Monday, April 20, 2009

Who Took the Bones Out of Gefilta Fish?

by Tzvi Fishman
If the recent six day overdose of Yom Tov and Shabbat weren’t enough to get Diaspora Jews to move to Israel, with its force-feeding of gefilta fish day-after-day, until fish jelly dripped out of their noses and horseradish dripped out of their ears, I don’t know what it’s going to take until they are fed up with practicing Judaism in a jar.
Judaism in a Jar

Since we are on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, let’s go back to the Shabbat of Chol HaMoed Pesach and take another look at the Haftorah. Our Sages explain that the Dry Bones of Ezekiel’s prophecy represent the Jewish communities in the exile, which the Prophet pictures as a grave:

“Then He said to me, son of man, these bones are the House of Israel” (Ezekiel, 37:11).

“Lo, I will open your graves and cause you to come out of your graves as My People, and bring you home to the Land of Israel” (Ezekiel, 37:12).

Can anything be clearer than this? The Prophet clearly states that it is G-d’s will that His People rise up from their graves in Vienna, and Monsey, and Australia, and Japan, and come home to Israel.

Valley of Dry Bones

Isn’t this exactly what happened in the wake of the Holocaust? Can there be a clearer picture of the Jewish People miraculously rising from their graves to return home to the Land of Israel?

Make no mistake my beloved and deluded brothers, the exile is a grave. Don’t be deceived by the beauty of your cemeteries, the manicured lawns and towering monuments – the lands of the Diaspora are graveyards.

Valley of Dry Bones, East

The Jewish communities there are dry bones, scattered, dislocated, discombobulated, disintegrated, withered, sapped of life, “a valley of bones – exceedingly dry” (Ezekiel, 37:2).

Those who have broken away from the Torah to find sanctuary amongst the goyim have decomposed beyond recognition, turning into gefilta fish without bones; and those who bravely cling to the tenets of the Torah have only its dry, crumbling skeleton to cling to, without being graced with the life-giving spirit of the Land of Israel inside.

The establishment of the State of Israel out of the graves of the Holocaust is the greatest Sanctification of G-d that there is!

Graveyard of Galut
The Greatest Sanctification of G-d

Just as the Prophet declared:

“And I will lay ligaments upon you, and I will make flesh grow over you, and cover you with skin, and put breath into you, and you will live, and YOU WILL THEN KNOW THAT I AM G-D” (Ezekiel, 37:6).

But just as there are people who deny the Holocaust, there are people who deny the State of Israel. I don’t see any difference.