Thursday, July 05, 2007

July 4 - 17 Tammuz

Erev Shabbath Qodesh Parshath Pinhas 5767

משנה תענית
ד,ו חמישה דברים אירעו את אבותינו בשבעה עשר בתמוז, וחמישה בתשעה באב. בשבעה עשר בתמוז--נשתברו הלוחות, ובטל התמיד, והובקעה העיר, ושרף אפסטמוס את התורה, והעמיד צלם בהיכל...;

Mishnah Ta'anith
"4:6 Five things happened to our 'forefathers' on 17 b'Tammuz, and five on 9 b'Av. On 17 b'Tammuz--the tablets were broken, and the Tamid [offering] ceased, and the city [of Jerusalem] was breached, and Apastimos burned the Torah [scroll], and he set up an image (statue) in the Temple....."

All in all, the 17 of the Fourth Month (Tammuz) has been an unhappy day for Am Yisrael (the Jewish People), to say the least. So, perhaps you will be surprised then to learn that July 4, 1776, the day the United States of America declared its independence from England, fell on 17 Tammuz 5536.

In the short-term, the founding of the USA could be seen as something positive for Am Yisrael. After all, many Jews have benefited from the extensive educational and financial opportunities, made available by living in the USA. Many Jews have even found refuge there, a reprieve from suffering, persecution, and even death. My parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and I have all certainly benefited. And for that, I am grateful.

HamburgerWhen I lived in the US, of course, I celebrated the Fourth of July. It was a lot of fun, and after all, it's not a "religious" holiday, but a national one, far from offensive to the diverse, American population, right? For most Jews, the Fourth of July was considered "kosher."

But this world can be deceiving. With the exception of a few Torah-enriched neighborhoods, what has living in America done for Am Yisrael spiritually? Assimilation, intermarriage, materialism, confusion of "western" values with Torah values.... Many Jews have turned to the false, spiritual band-aids, of so-called "liberal Judaism." Just like morphine, it's never enough. Give me more.... Water Judaism down some more.... Make my spouse Jewish.... Tell me my spouse doesn't even have to be Jewish....

WatermelonSure, Israel's certainly not immune. Tel-Aviv looks more like a European city than a Mid-Eastern one. And I defy you to locate a Hebrew, neon sign in Hertzliyah from the freeway. (They're all in English.) But, for those of you who continue to sing the praises of the Almighty America (lehavdil) and its accompanying angels, the dollar and the military, wake up already before it's too late. If being Jewish has any importance to you whatsoever, and you don't want to lose what you still have, then get on the plane....

You can still have your barbeque. It'll just be on the Fifth Of Iyyar instead. Then you can have your watermelon in the summer as usual. It's supposedly good to eat before a fast.

4 comments:

Nertalmid said...

This reminds me of a incident about a year or so ago. There was this couple from the US, who has a son about 10 or so years old. One day while walking with him, he proceeded to tell me the most awful things about the US. He got this from his class and was repeating it. I told him that yes the US has it problems like any other country, but I told him that back in WW2, the Nazi's(and now rumors that the Japanese late in the war)were working on the Atomic bomb and had they reached that goal first and with the rocket technology available, the world would have a vastly different place. I told him the the US(with the help of G-d) help saved the world from plunging into a new Dark Ages. When I grew up in the US, this was still fresh in peoples minds. It was not so much fireworks and picnics...but the ideal of the founding fathers, Declaration of Independence, Lincoln(one of the last great presidents) and so on. This I remember, reverve and still do. Now, the US is much different than when I was young boy. Insofar as what has it done for Am Israel? Yes, there was(is) pressure to assimilate..but bottom line Jews in the US made that choice. Rabbi Yosef Yitchak Scheerson z'tl said that "America is no different" referring to Torah, education, etc. He and others made a choice to keep Torah, etc alive in the US...they made the choice. Other Jews who throw off the yoke of Torah in the US make a choice as well. In my opinion, it is too convient to blame America.

Ben-Yehudah said...

B"H I don't think we're in disagreement. I'm not blaming the US. I'm saying it's a mistake to see the US as our savior. Appearances can be deceiving. What's "good" for us physically, is not necessarily good for us spiritually,...and not good for us physically after all.

Greg Beel said...

What if America has a destiny to be a watchman on the wall for Israel. Maybe that is why the nation was born, to intercede so Israel's mourning will be turned into dancing. Rather than looking at the US as evil, maybe looking at her as a friend.

Esser Agaroth said...

Greg,

Thank you for commenting.

The U. S. certainly has this opportunity.

I am afraid that the West's attitude (Esau) is trickier toward Israel than the Arabs/Muslims (Yishmael). With Yishmael we mostly know how they stand, that they want to annihilate Israel.

Esau's "love" has ulterior motives, as we have seen throughout history.

I am not talking about the American people; I am talking about those in control of the U. S., Republican or Democrat does not make any difference.

Everyone wants Jerusalem, and everyone is going to try and get it (Zech. 12 - 14).

And, the Christians believe they are entitled to everything, and are already staking out claims of land in the Shomron (Samaria), and have chased Jews away from at least one hilltop community.

Not cool, to say the least.

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