Temple:
+2n mr n rai n ,7+35n ';I 9355 nianr n+ur
However, it seems rather odd that such a requirement was
attached to the bringing of the first fruits; after all, don't actions
speak louder than words. Why did the Jew have to make such a
lengthy declaration in the Temple?
I believe that the Torah provides the answer for us in the next
verse :
1 + ~ 5 n '7 15 In:, i wn 2 r m 532 nnawr
"And You Shall Rejoice in All the Good that God has provided for
You and Your Household."
Very often we give someone a present or a gift as a formality,
or because of aome social pressure that is upon us. The secretary
gives the boss a present occasionally, but it is not out of a feeling
of love, or gratitude, or joy, but atrictly out of courtesy. The Torah
ia telling us t hat we must offer our first fruits t o God out of a
spontaneous and natural tense of joy that pours forth from within
us. It ia not merely a requirement t o give something whether we
like i t or not. It is an action deaigned t o bring us closer t o God.
Thia i a the difference between gifts and charity. We are dutybound
to give charity to help needy people and organizations. It is pri-
marily intended t o benefit t he recipient. However, these gifts which
were brought by all the farmers were meant t o symbolize t hat we
ahould share our joy with God in a place of holiness.
PORTION OF THE WEEK
In order t o do this properly, it would not be enough just t o
give the few clusters of fruit. After all, we are not giving it be-
cause God needs the fruit. We are offering them t o establish our
relationship with God and with His people. Actually, it ia very
much a case of not what one gives, but how one gives it. This is
the message of this portion. It is not enough t o just give, i t is the
manner of giving that is important, because sometimes giving can
be more meaningful for the donor than the recipient.
Let us all take this t o heart and endeavor t o make our giving
not only charity, not only offering some money with a sneering
look or with a feeling of remorse; but true gifts t o the Lord, a
gift which signifies our firm belief t hat our abundance and wealth
comes from the goodness of God. If we turn all our giving into
such an artful act, and declare our committment t o the Lord, I am
sure that He will indeed shower us with His blessings for continued
abundance.
Samuel Hwozoitz
SHOFAR AND HORNS
Despite heart-rending entreaties, Moshe is destined for death
and Joshua designated his replacement t o lead the masees into the
Promised Land.
"131 ~ 3 7 0 3 ~ 7 1 ~ 1 43 nn 74n r 5 7 n~n
nriYrYnw ~ I D D 4 n ~ n nn 57ilpn4 nnurun3 nr*n rnrn rvPn n5
I*n3 131 133 vPrn i nn nn* n4w n Wmn 1?12 i mn 3 ilwn ilwyw
(7"n) 1 4 ~ n
An immediate difficulty presents itself. If both the chatzotzrah
and the shofar were used in tandem t o summon the people why
waa one Divinely hidden while the other paseed on t o Joshua a s
an integral part of his leadership regalia? In all probability, the
two instruments served diatinct and unique purposes. While the
chatzotmah summoned the physical Jew, the shQfar summoned his
spiritual counterpart. The trumpet assembled the masses; the sho-
far created a spiritual awareness, a oneness of purpose and deed.
S E F E R D E V A R I M 289
Consequently, the symbol of Jewish commitment, the clarion call
of mitzvot eternal, became the treasured yerushah of Joshua, while
the technique for assemblage, subject t o change with changing
times, was forcibly removed from the arena of human and Divine
interaction. Evidently, G-d felt t hat the chatzotzrah so effective
in the hands of a Moshe might prove wholly ineffectual in the
hands of a Yehoshua.
What amounts t o a wholesome defection from our contempor-
ary ranks only serves t o remind us t hat we learn precious little
from the paat, Our Rabbinical predecessors a t the turn of the cen-
tury stood convinced t hat only a transplant of the European shtdel
on t o American soil assured a viable Jewish survival. The Syna-
gogue, though dectionately referred t o by three distinct names,
Beit Hatefilah, Beit Hamedrosh, and Beit Haknessd, functioned in
only two of these areas. The daily minyan was filled t o capacity,
one following the other in rapid succession, and the tiah for learn-
ing rarely yearned for absent scholars. The "assembly" aspect of
the Shul was almost wholly taken over Landsmanschaften, Work-
men's Circles, relief societies, Jewish centers, defense organizations
and a whole host of groups primarily established t o amuse, educate,
and bury its enthusiastic followers. A Rabbinate nurtured on the
tradition of semi-annual eennons and "paskening shaylot of iasur
v'heter" continued in essentially the same vein. Unfortunately, the
chatzotzrah which kept the ghetto intact met with little success
in a free American society. The ghetto was spiritually insulated;
American cities were, and are, not. A generation was lost by mis-
calculation and the pendulum swung 180 degrees. The Beit Haknes-
set now becomes the dominant force on the Jewish scene with
tefiZuh and intensive limud hatorah playing a t best a secondary
role. And, as the Synagogue swung, so too did its spiritual leader.
Prayer and learning were sacrifices on the altar of administration
and public relations. The effects were equally as deleterious.
Fortunately, recent events atteat t o the fact t hat we may final-
ly have hit upon the proper instrument and the right note with
which t o attract the masses. Orthodox Synagogues are again boast-
ing sell-out crowds even on non-Bar Mitzvah Shabbatim, and the
fact t hat a Rabbi strives for the title, Ben Torah, no longer incurs
290 PORTION OF THE WEEK
the enmity of baalei batim who had engaged "a 5niahetj product."
Whatever changes the future may hold in store, the lemon of
shofar and horn ought not be forgotten. The shofar must remain
inviolate; the chatzotzrah, however, must adjust to changing con-
ditions.
FIenry Hoschander
SAYING GOODBYE
The things that we cherish during our lifetime endow with
significance our last acts. In our farewell to life we seek to en-
compass the very essence of our life.
The word Vayelech proceeds the last visions and final testa-
ment of Moaes. Many of the commentators translate VayeZech lit-
erally and therefore aak Lehaichan hokrch, where did he go?
The translation of Yohanaaan ben Uzial has it
m n a n* 5 9 5 ~ 1 N: DSI N n931 1 3 m5 ilwb 5 1 ~ 1
~ N Y W * 53 BY ] *5Ni l
"and Moses went to the House of Study and discoursed on these
matters.
The Ibn Ezra said,
rtnw N ~ W nb :,law ~*t i i l S ~ l w r D ~ V 53 5~ 1%
"He went to each tribe to inform them that he is about to die and
to strengthen their hearts that they should no be afraid."
The full life must be patterned after the model of Moses. To
be a Jew means to engage in study and to always be at home in
the Academy. Unfortunately Judaism is becoming constricted to a
religion of performance of nritzvot and the relegation of study to
the children. Judairnn haa always looked up to the Ben Torah, and
revered greatly the Talmud Ctcochom. When Torah study is neglect-
ed then the personality to be exalted becomes the generous patron,
and the guest of honor is selected from the ranks of the doers.
S E F E R D E V A R I M 291
Secondly, this final act of Moses expressed itself with a pro-
found concern for the future. According to Ibn Ezra he went per-
sonally to every tribe to inspire them to follow the leadership of
Joshua and to conquer the land. As one who devoted his entire life
to the welfare of his people, his primary concern is the continua-
tion of his efforts.
The average American Jew is guided by the dimension of the
present only. He is not moved by a passionate desire to perpetuate
an idea. His "last hurrah" is about himself whereas the farewell
of Moeea belongs to eternity.
Joseph I . Singer
CRISIS IN LEADERSHIP
The dismal Watergate revelations concerning some individuals
who wielded power in the White House establishment cast a shad-
ow upon the dependability of leaders who are catapulted suddenly
to positions of power and importance.
The Torah in a single phrase highlights the problem and the
Rabbinic interpretation of this phraee suggest guidelines t o deter-
mine trustworthy leadership.
At the conclusion of the vision t hat begins with Haazinu, we
read,
DYil '2tK3 J l Kt i l il7'Vil ' 731 53 Jl K 73111 ilVD K311
113 12 Yarn1 Kin
"And Moses came and spoke all the words of this song in the ears
of the people, he and Hoshea, the son of Nun" (Deut. 32:44).
Rashi comments,
15 nnnw ~ " Y N W 1 9 5 ~ Inn nnt K ~ W lor5 ~vrn 1 ~ 3 I NY I P ilDl
in5nn:, WK: , tnuv 5 9 ~ w n n 5 n ~
"And why is he called Hoshea? To teach us t hat he did not
become arrogant. Even though leadership was granted t o him he
made himeelf humble as in the beginning."
292 PORTION OF THE WEEK
The first prerequisite of leadership is not t o become intoxi-
cated with power but t o retain a strong measure of simplicity and
t o act humbly. Joshua is here given his original name t o indicate
his self-effacement a t the time t hat the mantle of leadership was
falling on his shoulders. Perhaps the successful traits of being a
follower can not be transferred t o a leader who must make his own
decisions affecting the destiny of his people. Joshua is then back
where he started.
Although Rashi attributes his explanation t o the Sifre, yet
the reading of the Sifre is different:
ynrw wr n r 5w r npi u 1 1 ~ 5 5 trJ 12 yw'inr w n 5"n nni
113 13 ywrni HI? 5"n nr wm m n n m r95y i n y i nguw 1 3 ~
~ r 2 u n 4y ~ 3 % n3nn3w D"YH i npi u3 ywrn
"and why does it say and Hoshea the son of Nun? To teach you
the righteousness of Joshua. He became ebullient upon his appoint-
ment, as it is written, 'he and Hoshea, the son of Nun.' Hoshea re-
tains his righteousness even though he was appointed a leader."
A leader must retain an unswerving adherence t o honesty and
integrity and should consider his position as a mandate t o interpret
events in accordance with newly acquired position of power.
If those in high places would follow these two principles of
humility and righteousness then our confidence in them would not
be shaken. Or perhaps, our leaders who do not possess them be-
cause we ourselves cannot point with pride t o these two virtues.
Joseph I . Singer