Sunday, June 29, 2014

What Can We Do to #BringBackOurBoys?

ראש החודש הרביעי תשע"ד

Eyal ben Iris Teshurah (19), Ya'aqov Naftali ben Rahel Devorah (16), Gil'ad Micha'el ben Bath Galim (16)
Multiple Choice Question:
Which of the following strategies will have the most chance of having the three captive Jewish boys Eyal, Ya'aqov Naftali, and Gil'ad Micha'el returned home safely and unharmed? (Check all that you believe apply.)

A. Prayer.

B. Prayer at a particular person's grave site.

C. Taking in Shabbath 15 minutes earlier than usual.

D. Lighting three extra Shabbath candles.

E. Women gathering in public to perform these misswah of hefresheth hallah (separating the hallah from the bread dough).

F. Learning certain portions of text in the merit of the boys' return.

G. Signing an on-line petition.

H. Attending a demonstration.
I. Starting an on-line #hashtag campaign.

J. Teshuvah (Repentance)

K. Taking appropriate actions against our enemies.*

L. A. and K.**

   *Supposedly G., H. and I. are to encourage the Israeli Government to implement K. Ask yourself this question: When was the last time you actually saw these strategies do anything other than fool you into believing that you were doing something?

**Maybe J., as well, but quite honestly, perhaps The Almighty has other plans in store for us. We should all do teshuvah irregardless. If it takes the abduction of these boys to motivate us,...well,...then it is unfortunate that we have sunk to such a spiritual low, but so be it.

The correct answer is L.

In other words, this "sitting around" mentality, which has really only is nothing less that shirking our own responsibility, both for the abduction of these boys, and for their return. We are simply dumping it all on The Almighty.

This reminds me of the Ramba"m, who writes in his Igereth Hakhmei Marseilles (Letter to the Sages of Marseilles) that the Second Temple fell due to an over reliance on astrology [to fight against the Romans].

Traveling much farther back, Resh Lekish also suggests that we did not take the necessary action to defeat the Romans, mainly making aliyah when called by Ezra HaSofer, and thus taking proper possess of Our Land in the first place (TB Yoma 9b).

Those who chose B, C, D, E, or F, I feel compelled to ask you,...

"Why not just cast a frickin' spell already?!" (leHavdil)

I mean, for some you, ill-educated about the proper place for such practices, this is what you may eventually be led to do someday. There is a fine line between the types of magic which are permissible versus those types which are forbidden. May The Almighty keep the masses far away from such concepts! 

However, what these seguloth DO have the power to do include...
1. To prevent Jews from violating Shabbath,  by calling attention to its proper beginning and ending times.

2. To encourage Jews to take an interest in keeping Shabbath, by reminding them that they are part of the greater community of Am Yisra'el.

3. ...including the lighting of Shabbath candles.

4. To educate women regarding the misswah of hefresheth hallah, its importance, and how to do it.

5. To encourage Torah learning.
Of course, the above sum up many components of teshuvah anyway.

Taking action, along with prayer, instead of laying it all at The Almighty's doorstep, is also a necessary component of teshuvah.

Let us hope that we will not have to learn this lesson the hard way again.

1 comment:

HDG, Yerushalayim, E"Y Shlemah said...

Dear Esser Agaroth,

I'm sorry this has to be my first post on your wonderful blog. I am still learning how to use certain things that everyone else has been using for years.

There is no bringing back our boys. Or haven't you heard?!

They were murdered on the night they were kidnapped.

I don't want to see another damned Arab.

I don't want to be comforted. I want Nekamah! I want Milhamah! I want the Lion of Judah to rise up and rout all these despicable murdering thieves! I want all our enemies OUT! OUT! OUT!

and I want Mashiach NOW! BOTH of them!

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