Beyond the Cusp

April 20, 2018

A Strange, Stressful, Sorrowful, Yet Joyful Week

 

This week in Israel, the people went through a two-day test which runs the gauntlet of emotions. On successive days starting at sundown Tuesday through to sundown Thursday Israelis mostly experience sorrow-filled remembrances straight to joyous celebratory elation. This year the changeover at sundown Wednesday was particularly spectacular. What happened was Wednesday was Israel’s Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day). This was followed immediately at sundown through Thursday by Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) which this year was kind of special as Israel turned seventy years old, that is the re-founded Israel, as Israel historically is over three thousand years old. So, at sundown Wednesday Israelis put aside the memorials and remembrance of those who have fallen to keep Israel free, both civilians and military, with some sorrowful and all solemn thoughts straight to celebratory glee with picnics and barbecues with much singing and Wednesday night fireworks everywhere. In many ways having the two days linked are very Israel and quite an experience. They fit together well despite the obvious opposite emotions of each day. Yes, Israelis of all stripes have much to be thankful for and to celebrate on her birthday on the Hebrew calendar as Israel is amongst the few nations in this region which has largely peace and economic health and this year was listed as the eleventh happiest nation of the world, a full seven spots ahead of the United States. But before we celebrate the wonders which are Israel, we must give thanks to those who gave their all in defense of this nation and its ideals, values and rebirth. We owe them everything we have and more, so we respectfully, often emotionally and ever thankfully remember and say prayers for these souls. After this, we can be free to celebrate the gift those souls founded and protected with their very lives showing that we appreciate that which they gave as their promise and more to allow Israel to reach seventy years after rebirth.

 

The celebrations on Wednesday night are very public with everyone mixing together at any of the numerous celebrations. We will never reach the heights of celebration which happened with the actual founding day when Israel was announced reborn after around two-thousand-years of our living in the Diaspora as if we were dry bones scattered throughout a valley in the desert. This was the prophesy the Dry Bones by Ezekiel in Chapter 37 where the analogy of the dry bones to the Children of Israel is told (see verse below). Ezekiel speaks of coming upon a valley of bones all jumbled and mixed without order or any form. Then Hashem commands that the prophet declare His Name over the bones commanding them to rise and assemble. The bones then start to move with each bone connecting to the next reforming the skeletal structure of the fallen. This was the awakening of the Jewish People in their exile from whence they had been scattered for almost two thousand years in exile. As the bones connect, sinew appears upon them holding them together and then muscle tissue and skin covering them making them appear whole, but not quite whole as they lacked spirit. Then Hashem commands the prophet to declare His name once more and spirit is instilled and they become truly alive. Here are the actual worlds.

 

Valley of the Dry Bones Rising

Valley of the Dry Bones Rising

 

1) The hand of the Lord came upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley, and that was full of bones
2) And He made me pass by them round about, and lo! they were exceedingly many on the surface of the valley, and lo! they were exceedingly dry.
3) Then He said to me; “Son of man, can these bones become alive?” And I answered, “O Lord God, You [alone] know.”
4) And He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.’
5) So says the Lord God to these bones; Behold, I will cause spirit to enter into you, and you shall live!
6) And I will lay sinews upon you, and I will make flesh grow over you and cover you with skin and put breath into you, and you will live, and you will then know that I am the Lord.”
7) So I prophesied as I was commanded, and there arose a noise when I prophesied, and behold a commotion, and the bones came together, bone to its bone!
8) And I looked, and lo! sinews were upon them, and flesh came upon them, and skin covered them from above, but there was still no spirit in them.
9) Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the spirit, prophesy, O son of man, and say to the spirit, ‘So says the Lord God: From four sides come, O spirit, and breathe into these slain ones that they may live.’ ”
10) And I prophesied as He had commanded me, and the spirit came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, a very great army, exceedingly so.
11) Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are all the house of Israel. Behold they say, ‘Our bones have become dried up, our hope is lost, we are clean cut off to ourselves.’
12) Therefore, prophesy and say to them, So says the Lord God: Lo! I open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves as My people, and bring you home to the land of Israel.
13) Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and lead you up out of your graves as My people.
14) And I will put My spirit into you, and you shall live, and I will set you on your land, and you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and have performed it,” says the Lord.
15) And the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
16) “And you, son of man, take for yourself one stick and write upon it, ‘For Judah and for the children of Israel his companions’; and take one stick and write upon it, ‘For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and all the house of Israel, his companions.’
17) And bring them close, one to the other into one stick, and they shall be one in your hand.
18) And when the children of your people say to you, saying, ‘Will you not tell us what these are to you?’
19) Say to them, So says the Lord God: Behold I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim and the tribes of Israel his companions, and I will place them with him with the stick of Judah, and I will make them into one stick, and they shall become one in My hand.
20) And the sticks upon which you shall write shall be in your hand before their eyes.
21) And say to them, So says the Lord God: Behold I will take the children of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them from every side, and I will bring them to their land.
22) And I will make them into one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel, and one king shall be to them all as a king; and they shall no longer be two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms anymore.
23) And they shall no longer defile themselves with their idols, with their detestable things, or with all their transgressions, and I will save them from all their habitations in which they have sinned, and I will purify them, and they shall be to Me as a people, and I will be to them as a God.
24) And My servant David shall be king over them, and one shepherd shall be for them all, and they shall walk in My ordinances and observe My statutes and perform them.
25) And they shall dwell on the land that I have given to My servant, to Jacob, wherein your forefathers lived; and they shall dwell upon it, they and their children and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever.
26) And I will form a covenant of peace for them, an everlasting covenant shall be with them; and I will establish them and I will multiply them, and I will place My Sanctuary in their midst forever.
27) And My dwelling place shall be over them, and I will be to them for a God, and they shall be to Me as a people.
28) And the nations shall know that I am the Lord, Who sanctifies Israel, when My Sanctuary is in their midst forever.”

 

Some people have challenged the veracity of this prophesy claiming that the current state of Israel does not merit this prophesy. We have always felt that it is exactly telling of the reconstruction of Israel as the modern nation state. After seeing pictures of the Concentration Camps, the work camps and the death camps, one can almost feel the description of the dry bones scattered on a vast valley floor. Now there were Jews who had already made Aliyah before World War II as well as the Jews who had resided in Israel throughout from antiquity to the modern day. These were the initial sinew as they, possibly without foreknowledge, were making Israel ready for the arrival of the masses from that valley of bones. The dry bones were the European Jews who had survived what can only be described as hell on earth, also the Jews who resided in the Arab world who were cast from their homes and all wealth and valuable items such as jewelry and other items of value or desirable confiscated as their suitcases were searched as they were deported, or worse were chased by mobs in one of the numerous pogroms where the Jews fled without even a suitcase and just the clothes on their backs, and finally the Russian Jews who in the initial wave were also often stripped of all wealth before being permitted to leave for Israel with many having been sent to prison or Siberia work camps before finally being permitted to leave. This story can be applied to the Ethiopian Jews and various other Jews who have found their way home after over nineteen-hundred years. Upon arriving from Europe or the Arab world and reaching Israel, if they were present when the nation was born on the evening of May 14, 1948 (Iyyar 6, 5708 on the Jewish calendar) and attacked by six Arab armies the next morning at sunrise. Without any organized military, the Jews took separate revolutionary squads, worked out some form of chain of command, marshalled forces and weaponry, and somehow managed to survive the Arab assaults. Israel lost some portions of land with Gaza being held by Egypt and the Shomron by Jordan. These illegal occupations of Israeli lands continued until they were liberated during the Six Day War in June of 1967.

 

Once peace was established in 1949, the Jews with their Arab neighbors who had stayed during the war, some even assisting and fighting alongside the Jewish Israelis, this was especially true of the Druze citizens, began to build a nation. Initially, Israel was an agricultural economy with socialist communes known as Kibbutz forming the backbone of the nation. Israel was not a very wealthy nation during these years and it was not until the Russian Aliyah that a sizable industrial base was established with many industries built around ideas leading to a robust research and development system. This was what would transform over time into Israel being known for its start-up companies which emphasize innovation and the search for the next new item. This was the coming of muscle onto the bones and soon thereafter in the 1970’s and 1980’s that Israel received her skin and then one of the most remarkable items came about, and this was one which deserved celebration this week. The children of Israel were about to receive their spirits leaving only one more item which we would need to develop ourselves before all of the prophesy can be realized. This final item is our soul. Hashem provided our nation reunited with both Israel and Judah being made whole, one with the other. The ingathering, as our reestablishing of the nation of Israel is often referred, has brought together tribes thought lost since the Assyrian conquest of the Ten Tribes of Israel, the northern kingdom. It was at a later date when Judah fell to the Babylonians who had conquered the Assyrians. Babylon fell to Persia who fell to Alexander the Great and Grecian rule which fell to the Romans who dispersed the Jews throughout their empire as punishment for revolting against the Romans a second time. This dispersion was supposed to destroy the Jewish People, as this has been the result with others the Romans had treated similarly such as the Carthaginians. We realize we constantly use them as our example for one simple reason, they are the only other peoples who the Romans treated as such who are remembered simply because of their three wars with Rome known as the Punic Wars. As for other examples, the Roman dispersion was obviously quite good at removing a people from history.

 

The promise in this prophesy that we would be a single nation again proves true despite appearances sometimes with our politics. There is that one last matter, regaining righteous souls worthy of having Hashem reside amongst us. The regaining of our souls and reestablishing our religion making positive that we restore every last gram of our laws and especially of Torah is required if we are to be worthy of building the Third Temple and having Hashem in our midst. Anything less than a worthy nation steeped in Torah and the prophesies from the age of Judges and Prophetic revelations would result in a cataclysm of unknowable scope. The good news is that Israel has ushered in a wave of Jews returning to full practice or their best efforts possible considering how many were raised in homes with parents who were not very strict in their practice often practicing their political alignment of secular humanism. Secular Humanism and the core belief of relativity is where everything is relative and there are no absolute rules which makes nothing intrinsically good or evil. In this new age relativism, everything is as good or bad as each person decides them to be. There must not be standards chiseled in stone, and this phrasing is intentional to directly mean that even the Ten Commandments (see image below) are not in any way applicable to modern standards as the Ten Commandments are not flexible enough, there is no give and take to them. Such set standards are the worst items anyone can hold as true and try to impose them onto society. There is one rule, and that is that there are no rules, well, other than the one rule ruling out rules. After that, everything is up to each and every one of us to decide what is right and what is wrong for our own little world and then should anybody dare to disagree, then we are to throw a huge hissy fit and claim at least that we have been assaulted by a macroaggression. This will lead to counselling and possibly a week or so of intense bed rest until we feel ready to face the world and risk somebody believing differently than each of us has chosen. In this world, the only safe position is to have no positions on anything and to simply accept whatever comes our way and just realize that standards and morality are simple items used to control our lives and make us do what the authorities desire. Never mind that this new-age relativism is being used to allow those with power to do whatever they desire without consequences while it is destroying lives of the most vulnerable.

 

Ten Commandments Arranged in Hebrew Reading from Right to Left with English Translations Underneath the Hebrew

Ten Commandments
Arranged in Hebrew
Reading from Right to Left
with English Translations
Underneath the Hebrew

 

Fortunately, this epidemic in Israel is mostly infecting the Tel Aviv general area while much of the nation is returning to Torah and attempting to live a moral life under the rules and precepts found within. And yes, at the risk of causing numerous microaggressions, we follow the Ten Commandments to the best of our limited abilities. For many this is a work in progress. It actually is a surprising thing when one returns to Israel, Eretz Yisroel, the Holy Land as it actually is a holy land and returning to or finding for the initial time your Jewish faith and its backbone, the Torah, easily takes root and you progress. Perhaps it is the Hebrew language which is another work in progress. From what we have experienced here in Israel has been that the people are mostly friendly and helpful. They are very understanding and patient knowing that there are those amongst us who require a person who can relate with us in our native language, be that Russian, English, French or virtually any other language. There are Jews who have returned from virtually every nation on the planet, or so it appears. What is so very interesting is how Israel is bucking the direction being taken by the rest of the developed world instead of throwing out everything which is old, whether it has been tried and true having proven valid for centuries. Judeo-Christianity must be overturned, as it is archaic. The American Constitution is written on parchment, can you believe, parchment, what is parchment anyways, did they not have paper back then? Anyways, anything on parchment is too old and has to go. That includes Torah, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, the Magna Carta, and we are pretty sure the original Bibles were on parchment, so have to go, too old anyways. The question is where will these founders of this brave new world going to get their standards, the rules for their society? We bet we can tell you.

 

What one need understand is in order to get rid of an existing governance such as they have in the United States, the first thing is you have to remove any weapons from the field of battle. That includes everything which underpins the society you are warring against. In the case of the Western World, that means that Judeo-Christianity has to go and all of the morals it uses. That is why the new wave standard of there are no standards are being foisted upon the youth. Once the old system has been brought down, be that through a coup, massive civil unrest, or simply being elected and creating a situation by which you take complete control, then there will suddenly be a requirement for standards. Any guesses from where they will get these standards? If you guessed from Judeo-Christianity, though it will have some new bright and cuddly name, then you have figured some of this out. When the new people who desire to run the world take over, expect there will be almost uncountable laws and regulations and requirements all designed to allow them to remain in control and you subservient. The new leaders will figure that if you were duped sufficiently to permit their destruction of everything which used to run and keep government under control, then you will simply comply with whatever you are instructed to perform. Many of these so-called grassroots rallies are anything but as they are planned and organized by a group which demands complete control of the levers of power. Once they have that, then all bets are off and things will change so drastically and inalterably that many who had believed that the change these people offered was wonderful will be left wondering what just struck their little piece of heaven on earth. Israel, on the other side, is moving towards her religious roots and holding firmly to a scroll made of parchment knowing that some of the world’s greatest treasures are written on parchment. This case the parchment is in the form of a scroll, talk about old school. We are talking about Torah, of course. The Torah was the first place where set into the laws of the land there were limits placed on the King and Queens, the rulers were commanded not to become wealthy as they were to write their own Torah scroll, read it daily, and live by it at all times. Religion, Orthodox Religion is the norm in Israel and no one sees that as disruptive or backwards thinking, and these are the people who are in control, or at least sharing control allowing the people their say. The Jewish faith is at the core of many things in Israel and Israel may need to teach these old lessons once more to a world which is currently rapidly spinning out of control. Israel may actually be on the correct path.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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