Kahane on the Parsha
Rabbi Meir Kahane- Parshat Tazria
POOR LIVING STANDARDS IS NO EXCUSE
I recommend to all those who speak of the difficulty of making a living in Eretz Yisrael (and who really mean the difficulty in making the kind of living they would like to make) the following Tanchuma (Tazria 6):
"A kohen who was in dire economic straits decided to leave Eretz Yisrael and make his fortune outside of it. He told his wife how to recognize the signs of leprosy and other plagues, saying, 'If you see that the root of the hair is dry, know that it is smitten, for the Almighty gave each hair root its own well from which to draw sustenance, how much more is it true that you, a man who has countless hairs and whose children derive their sustenance from you, will be granted a well-sustenance from the Almighty.' She therefore did not allow him to leave Eretz Yisrael."
What a difference between the simple faith of the wife of an ordinary kohen and our present-day generation that is so in bondage to materialism that it lacks the faith to make minimal sacrifices to keep the mitzvah of living in the Promised Land!
Lack of trust in G-d's ability to support or defend us has been from time immemorial the plague that severed us from this great mitzvah, causing us to distort it and contrive all sorts of warped excuses to exempt ourselves from it.
In the Kuzari, the king of the Khazars tells the rabbi that he cannot understand why the Jews mourn for Jerusalem but do not move here. The rabbi replies:
"You have shamed me, O king, for it is due to this sin that the great goal G-d had planned for the Second Temple was not fulfilled: 'Sing and be glad, O daughter of Zion! For I am coming and I will dwell in your midst' (Zechariah 2:14). For the divine even was destined to be for them as in the First Temple if they had all responded to the call and returned to Eretz Yisrael with a willing soul, but only a part went up. The majority and the important ones among them stayed in Babylon, agreeing to the Exile and the servitude as long as they were not separated from their dwelling place and businesses."
Woe unto a generation that has lost sight of the clear truth.
The Jewish Press, 1988
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