Wednesday, May 17, 2006

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On Spirituality and Spirituality

Neshama commented: AKIVA, I don't believe you wrote this:

"If you go to those same jewish groups in America and discuss kever tzaddikim, holy gravesites of our ancestors, they'll look at you sideways, like you're weird or even possibly in to some kind of avodah zarah"

To speak aginst a community as a whole is a particularly severe offense. (The Ten Rules of Proper Speech. Shmiras Haloshon, Chofetz Chaim)

What a distortion of reality! The most tourism to Israel is from the Chareidim, and the highest proportion of new residents are Chreidim from Chutz L'Aretz. We spend more money in Israel and support more Tzedaka organizations, I believe, than Israelis.

Many people in Flatbush and many in Boro Park DO RECOGNIZE AND CELEBRATE THE 33rd day of the OMER with bonfires, singing, dancing, and joy.

Granted this is the NY metro area where there is the greatest concentration of frum Jews who live a Torah lifestyle. I don't know what the Jews in out of town areas are doing, and what their level of Yiddisheit is. However, there is a great movement within the US to reach out to our brothers and sisters and bring them closer to the Torah. It is working, however slow it might be. [People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones] NO country in the world is without it's internal turmoil in these days of the footsteps.

AND THIS IS WHAT THE ABISHTEH is waiting for- more of our extended family to come home.

I think it is nearsighted thinking and myopic vision to assume that Jews outside of Eretz HaKodesh aren't spiritually motivated.


Neshama, I think you missed my point. I wasn't trying to talk-up Israel or talk-down the U.S., nor their respective religious communities. I was stating a spiritual fact, the Holy Land is...holy. Don't you think that means anything, that there's an impact to one's soul when one is involved in the holy? How about when the whole location is holy?

My daughter and I have been to plenty of New York Lag B'Omer celebrations, sorry, there is no comparison to what goes on in Israel. Does that mean Lag B'Omer is ignored outside of Israel, no. But would you compare praying at your local shul to praying at the Kotel? It's just a different level. Is that a defect in the local shul, or the (spiritual) height of the Kotel?

Neshama, in Israel, today, there are those who risk their lives to visit and/or care for kevrai tzaddikim. Please, walk in to your local shul and ask who is still crying about the loss of access to Kever Yosef, the holy gravesite of our father Joseph HaTzadik (ben Yaakov), along with his sons Menashe and Efraim. In Israel there are those who still weep for it's loss and are working to change that.

No doubt the wonderful religious communities of the U.S. are very committed to Israel and the Jewish people living there. They visit, they support, they pray, and indeed more go to live every year, Baruch Hashem! But there is a difference in the increased kedusah (holiness), and it's even more apparent on Lag B'Omer.

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