Friday, June 25, 2010

This Week's Parsha and A Lesson From Emanuel

If one looks at this week's parsha it is astounding how it correlates to the situations going on in Emanuel and the general situation in Israel. For anyone who doesn't know what has been going on lately (which means you have been living under a rock somewhere in the middle of Mongolia), there was a Flotila that was trying to break the blockade of Gaza. As per usual the boats were asked by the israeli navy to divert to an Israeli port and the goods would be shipped to Gaza from Israel on land. This was in order to make sure no weapons are entering Gaza. However, one of the ships would not comply and the Israelis went aboard to talk (armed with paintball guns as their primary weapons) to the people and they were ruthlessly attacked. The Israelis tried to defend themselves, but needed to use their hand guns in order to protect their own lives. They ended up killing 9 activists that were attacking them and trying to kill or capture them. These people also had known terrorist connections. Anyway, the entire world, save Germany and the USA, immediately condemned Israel for protecting herself.

So, we have the entire world, an external force isolating Israel and encouraging her enemies like Iran, Syria and Gaza to continue their threats and aggression against Israel. In this week's parsha the Moabites and the Midianites try to hire Bilaam to curse Israel in order that Israel be destroyed. They used this tactic because they already saw Israel Conquer Sichon and Og, because Sichon and Og attacked Israel and the Moabites and Midianites saw that military might could not overpower Israel. The Midianites saw that Bilaam could not curse them, so they left. The Moabites tried to get Bilaam to curse Israel, but to no avail. In the end of the day, the Midianites and the Moabites sent their women to entice the men of Israel to sin and they succeeded.

Just like the enemies of Israel in ancient times realized that they could not overpower Israel through military might, so to the enemies of Israel in today realize this. So they both tried or are trying to wage a different type of war, make Israel look bad. Both succeeded! Israel today is more isolated than ever and Israel back in ancient times was in big trouble and was in fear of being destroyed.

Now, what is the Emanuel case doing here? If anyone reads the last few pasukim of this week's parsha, I think it is clear. Zimri, a prince of one of the tribes, made an internal conflict within the camp. External problems have always led to internal problems when it comes to the nation of Israel. However, Zimri really divided the camp. This is exactly what is happening in Israel. Right after this Flotila mess we have many thousands, hundreds of thousands of Jews, that are seemingly pro discrimination. I hear arguments that this protest was not pro discrimination, but pro religious education. I say that the protest might have been pro religious education, which is great, but it must also have been pro discrimination because of what one of the leading authorities at this rally said. Rav Efrati said that there is no discrimination in the Charaidi community against Sephardim, in fact, Ashkenazim learn the great sephardic commentaries as well as Ashkenazi commentaries and he blamed discrimination on the secular Zionists (Found here). I am not sure if he knows this, but there are quotas on how many Sephardim most Charaidi institutions will allow (somewhere around 30%). (found here and here Look for what Rabbi Dovid Landesman says in comments to E-man, the second time) That seems like discrimination to me and most other people. If the protest had nothing to do with Charaidi discrimination against Sephardim, then why did he mention, during a rally cry, only the Zionists discriminate? He was rallying everyone to deny that the Charaidim discriminate! Which anyone and everyone knows is false. He was rallying everyone to continue their discrimination against Sephardim. If this was truly just an issue of religious education then NO MENTION of discrimination should have occurred. Apparently, that was not the case.

So, we have people supporting discrimination against fellow Jews, en mass, while there is a severe existential threat! However, hopefully someone will come forward like Pinchas. Pinchas was able to unite the entire Jewish nation and help us defeat the existential threat. Without his ability to unite the "clans" of the Jewish people, we might have been lost. Hopefully, we can find someone to unite the Jewish people today. I don't mean that anyone is evil or anyone should be punished, rather I think the idea of discrimination should be completely eradicated from the Jewish people. This would be a MAJOR step towards uniting the Jewish people and bringing the Moshiach, or, at the very least, uniting the nation of Israel (Klal Yisroel) into overcoming her enemies.

No comments: