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Unread 06-05-2007, 11:39 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 37
Living in galus is like worshipping idols in purity

So say chazal. How so? If one lives in golus, one can be a Torah observant Jew. That being the case, what is the p'shat?

I think that the best answer is that one is certainly not worshipping idols mamash. Yet, the mere fact that one's physical body exists in lands ruled by gentiles is symbolic of the idea that one accepts the gentile powers that rule over him and that his G-d is incapable of overcoming the power of the gentile authorities. It's as if we are expressing the idea that we believe that the gentile government is more powerfull than Hashem, and believing that something has more power than Hashem is akin to idolatry. This is so even though one does not in reality believe it. The mere fact that one's body dwells on gentile soil symbolizes this idea of acquiescence to gentile power, at least externally.

Again, this is the main reason why we should yearn for the geula. To understand that our very existance in galus, no matter how nicely the gentiles may treat us, and now matter how many other positive side benefits that one can think up with that may have arisen throughout history. The chilul Hashem on a national scale, the fact that the G-d of Israel is viewed as impotent by the nations, by our very existance in golus, supercedes all of the side benefits that one might come up with as to why there is a positive side to living in golus.

If one's reason detre for wanting geula and Mashiach is not for Hashem's sake, then it becomes a much more self-centered reason for such to occur. G-d wants us to be selfless, wanting things to occur for His sake, and when we decide to have such an attitude, then I think we can look forward to a real geula.
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Unread 06-06-2007, 11:44 AM   #2
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I recall learning that the providence of Hashem in Israel is direct, whereas in other lands, it is via intermediary angels.
..."For the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His habitation. This is My resting place; here I will dwell" (Tehillim, 132:13-14). These Divinely designed receptacles of holiness, the Torah, Am Yisrael, and Eretz Yisrael, are united in their essence.
A special Divine Providence graces Eretz Yisrael to the exclusion of all other lands. It is "The land where the eyes of the Lord our G-d are always upon it, from the beginning of the year till the end" (Devarim, 11:12).

Certainly, G-d reigns the world over. From our point of view, however, there is a great difference in our ability to receive the Divine content. Our Sages teach us that G-d has placed angelic forces to rule over all other lands. Only in the land of Israel is G-d's Providence direct, without any intermediary angels (Ramban on the Torah, Vayikra, 18:25). Only in Israel is the worship of G-d pure without any barriers or impurities. This is how the Ramban explains the Gemara's startling declaration that "All who live in Eretz Yisrael resemble someone who has a G-d, and all who live outside the land of Israel resemble someone who has no G-d" (Ketubot 110B). In Chutz L'Aretz, the worship of G-d only reaches the level of the celestial angels, whereas in Eretz Yisrael, Divine service is direct to G-d Himself, with no interference whatsoever.
This unique, life connection between Hashem and the Jewish people in Israel has very real quantitative and qualitative advantages. For instance, Eretz Yisrael is the land where the Shekhina appears, and where prophecy is transmitted to the Jewish people.
Eretz Yisrael is the only place on earth where the Torah can be observed in all of its fullness. The commandments themselves were only given to be performed in Israel (See Ramban, loc cited). Our Sages teach that the commandments which we perform in the Diaspora are only reminders until we can return to Israel to observe them properly (Sifre, Ekev, 11:18). ...
May all of Am Israel merit to be gathered into our Holy Land peacefully and with much joy in our days - amen.
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