March 13, 2020
For many years Israel faced a serious drought, to the extent that the Kinneret neared the lower “black line” and there were fears of irreversible ecological damage. The past couple of winters were better, but the water level remained extremely low. Most winters there were emergency prayers for rain. Israeli farmers were forced to ration water and faced extreme economic difficulties.
This rainy season got off to an extremely slow start as well.
Then it started to rain. And rain and rain and rain. My weekly softball game has been rained out since Chanuka, except for one game in three months that they managed to play on a muddy field. It seems to rain every Friday night, a particularly auspicious sign. Heavy rains are expected again this weekend...
...And now the Kinneret is a few centimeters from being full.
What seemed impossible to most people for many years has now materialized in a matter of weeks.
Just in time for Israel to unleash its farmers so they can grow and grow and grow. The land is already blessed, and soon people will see even greater blessings. The goyim are panic buying whatever is left on the shelves. Soon they will be rioting, looting, rampaging. We will see a breakdown of law and order – and humanity – all over the world.
While this is happening, Israel will enjoy an overabundance of food, and will probably be busy exporting it to those who hate us and wish to boycott us to death. I am generally not in favor of price gouging in times of crisis, but prices can be decided based on the various countries' track records in voting at the UN, double standards towards Israel, and history of Jew-hatred. Those who openly supported terrorists should be forced to sign declarations that the God of Israel is the only true God and we are His chosen people, or they can choke on their BDS.
The chickens are finally coming home to roost, and how wonderful it is.
Maybe the galus Jews will finally decide to come home, too.
How long until pogroms against Jews in America? I wouldn't bet one dollar against this happening. And now the gates of Israel are almost entirely sealed. Will you people STILL not wake up? What will it take? Tell me, please, what does God have to do exactly to get the message across that He is upset that you have chosen galus over Israel and that you should beg for the chance to rectify it?
In these uncertain times, one thing we can be 100% sure of is that the vaccine to the virus will NOT be created in an Arab country.
It's a halacha that Esav hates Yaakov. If Jews get the virus, they claim the Jews are spreading it and use it as a pretext to attack them. If Jews don't get the virus, they claim the Jews created it and are hiding the antidote, and use it as a pretext to attack them. It is pointless to try to convince our enemies that they are wrong for hating us, and it is foolish to convince ourselves that they are simply misguided and not really our enemies. As always, the Torah tells us the truth, and we would be much better off if we didn't need to learn it the hard way.
"Unprecedented joint call from Chief Rabbis of the world for Jewry to unite this Shabbat as a spiritual response to the coronavirus"
I wouldn't call it unprecedented, as I called for it on March 17 (post copied below), but I'm glad they finally adopted the idea. I have a habit of being so far ahead of the curve that I'm out of view when they finally catch up. Such is my lot.
Even a Joint List MK denounced the hatred being unleashed against
religious Jews! Moshiach is definitely on the way...if only our fellow
Jews could uproot the hatred from their hearts as well instead of
seeking to justify it.
Yes, people in Bnei Brak and similar communities were slow to get the message and were very irresponsible. But these communities were among the LAST to experience outbreaks of the virus. The virus spread before reaching them only because countless other people -- mostly secular -- mocked and disregarded those who warned them about the virus before it was too late. "It's only a flu; "More people die from the flu"; "People are overreacting".
So, as is usually the case, those who most vociferously attempt to smear and defame others are in fact the greatest hypocrites, and do so only to deflect attention from their own warts.
Be honest. When did YOU start taking extreme precautions after receiving warnings, and how many people might you have realistically infected before then? Most likely if you are better than the people of Bnei Brak in this regard, it is only marginally so, and you had best be quiet.
Many people were ignorant, many people ignored the warnings for a while, many people were irresponsible. They all have what to learn from this experience, and will do so in the proper time, when we are past this.
If someone drives while texting, they are endangering themselves and others. But if they do get into an accident, we immediately do whatever we can to help them. We don't self-righteously proclaim they got what they deserve. We won't leave them to bleed and die. We show compassion and help them. Especially when we know that we're not the world's safest drivers, either.
You can split hairs to try to find a difference and argue that THIS is different, that THIS TIME it's perfectly fine to step on the suffering, but you will only do this if you are a hate-filled, cruel person who has it in for these particular people. Just because you have a "reason" to be hate-filled and cruel doesn't change the fact that you are hate-filled and cruel.
The smearing of entire communities when people are sick and dying is cruel and completely un-Jewish -- so cruel and un-Jewish that I seriously wonder if those who are doing this are really Jewish altogether.
The proper Jewish reaction is to pray for the suffering and pour out compassion and love -- even if they are suffering because of ignorance or lack of responsibility. This is what the overwhelming majority of people in Bnei Brak would do for other Jews who are suffering, and this is what they deserve. Those who stand over a community reeling from pain and blaspheme it should be excommunicated.
Ron Huldai, the Mayor of Tel Aviv, said the following: “Taking advantage of the coronavirus crisis for an incitement campaign against Chareidim is inappropriate. Pesach is a time for mutual responsibility and solidarity. Tonight, we will illuminate City Hall with the caption ‘We Love Bnei Brak’ out of empathy with our neighbor across the Yarkon.”
Huldai is the one of the last people I would have expected to do
something like this. It provides great hope that secular people who
hate religious people and religious people who call soldiers Nazis can
do better. I never thought I would say this, but Kol Hakavod to Ron
Huldai. Moshiach is definitely on the way.
Many Jews unfortunately still do not understand the dangers of congregating even for Torah purposes and the harm it can cause, and that's a huge problem. At the same time, though, isn't it beautiful that the soul of a Jew yearns to daven with a minyan and learn in a Beis Midrash, and being prevented from doing so is so unbearable that he cannot think clearly?
The Jews who risked their lives to perform a mitzvah, or even a facsimile of a mitzvah, in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and other such times and places were also probably doing the "wrong" thing from a halachic standpoint. They too were risking their lives and the lives of those around them when maybe they shouldn't have from a strict halachic standpoint.
No, it's not a perfect analogy, and no, I'm not advocating for people to congregate during a plague in dangerous ways...but those attacking these people have an axe to grind against them in general, and they never had a kind word to say about them before this happened. They are not objective, and their words come only from a place of hatred, camouflaged in self-righteousness. They are hypocrites. Their goal is not to convince these people to make better decisions -- were that the case they would choose an entirely different approach. Their goal is to destroy them, and the virus is convenient fuel for their rage and hatred. They are little different than the anti-Semites using the virus to fuel their hatred for all Jews.
Notice how their "well-intentioned" criticism instantaneously devolves into a wild polemic, with language and wishes they wouldn't express against anyone else on earth. The virus is just their way of getting their foot in the door to legitimize their broad hatred for these people.
President Trump just signed an executive order banning all immigration until further notice. It's bad for the country, so no one's coming in. Just like that. What if tomorrow he decides that no one's going out, since it's bad for the economy, unsafe, or whatever? I know, it's crazy, it can't happen, because crazy things never happen, except all the crazy things that have been happening on a daily basis...
Just a thought.
From Investor's Business Daily
Dow Jones Today Edges Up On Jobless Claims
Jobless Claims Soar, But Decline from Prior Week
Jobless claims came in at 4.427 million during the week ended April 18, down from 5.237 million claims in the prior week and almost exactly in line with economist expectations.
The decline and the matching of estimates were both positives, but
nevertheless brought the total number of first-time unemployment claims
filed over the past five weeks to 26 million.
In other words, it's good news that only 4,427,000 people filed for unemployment this week, because that's fewer newly unemployed people than the number who lost their jobs last week. Of course, the people who previously lost their jobs still don't have jobs, but this is great news, and the stock market should celebrate.
One day there will be one person left with a job and he will lose it. The stock market will go up because the previous week there were two new claims, and next week there won't be any.
One day two homeless, starving, former middle-class people
will be sitting on the street together. One will complain about the
situation, and the other will tell him to cheer up, the economy must be
good because the stock market went up.
The stock market is a total farce and a propaganda tool to manipulate the public.
It's a good thing they're printing trillions and trillions of green sheets of toilet paper, so there won't be a shortage.
Jews, trade in your green toilet paper for a plane ticket while you still can. A caravan in the Negev will soon be a lot more comfortable than a mansion in Jewtown, USA.
Yesterday was a special day. I met a friend from softball and we had a catch. It was the first time I threw a ball since the first night of Chanuka. The weather was perfect. Not only did we both have a great time simply getting out and throwing a ball back and forth, but it made passersby happy to see us doing this normal activity. One guy jogged past us, noticed my cap, and called out "Let's go Mets!". Someone sitting on a nearby bench asked me if I'm on a team, even though I wasn't displaying any remarkable athletic abilities. A small Israeli child was fixated by us. Somehow my shoulder isn't even sore, even though it often is after games.
Towards the end I decided to let it loose, and I uncorked a throw that sailed over the head of my friend and into the brambles behind him. Somehow the bright yellow ball disappeared and we spent several minutes looking for it. I climbed in from the side, using my glove to protect myself as I pushed branches aside. It didn't seem likely that the ball could have gone far in the thick bushes, but there was no sight of it. Losing the ball would have been an anticlimactic way to end our catch.
A group of Arab municipal workers materialized in the street and one of them was watching me meander through the bushes. He asked me what I was looking for. I told him a ball. He asked what color. I told him yellow. He said it should be easy to find, and he started looking as well. Suddenly my friend spotted it deep in the thicket. The Arab made his way through the thick branches and retrieved the ball. A little peace in the Middle East.
Then we went for pizza to a local store that I would normally consider barely average. It was the first fresh pizza we'd had in many weeks, and it was a real treat. We had to eat it outside the store. The owner dropped one of my friend's slices when he took it out of the oven. When he brought another outside to us he told my friend it's on the house, but my friend insisted on paying for it to support the store.
Sunday is going to be another special day. I'm going to town for an appointment that was rescheduled.
I never thought I'd say this, but I'm looking forward to going to the dentist.
Unemployment will soon reach Great Depression levels, all the job growth of the last 10 years has been wiped out since March, big companies are going bankrupt, small businesses are finished, no one but the very wealthy can even pay their bills anymore, food shortages and massive increase in food prices have already begun, Costco limiting purchases even though Costco only exists so people can buy in bulk, thousands are dying every day, armed protests in many states, brutal police crackdowns on ordinary citizens doing nothing, governors openly stating that the Constitution is basically not relevant as they seize power and strip basic rights with executive orders, media censorship, federal government printing trillions of dollars in Monopoly money and buying up everything that used to belong to the citizens, corrupt FBI and politicians using the justice system as a political tool to destroy the lives of people who stand in their way, criminals freed from prison while ordinary citizens who want to work and stand near someone are thrown in jail, drones spying on people in the streets, judges demanding people apologize for working to feed their kids or go to jail, and, of course, anti-Semitism always on the rise.
This is America. Did I miss anything?
I said it before, I'll say it again. Every time Jews have said "it can't happen here", they have been wrong. The United States I knew growing up is not what it was, and I don't think that place is coming back. Mind you, I am not commenting on the average citizen, who in most cases is a decent person. I am commenting on the structural health of the country. In that respect the U.S. is not even really a nation anymore, but a bunch of tribes who are diametrically opposed on the most basic issues: borders, basic rights, capitalism vs. socialism, and the Constitution itself.
There is going to be major turmoil there, and, as is always the case, the Jews are going to get stuck right in the middle of it. I wish they would come home for the right reasons, but if they won't do that, the trouble ahead will help make them homesick. How many millions of Jews didn't get out when they could for all the same reasons that we hear today? We have all heard their stories, wish they could have had more foresight, and believed we wouldn't make the same mistake. Well, history is repeating itself one last time, and many of our people are indeed making the same mistake.
If you are in galus, stop trying to time the exact right moment to leave. Stop thinking you will be able to book the last seat on the last flight out.
Stop waiting for life in Israel to win the comparison test in every respect. It doesn't have to and shouldn't have to.
Stop waiting for Israel to be perfect. You're far from perfect too, you've got plenty of issues too. Let's work on it all together, at home.
(I also believe that those who have an easy absorption tend to be those who try to see the good, and the land returns the favor by seeing the good in them and accepting them. Those who come with a critical eye receive the same treatment from the land, and might not pass inspection either. I have no scientific evidence for this, but I believe it's true.)
Stop waiting to have everything in your life arranged and planned just right before you are willing to come. Take charge of your destiny, leave some things up to God, and figure some things out after you get here. Refugees have to start with nothing and figure everything out from the beginning. They've been able to do that. You're ahead of the game. Why wait to be a refugee?
Most of all, stop waiting for Moshiach. You have it backwards. Moshiach is waiting for you.