Again it happened. Blood on the sidewalk of the Holy City – Yerushalaim – Jerusalem – Al Quds.
This is not the time to share my thoughts about the Holy City. It is too early to talk about all these political scavengers, feeding themselves with the blood of innocent people. I hate them and it will be difficult for me to distance myself today from the tragedy which must touch every Jewish heart. It will be difficult, because I see it as usual through the prism of my own experience, reflections, and convictions.
But on the other hand, how could I write about something else when the fresh blood of the victim of Amulek is still there? I must…I must or it will eat me up and result again in a sleepless night.
I am reading a book called The Rebbe. One day when I finish it I will try to write my own review of this book, but today I want to talk about a phenomenon of constant rescue (I used word ‘resurrection’ but my editor saw this expression as too strong, I guess) of the Jewish people from every catastrophe.
Three and a half thousand years, and so many attempts to relegate this nation to the history books. Those attempts never worked and never will work as long as there are these three factors which are necessary for the Jewish people’s restoration: Scriptures, the people, and their leader.
Scriptures will stay; they are here for a long time already. In fact, there is nothing older written which could be read, copied, and transferred from generation to generation. There is no older living document on this planet than the Jewish Bible. It will stay as long as it is needed.
There are always children of Yisroel who are living for It and because of It. Sometimes only few in numbers, sometimes counted only by thousands: Shearis Yisroel – the remainder of Jewish Children.
Many times this remainder is persecuted not only from elsewhere but even from within—members of their own family—by children of Yaacov who are separated from the Scriptures and from the spirit which those Scriptures transmit.
The last factor of the three: the leader.
Our first national leader was not persecuted, although many times cried because of his people and more than once he cried for his people. One thing we can be sure of: without Moishe Rabayni, this people wouldn’t exist. It was his leadership, devotion, and sacrifice which enabled this nation to be created and set in motion the reality which we are still part of: Klal Yisroel.
There were many other leaders who deserve a few words of mention, but this is a blog and I cannot allow myself to be bigger nudnik than I sometimes am. :)
Let’s jump over a big part of Jewish History until the time of the first destruction and its aftermath. I want to remind to everybody our great national leader, Ezra Hasofer. Even his name Hasofer has to do with the Scriptures: Sofer means scribe.
Ezra was an significant organizer for the first generation of the Jewish people following the destruction of the first Temple. As historians agree, Golus Buvel (Babylonian Exile) should have marked the end for any nation taken from its land and replaced by other people, with members of leadership exterminated. This in fact happened to all other nations taken first by Sancheriv and then by Nebukadnetzar. Those two imperial conquerors exiled and resettled many other nations. Those nations, lost in the melting pots of the history, became the leaven of other, new nations, new chapters of history.
Ezra Hasofer, together with only few others carried the nation of Scriptures and Mesora (Tradition) through the destructive storm of history.
The second destruction once more required such a leader. This third exile is long and the leader of generation had to deal with a nation destroyed and divided, split over their understanding of Jewish mission, Scriptures, and Tradition itself. Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakkay was strong enough, smart enough, and possessed enough wisdom to be such leader.
Once more in Jewish history, only a fraction of the nation remained faithful to its foundation and to their G-d. Tzedoikim, Notzrim, Essenes, Shomroinim, Boetusim, and others who chose or were fooled to detach themselves from the life stream of Jewish Tradition became detached from the Jewish nation. Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkay, Rabbi Ben Akiva, and Rabbi Meir were the champions and preservers of our national treasure. They and a few others were able to guide us through that valley of darkness.
Again I will skip a long time and many of greatest individuals ever walking on this planet. I will skip until a time which many of us can still remember. Not me; fortunately I was born twenty years after European Hurban, unfortunately in the country where it happened. Unfortunately also because I did not have a privilege to see another individual thanks to whom I was able at a certain moment of my life to drink from the source of uncompromised tradition of holy people of Yisroel.
Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum (Divrey Yoel or Vayoel Moishe), took the responsibility to save his people, against all odds, and sometimes against people whom he loved so much, exactly as his predecessors