Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Question & Answer With Rabbi Lazer Brody - World Pride 2006

A Simple Jew asks:

I am obviously against the World Pride 2006 march in Jerusalem. During Disengagement you advocated that everyone take it upon themselves to say Perek Shira as means to nullify the evil decree. You maintained that people should not take part in demonstrations against Disengagement; that it was a spiritual battle, not a physical one.

Now, it appears that you are advocating that in addition to our prayers, we lobby politicians and other influential figures as a means to stop the march.

Why is this struggle any different than the struggle against the decree of Disengagement? If Hashem runs the world, why do we need to send even one e-mail or fax?

Rabbi Lazer Brody answers:

Good question, SJ. If we had 20,000 people doing an hour of hitbodedut a day, then would wouldn't have to write a single letter, for this is a spiritual battle too. Rebbe Nachman of Breslev explains that where you don't have emuna, you have to exert a lot of energy in Hishtadlut.

During the pre-disengagement period, Rabbi Shalom Arush and I were speaking to every possible forum that would listen, urging round-the-clock hitbodedut. We were sure that people would prefer an hour of personal prayer a day to losing their homes. Yet, the demonstrations attracted thousands of people, whereas few were seriously talking to Hashem every day up in the hills and down on the beach.

When I saw that the call to hibodedut wasn't being answered, I watered it down to Perek Shira, which only takes 10-12 minutes a day. More committed, but the number didn't exceed 1000.

Hashem is repeatedly testing our emuna. He wants tshuva and prayer more than letter-writing. But, when we see that people lack the emuna to win the battle with the weapon of prayer, we should at least mobilize them in a letter-writing campaign. The virtues of letter writing is that it has already pulled more than 30,000 Jews together in unity, and even those who are not observant are answering the call of loyalty to Hashem and to Jerusalem - this is a great achievement.

Yesterday, The Melitzer Rebbe shlit'a, Rav Shalom Arush shlit'a, and I were in Miron, saying our prayers at Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai's gravesite. Prayer is what I personally believe in. But, this time, I received a direct order from the Melitzer Rebbe to mobilize at least 20,000 other people to protest against Impurade 2006. The Melitzer Rebbe is the one who ordered the letter-writing campaign.

Rebbe Nachman of Breslev says that the sword of Moshiach will be prayer, and with that, he'll conquer the world. But, those of us on a lower level, still need conventional weapons.

(Picture courtesy of Venyamin Zaslavsky)

Letters protesting World Pride 2006 can be sent to Eliahu Yishai (MK - Shas) at: eyishay@knesset.gov.il

Faxs can be sent to:

Jerusalem Police: [USA] 011 972-2-5391391, world wide +972-2-5391391

The Gerrer Rebbe: [USA] 011 972-2-5388774, world wide +972-2-5388774

* The Gerrer Rebbe shlit'a is one of the Jewish religious leaders of this generation in Israel, he can awaken the religious majority of Jerusalem to public action (and merely the statement that he is considering it would have tremendous impact).


At June 27, 2006 at 11:43:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When Moshiach comes all Jews and other nations will stand in line like an a big army ready to report.
If there is any Rabbi in Israel that will lead his people to unite(not split), that is NOW.

At June 27, 2006 at 12:08:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Publicly opposing a chillul HaShem is mandated by the Gemara in Maseches Shabbos (54b): "Anyone who is able to protest against his family's wrongdoing and doesn't do so, is held responsible for that wrongdoing. If he is able to protest against the wrongdoing of his fellow townsmen, he is held responsible for their wrongdoing. If he is able to protest against the whole world's wrongdoing, he is held responsible for their wrongdoing!" Rashi states that those responsible for the entire world are people "such as a king or a nasi... for the people revere him and fulfill his request." Rav Avraham Abulafia adds (Otzar Eden HaGanuz, Chelek 2): "Therefore, a Rosh Yeshiva who does not protest is held responsible for the wrongdoings of the entire world!" This is why the gedolim must call for an effective response. Of course the tefillos and teshuva are our primary focus, but protesting wrongdoing is a chiyuv.

At June 27, 2006 at 12:57:00 PM EDT, Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Nice conversation!

At June 27, 2006 at 3:57:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ASJ: R' Brody recently published on his blog a letter that someone wrote to him emphasizing the spiritual aspects of this struggle. You can find it in the left hand side of the blog, I think it's entitled "fight spiritual battles with spiritual weapons" or something like that. Has some good points for all of us to consider. It might help both our prayers and our acts of hishtadlus.

At June 28, 2006 at 4:52:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One things clear to me - anyone who thinks he has any ahavas Torah, ahavas Yisrael or ahavas Hashem should feel the need to do whatever needs to be done. As is clear from Rabbi Brody's prayer/ hisbodedus is definitely needed.

A 'frum' friend of mine here in England pained me with his insensitivity when he said "what's this parade got to do with me - they're just looking for attention and I'm not going to give it to them" I doubt he'll even daven unless his Rav spoke about it.

The omission of this news in the frum English press last week was noticeable. (unless I missed it) Is it related to what happened last time (see Lazer Beams) when the kol koreh posters on this subject got cheder boys and beis Yaakov girls asking what "gay" means? Well, unless we have a heart for our helige Torah, Yidden, and Eretz Yisrael, and feel some degree of anger at what is happening, many more of our precious youth and not only them may well ask this question and other questions this time .. not because of a kol koreh but after the Impurade is reported in every corner of this world chas v'shalom. May we be zoche to the brochos of Yemos Hamoshiach and "v'nahafoch hu" bba!

At August 13, 2007 at 1:59:00 AM EDT, Blogger Yehoishophot Oliver said...

It's true that the main thing in stopping the expulsion from Azah was spiritual avodah, and thus a campaign to promote that means of effort should have been initiated, but I think it's simply absurd to suggest that therefore physical efforts should not have been made to protest.

We see in the leadup to the miracle of Purim that Esther called the people to Teshuva, but then she went to the king to ask him to make a party, etc. and through a long process of following the natural order, the turnaround occurred.

Thus, the natural and the spiritual efforts are not contradictory; rather, they should complement each other.


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