Showing posts from April, 2021

Tragedy in Israel

Israel just experienced it’s largest peacetime tragedy. Forty five people died in a crush at Meron, the burial place of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, author of the Zohar (kabbalah). Apparently, there was a huge jam of thousands of people on their way out of a celebration, around a narrow corner at the top of a staircase. I’ve experienced this kind of crowd, and there is immense pressure. This was not a stampede of primitive animals, or crazy fanatics, as they are portrayed by some articles out there. At some point, it seems that police tried blocking off an exit, exacerbating the pressure, and when they finally released the barricade, hundreds of people tumbled down the staircase, crushing those at the bottom. Exactly how it happened or why the police blocked off the exit is not relevant for this moment and now is not the time to assign blame. An investigation will hopefully bring out the truth, and I’m sure new protocols will be implemented to ensure this doesn’t happen again. There’s anot

Antisemitism Incident Speech

This past Tuesday, I was invited to Murrieta City Hall to address city council in response to an antisemitic incident at a Church a few weeks ago. Councilwoman Lori Stone introduced a resolution about hate and invited me. While this incident was unfortunate and we’re always on high alert about antisemitism, I think there was something different this time, which is what I spoke about. Here is what I said: For millennia, the Jewish people have been waiting for the day when antisemitism will be just a memory. Isaiah famously prophesied of the messiah וגר זאב עם כבש- the wolf will lie with the lamb. The famous 12th century sage Maimonides, explains that this prophesy is a metaphor. The wolves are the nations of the world and the lamb is the Jewish people. For thousands of years, Jews have been persecuted by their gentile neighbors, but there will be a time when we will be accepted by our neighbors and antisemitism will end. Even today, as I have been invited here to speak in response to lo

Another Idea

A couple weeks ago, on the last day of Pesach, we had a “Moshiach meal” and at the meal, Chanaleh made me tremendously proud. She demonstrated deep understanding, and it’s nice to know that she listens to me talk about Moshiach (lately, she’s been proofreading my emails too). Someone at the meal posed the question, “How can we bring Moshiach?” Without missing a beat, Chanaleh answered, “Once we start living as if Moshiach is already here, then we’ll want it for the rest of the world, and then Moshiach will come.” The depth of her answer, and her ability to say it so clearly & concisely was inspiring. It really is that simple: The essence of golus (the time until Moshiach) is the the façade that covers over the truth. The struggle to do what’s right, the blur between right and wrong, the illusion that we are alone and no one is watching (obviously, G-d is watching everything). The catch though, is that it’s only a façade. The Torah, especially Chassidus, can rationalize to the most

Can the World Get Better?

Tomorrow marks exactly 30 years since the Rebbe declared that he exhausted his ability to bring Moshiach, and handed the job over to us. It’s kind of surprising, because, if the Rebbe, who was such a holy man, couldn’t bring Moshiach, how can flawed humans like us do it? Unless that’s the whole point. Obviously, if G-d wanted a perfect world, He could have created it from the get-go. Instead, He created a dark world, inhabited by mostly flawed people, and wants these very same flawed people (not a holy Rebbe) to make the world perfect. As we’ll see in the next JLI course (keep posted for email next week), the world is inching closer and closer to perfection in almost every metric, from health, to geopolitics, to poverty. At this point, we’re not even inching. We’re going at light speed. A hundred years ago, the race of the day was human flight. Today, it’s reversing the aging process! Soon enough, someone will crack the code, and we’ll reach the prophecy of “eradicating death forever”