Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Israel, Redemption and Unity

 [Thanks to Moriah for forwarding this link]

Eim Habanim Semeichah, written in 1943 by HaRav Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal zt"l, is a comprehensive treatise on Settlement in Eretz Yisrael, Messianic Redemption, and Jewish Unity.  

(below are a couple of extracts from the book which can be read online, by clicking on the link above)

"It is revealed and known to Hashem ...... that I did not write this work for my honor, for my family's honor, or for any material benefit whatsoever.  I wrote it only for Hashem's honor .... and for the honor of our Holy Land....  to arouse the hearts of our holy people to desire and yearn to return to our mother, and leave the stepmother, i.e. the lands of exile..... "

The Author's Vow
The Torah tells us that when Yaakov Avinu was in distress he took a great vow to G-d, as it is written: And Yaakov took a vow saying: If G-d will be with me and guard me on this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, and I will return in peace to my father's home... [Bereishit 28:20-21]

Chazal derive from here that one should take a vow in times of trouble [Bereishit Rabbah 70:1]

Therefore I, who was fortunate to see the Ba'al HaTanya's letter, would like to fulfill these words of Chazal and take a great oath to the G-d of Israel during these difficult times.  I will pray, as our forefathers did, in the name of all of Israel.  If G-d will be with me during these times of harsh decrees, and guard me from harm, and give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, and allow the merit of Eretz Yisrael to stand by me and my family, that no harm befalls us, and no disease or affliction comes upon us until the coming of salvation to the Jewish people as a whole and myself in particular... I plead in the name of all of Israel that the merit of Eretz Yisrael will arise on our behalf and save us from misfortune.  Let it say to our troubles "Enough!"

May the following verse be fulfilled in our days: "The righteous one falls seven times, yet rises [Mishlei 24:15], while the wicked one falls but once."  May our Holy Land arouse mercy upon us so that we soon be redeemed, for we no longer have the strength to endure the pain.  Let the persecutions of the last few years be considered the birthpangs of Moshiach and may our righteous Savior come and redeem us from our enemies' clutches. {But, one cannot know the Creator's plan regarding Mashiach, for "the heart has not revealed [this matter] to the mouth" [Midrash Tehillim 9, Kohelet Rabbah 12:10]. The way in which he will come is hidden from all living beings. The Ran explains that just as the time of his coming is unknown, so too the manner of his coming is also unknown, whether through manifest miracles or miracles hidden behind the guise of nature.}

In any event, if Mashiach still tarries even after the persecutions have ceased and Hashem has enhanced our status, then I accept upon myself a vow, like that of Yaakov Avinu, to write a book dealing with the honor of Eretz Yisrael.  Its aim will be to seek out the virtues of Eretz Yisrael, to raise its pride and honor, to demonstrate to everyone our great obligation to build it, perfect it, establish it on high, and raise it out of the dust.  Through this work I will try to impress upon every Jew the importance of taking part in the rebuilding of our Holy Land, for our entire redemption depends on this.  I intend to demonstrate that Eretz Yisrael, the "mother" of the Jewish nation, longs and awaits expectantly for all of us, young and old alike, to turn our attention towards her, to establish her, and to raise her walls in glory.

I will explain all of this (with G-d's help) in my book, in order to honor the Holy One Blessed Be He and His Shechinah.  In this merit may Hashem protect us and all of Israel who are in dire straits, myself included.  I hope that Hashem, the Guardian of Israel, will protect me from the oppressors, so that they will have no command over the Congregation of Israel, myself and my family in particular. May He keep me in good health and allow me to fulfill the vow that I have taken.  May the merit of Eretz Yisrael, whose honor I will defend, stand by me and help free us from the oppressor and deliver us from distress, so that I may fulfill my vow with peace of mind and clarity of thought.  May all of this come true speedily in our days. Amen. So may it be Hashem's will.
HaRav Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal zt"l

1 comment:

Moriah said...

It's important to mention that HaRav Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal zt"l was anti-Zionist until he found himself in the center of the conflagration - the Shoa. He wrote this book while he was on the run from place to place with nothing but the clothes on his back and his brilliant intellect! May G-d avenge his blood.