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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Where Are We?

Two posts back Evanston Jew asked me about what I cryptically referred to as "Reb Mayer Simcha's repetitive timeline of Jewish history" in Rabbi Shmuel Bloom's well received remarks.

I am writing this during travel, without access to a Meshech Chochma, and so I apologize if I approximate from memory, and please forgive me if I mess up. The alternative is perhaps a week's delay, which in the blogosphere is pretty much unforgivable.

Rabbi Blooms' thought:

In Parshas B'Chukosai R' Mayer Simcha says that Jewish history follows a repetitive pattern. Jews are driven out of a land, and forced into a new land. The first generation, without benefit of education due to their oppression, struggles to establish themselves materially and spiritually. The next generation, benefitting from the income and institutions of the first generation, blossoms in Torah and becomes more established in the host country. The next generation continues to become Talmidei Chachamim, and even more comfortable in the host country.

By the fourth generation, the youth realizes they will no longer be able to surmount the Torah level of the their predecessors, and they then seek other avenues of fulfillment - money, art, politics, entertainment. At this point, they begin to lose zechusim, and in another generation or two, Hashem causes them to be persecuted and driven out to a new land, starting the cycle anew.

Rabbi Bloom remarked that we have a mesora (from R. Chaim Volzhiner??) that America will be the final way station of Torah. Orthodox Judaism in America has been strong and growing since World War II. Per Rabbi Bloom we have to bear in mind that our choice will be whether we leave America under Moshiach heads held high and with song and dance, or whether our repetition of the old cycle means we are driven out with pogroms and persecution.

Leapa's reaction? Scary. Look at the situation of Jews in Europe today. Is that us tomorrow?

Thank you Rabbi Bloom.

I'll be posting about the convention, and my reaction to it, but the CD's are defective, slowing things up.


Anonymous jack said...

'Rabbi Bloom remarked that we have a mesora (from R. Chaim Volzhiner??) '

I've also heard this. Does anyone have a source for this or is it one of those buba maasos?

10:13 AM  
Blogger Leapa said...

I've also heard it from Rav M. Gifter, z"l.

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

even ifit is a bubba meisah,it still makes sense.

12:51 PM  

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